The news is becoming like a broken record. LaRoche. Ocean Spray. Hertz. Now, Bristol-Myers Squibb. All major corporations based in the Garden State who are moving (or have already moved) operations to states with far friendlier business climates.
Bristol-Myers announced late last week that it would be following in Hertz’ tire tracks to Florida. Today, the company announced plans to lay off 200 workers in New Jersey in advance of the move which will be completed by January, 2013.
The impact of the move cannot be understated. Bristol-Myers is a Fortune 500 company “with nearly $18 billion in annual revenues and 28,000 employees.” The company will open a new “70,000-square-foot facility in Hillsborough County and fill it with nearly 600 employees averaging $65,000 in annual wages.” By 2017, the company expects to employ some 775 workers at the facility with “most of those positions [being] be filled by people living in the Tampa Bay area” and “with wages averaging 157 percent of Florida’s private sector average wage.”
The reasons for the company’s decision are stinging and yet another indictment of the Democratic-led Legislature’s anti-free-market, anti-jobs agenda.
Gareth Morgan, a Bristol-Myers Squibb senior vice president, said his company evaluated many locations before deciding that Florida was the “best state for our new facility.” The company chose Hillsborough County, he said, for its “talented work force, strong university presence, the Tampa Bay region’s business climate, economy and quality of life, and availability of the necessary logistics and office facilities.”
The only question is: How many more companies will need to leave New Jersey — costing our state precious high-paying jobs, undermining our tax base and prospects for prosperity — before our elected leaders in Trenton change course? Or will we have to turn into Detroit first?