The War on Data Collection Continues: House of Representatives Edition

The War on Data Collection Continues!

From the National Association for Business Economics (NABE):

[t]he U.S. House of Representatives was considering an appropriations bill for Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies (H.R. 5326) that would drastically reduce funding for the Census Bureau and make participation in the American Community Survey voluntary.

… Regrettably, the legislation ultimately passed the House along party lines and was much more damaging than originally proposed. In its current form, H.R. 5326 will “devastate” the nation’s economic statistics.

Specifically, the legislation will:

  • Terminate the American Community Survey;
  • Cancel the 2012 Economic Census; and
  • Halt development of cost-saving measures for the decennial census.

Readers of this blog recognize that almost all the posts rely upon government data in the analysis. How do these data sets under threat fit in? From NABE:

How are Economic Census data used?

  • By the federal government as an input to calculate elements of key economic indicators, such as economic growth (GDP), prices, and productivity;
  • By retailers in evaluating whether to expand into new market geographies;
  • By economic development commissions in attracting new businesses to their areas; and
  • By companies to benchmark performance against industry averages

How are ACS data used?

  • By corporations to examine workforce characteristics of neighborhoods to determine optimal locations for new factories or sales centers;
  • By homebuilders looking to tailor new subdivisions to surrounding neighborhoods based on income, family size and existing home values; and
  • By municipal governments in planning to meet the educational, safety and housing needs of their citizens.

NABE suggests contacting your senator or representative.

This post originally appeared at Econbrowser and is posted with permission.