Report: Nearly All States Disclose Some Development Deals, But Outcome Reporting Remains Mostly Poor

Jan 29, 2014, 10:12 ET from Good Jobs First

WASHINGTON, Jan. 29, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- All but four states now post some online information about which companies receive economic development subsidies. But disclosure quality varies widely. Three-fourths of major state development programs fail to disclose actual jobs created or workers trained, and only one in eleven discloses wages actually paid. Illinois and Michigan rank best, but even their scores would be near-failing as report card grades.

These are the key findings of Show Us the Subsidized Jobs, a report issued today by Good Jobs First, a non-profit, non-partisan research center in Washington, DC.

"Aside from a handful of holdouts, state governments now accept the idea that the public has a right to online data about which companies are receiving taxpayer-funded job subsidies." said Good Jobs First executive director Greg LeRoy. "But with unemployment still high, Americans need to know how many jobs and what kind of wages and benefits their taxpayer investments are generating."

"Transparency by itself is no guarantee that a subsidy program is accountable or effective," said Good Jobs First research director Philip Mattera, principal author of the report. "But it is the foundation for any meaningful assessment."

Show Us the Subsidized Jobs rates 246 key state development programs on information such as subsidy award amounts, job creation and wages, project location, and other details. Each program is rated between 0 and 100, and those scores are averaged to derive each state's score.

Key findings:

**Forty-six states and the District of Columbia provide online recipient disclosure for at least one major program, up from 37 in 2010 and 23 in 2007.

**States with the best average program scores: Illinois (65), Michigan (58), North Carolina (48), Wisconsin (46), Vermont (43), Maryland (42) and Texas (40). The most-improved state is Oregon.

**The four states still lacking online disclosure: Arkansas, Delaware, Idaho and Kansas.

**Of the 246 programs examined, 135 have online recipient disclosure, and those programs have an average score of 39. Only seven programs score 75 or better. 

**Of the 135 programs with disclosure, only 59 report actual jobs created or workers trained. Only 21 provide wages actually paid.

**Consistent with previous studies, subsidy transparency follows no partisan pattern. There are "red" and "blue" states among leaders and laggards.

The study is at:

Contact: Phil Mattera 202-232-1616 x 212

SOURCE Good Jobs First