Federal Government Economic Data and Statistics
- The Federal Statistical System consists of 13 principal statistical agencies, with the U.S. Census Bureau and Bureau of Labor Statistics at the top of the list.
- The federal government produces an avalanche of economic data: this page provides a roadmap.
- For qualified research projects, and subject to rigorous disclosure-avoidance procedures, it is possible to use confidential versions of government survey data via Federal Statistical Research Data Centers.
Jobs for Economists in U.S. Government
The U.S. Government employs economists in a wide array of positions, including in:
- Major statistical agencies (S. Census Bureau, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Bureau of Economic Analysis)
- Antitrust agencies (Federal Trade Commission, Department of Justice)
- Fiscal policy units (S. Treasury, Internal Revenue Service, Congressional Budget Office, Joint Committee on Taxation)
- Health-related agencies (Department of Health and Human Services, the Food and Drug Administration, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Studies)
- Financial regulators (the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Office of the Controller of the Currency, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau)
- Agencies with sector-specific responsibilities, including the Environmental Protection Agency, the International Trade Commission, the Federal Communications Commission, the USDA’s Economic Research Service, and many more.
Open positions are posted in USAJOBS - The Federal Government's official employment site. Many agencies also recruit new PhDs via the annual job market and post their openings via the AEA’s Job Openings for Economists.
Government Funding for Economic Research
The website www.grants.gov is a useful portal for searching for current research funding opportunities across the federal government. The largest sources of federal government funding for economic research are:
- National Science Foundation -- The NSF is an independent federal agency created by Congress in 1950 to “promote the progress of science; advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare; [and] secure the national defense.”
- National Institutes of Health – NIH is a collection of 27 institutes and centers, each with a research agenda relating to its specific health focus. The National Institute on Aging and National Institute on Drug Abuse have been important sources of funding for economic research in these areas.
A helpful list of other sources of funding for economic research is posted here.
A-Z Listing of Federal Government Agencies
An A-Z listing of Federal government agencies, including web links and contact information, can be found here: https://www.usa.gov/federal-agencies.
Other Professional Associations with Which CGR Partners
The CGR partners with other professional associations concerned with sound support for federal statistics, federal research funding, and/or a vibrant higher education sector. These organizations include:
- Council of Professional Associations for Federal Statistics (COPAFS) – a group of 15 professional associations and many more affiliate organizations and individuals who share the goal of advancing excellence in federal statistics. AEA is a COPAFS member, along with the American Statistical Association, the National Association of Business Economists, and the Association of Public Data Users.
- Consortium of Social Science Associations (COSSA) – a group of 28 social science associations and dozens of college and university affiliates who work collaboratively to promote and advance the use of social and behavioral sciences in federal policymaking
- Data Foundation -- a non-partisan think tank that champions the use of open data and evidence-informed public policy.
- Association of Public Data Users(APDU) -- a national network that links users, producers and disseminators of government statistical data, whose members “share a vital concern about the collection, dissemination, preservation, and interpretation of public data."
- Coalition for National Science Funding -- a broad-based group of professional organizations, universities, scientific societies, and business groups interested in maintaining support for the scientific research and educational programs supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF).
- Census Project – a broad-based coalition of academic, government, non-profit and private-sector organizations interested in timely, high-quality, and inclusive data from the Census Bureau’s Decennial Census and annual American Community Survey (ACS). The ACS surveys large samples of the U.S. population collecting detailed sociodemographic and economic information that used to be collected via the Census long form).