The "new geography of jobs" will continue to do some re-sculpting of America's thriving vs. declining metro areas over the next decade or two, and here's an example of that playing out: Toyota is moving its North American headquarters operations from SoCal, where it's been for four decades or more, to Plano, Tx.
Dallas Business Journal staff writer Bill Hethcock reports on the underlying reasons for the HQ relocation, and finds that neither the Central Time zone, nor relatively friendly tax regulations were the prime drivers of the move. Hethcock taps Albert Niemi Jr., dean of the Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University, who was close to Toyota's decision-process:
“It wasn’t so much that we don’t tax income,” he said. “It was really about affordable housing. That’s what started the conversation. They had focus groups with their employees. Their people said, ‘We’re willing to move. We just want to live the American Dream.’”
Toyota did the math and found that housing costs in Los Angeles County, where Torrance is located, are three times per square foot the cost of a house in Dallas-Fort Worth.
As is so often the case, it came down to "doing the math," which is why the new geography of jobs will not look like the old geography of jobs.