by Pete Julius

Targeting company headquarters has been a popular strategy within economic development. As a result, we recently conducted a quick analysis of headquarter relocation and expansion activity across the country last year. The information was derived from Conway Scoreboard. As many of you know, Conway Scoreboard is a voluntary system to which companies submit an announcement when they expand or relocate. Therefore, we view the data contained in Conway Scoreboard as a sample. Some state organizations have sophisticated systems they use to track new and expanded activity. As a result, the numbers tracked by those systems may be different from those numbers derived from Conway. This article contains three different snapshots of headquarter expansion and relocation activity for 2003.

We first took a look at the states that had the most headquarter new and expanded announcements, regardless of industry. The table below includes states that had at least 10 announcements. New York, Florida and Virginia experienced the most activity in 2003. Interestingly enough, all but three of the states within the table are east of the Mississippi. Texas is the state farthest west in the table.

Most Active HQ Activity by State
(Minimum of 10 Announcements)
State
Number of Announcements
New York
76
Florida
70
Virginia
66
Illinois
56
Ohio
38
Michigan
36
Texas
34
Pennsylvania
30
Kentucky
20
Indiana
18
Minnesota
18
Georgia
16
North Carolina
12
Iowa
10

Next, we took a quick look at average investment by state, regardless of industry. Oklahoma, which was not in the previous table, is ranked number one. Massachusetts, Wisconsin, and South Dakota also appear in this table but not in the previous table. New York, which was number one in the previous table, reported the second highest average investment. Again, most of the activity occurred in the eastern United States.

Top Ten States by Most HQ Average Investment
State
Average Investment ($M)
Oklahoma
$67.0
New York
$52.8
Massachusetts
$38.7
Wisconsin
$36.0
Texas
$22.8
Michigan
$19.6
Indiana
$18.8
South Dakota
$15.0
Ohio
$12.3
Illinois
$12.2

Finally, we shifted focus and looked at the most active industries by NAICS code. Each NAICS code listed in the table below had at least 10 announcements. Professional, scientific, and technical service by far had the most announcements.

Most Active HQ Activity by NAICS Code
(Minimum of 10 Announcements)
NAICS Code – Description
Number
541 – Professional, Scientific & Technical Services 132
522 – Credit Intermediation & Related Activities 32
233 – Building, Developing & General Contracting 26
524 – Insurance Carriers & Related Activities 26
561 – Administrative & Support Services 26
551 – Management of Companies & Enterprises 24
334 – Computer & Electronic Product Mfg. 22
336 – Transportation Equipment Mfg. 18
523 – Security, Commodity Contracts & Like Activity 18
325 – Chemical Manufacturing 16
221 – Utilities 10
333 – Machinery Manufacturing 10
339 – Miscellaneous Mfg. (including medical related industries) 10
422 – Wholesale Trade, Nondurable Goods 10
513 – Broadcasting & Telecommunications 10
521 – Monetary Authorities – Central Bank 10
531 – Real Estate 10