Today’s news reports that Curt Schilling has accepted the deal offered by the state of Rhode Island and is relocating his company there. (Our previous thoughts on the topic and Curt’s response is here.)
The Herald’s report describes state economic development officials as being on the defensive. They shouldn’t be.*
Schilling’s got every right to get the best deal for his company. And the loss of jobs (roughly 200 from the website, it appears) is acutely painful.
But, if you look at the big picture, as Pioneer has — here and here — you see that firm relocation has a negligible impact on job creation. Of course, you hate to see any jobs go, but the reality is that what matters more is getting existing companies to expand and new companies to start here. Luring companies into the state or paying them not to leave is just not where the vast majority of jobs occur. If you take job loss or creation in absolute terms, firms coming into the state or leaving it account for less than 2% of total jobs.
*Did I just give the Patrick Administration’s Economic Development secretariat some cover here? I did. Must be because I’m politically compromised.