3/5/2009 10:02:00 AM
The C2ER or Council for Community and Economic Research is a group which has been around since the 1960s but whom I've only become connected to in the last several months. They are holding their annual conference in Kansas City with a focus on entrepreneurship and naturally that means that we will be cooperating on a couple of projects. All of that is a long way of saying, I've only recently been added to their email chain but I have to say I have been impressed. Just this week, they sent out the following email which highlights their leadership in trying to address critical data needs at the state level. I know that BEA has some hard budget choices to make but I can't believe that they are cutting a lot of these indicators on manufacturing by state and other investments. More broadly, C2ER's work shows just how important it can be to comment and provide feedback to these seemingly trivial topics.
BEA issued its final rule early last week regarding the BE-15, survey of foreign direct investment in the U.S. http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2009/pdf/E9-3705.pdf. The C2ER State Chapter was one of the commenting entities, providing its input last fall. C2ER coordinated comments from other stakeholders as well.
“One comment addressed the proposed deletion of an item that collects data on the number of employees engaged in research and development. The commenter highlighted the important uses of these data and urged BEA to retain the item. In response, BEA has decided to retain this item, which does not greatly add to the cost of conducting the survey and processing the results. The other three comments urged BEA to retain state-level data on manufacturing employees, gross property, plant, and equipment, and commercial property, citing the uses of these data in connection with tracking and analyzing foreign investment in individual states, planning international trade missions and economic development activities, and justifying funding for state investment promotion programs. BEA recognizes the utility and importance of these data items, but due to resource constraints, it is unable to reinstate these items at this time.”