Regional Report: The West

Last year, Honda began emptying its Torrance North American headquarters and replanting itself in Ohio. Toyota’s move impacts about 3,000 employees based in the company’s 100-acre facility—2,000 in sales and marketing, another 1,000 in financial services. A smaller number of employees in Kentucky and New York will also be affected.

“Wage earners follow specific jobs, while entrepreneurs create startups closer to home.”

More than 36,000 corporations left California from 1990 to 2010, about a tenth of them resettling in Texas, according to the corporate-move database maintained by Oakland business analyst Don Walls. Along with the absence of corporate real estate tax, Texas’s often-cited benefits include lower living costs, fewer regulations and the tough-to-define-but-everyone agrees-it-counts pro-business environment.

For all the attention paid to Texas, nine-tenths of the corporate traffic goes elsewhere, according to Walls’ data. Individuals follow the economic carrot towards other western and Rocky Mountain states. After Texas and Nevada, the top magnet states were Arizona, Oregon, Washington, Colorado, Idaho and Utah. While Texas pulled in the most transplants, the dollars went disproportionately to Nevada—about $5.7 billion of California capital between 2000 and 2010, according to a study done by the Manhattan Institute. One interpretation: wage earners follow specific jobs, while entrepreneurs create startups closer to home.