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Mar 15 -- The Census Bureau, Department of Commerce, invites public comments to OMB by April 15, 2024 regarding the proposed extension of the State and Local Government Finance Collections and Public Employment and Payroll Collections.

The Annual Survey of Public Employment & Payroll collects State and local government data by function for full-time and part-time employees and payroll. The Annual Survey of State and Local Government Finances collect State and local government finance data including government revenue, expenditure, debt, assets, and pension systems. Data are collected for all agencies, departments, and institutions of the fifty State governments and for a sample of all local governments (counties, municipalities, townships, and special districts). Data for school districts are collected under a separate survey and are not included here.

This extension would cover the completion of the 2023 Annual Survey of State and Local Government Finances, and the conducting of the 2024 through 2025 years of both the Annual Survey of State and Local Government Finances and the Annual Survey of Public Employment & Payroll.  There are no proposed changes since the last approved clearance.  

In years ending with 2 and 7 this collection is conducted as a part of the Census of Governments. There is no difference in content collected between a Census of Governments year and non-Census year. The only difference is that in non-Census years, we only collect from a sample of the universe of State and local governments, whereas during a Census of Governments year the entire universe is collected. The upcoming three years of this clearance extension will cover the collections for fiscal years of 2023, 2024, and 2025, all of which are non-Census years.

These programs are the only comprehensive source of state and local government finance, employment, and payroll data collected on a nationwide scale using uniform definitions, concepts, and procedures.  Data are collected for all agencies, departments, and school districts, institutions of the fifty state and approximate 90,000 local governments (counties, municipalities, townships, and special districts) during the census years, and for a sample of the local governments (approximately 11,000) for the survey years.  An additional 13,000 units of school districts for local government finance are covered in a separate request.  

The Census of Governments- Finance and its related Annual Surveys of State and Local Government Finances, provide data on state government finances and estimates of local government revenue, expenditure, debt, assets, and pension systems nationally and within state areas.  The Census of Governments- Employment and Annual Survey of Public Employment and Payroll provide data on state and local government employment and payroll in the United States.  Census Bureau staff apply a standard set of criteria while classifying government activity in order to provide a complete and uniform set of data on the finance and employment activities of governments in the United States.

The data are released as part of the State and Local Government Finance and Public Employment & Payroll statistical series. The collections also produce individual data products that focus on State governments, local governments, and public pensions in greater detail than the combined financial and employment series as a by-product of their collections for the combined data series. The Census Bureau provides these data to the Bureau of Economic Analysis to develop the public sector components of the National Income and Product Accounts and for constructing the functional payrolls in the public sector of the Gross Domestic Product, payroll being the single largest component of current operations. The Census Bureau also provides these data to the Federal Reserve Board for use in the Flow of Funds Accounts. Other Federal agencies that make use of the data include the Council of Economic Advisers, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the Government Accountability Office, and the Department of Justice. State and local governments and related organizations, public policy groups, public interest groups, private research organizations, and private sector businesses also use these data.

Annual Survey of State and Local Government Finances: https://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/gov-finances.html
Annual Survey of Public Employment & Payroll (ASPEP): https://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/apes.html
Census submission to OMB: https://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAViewICR?ref_nbr=202403-0607-003 Click IC List for information collection instrument, View Supporting Statement for technical documentation. Submit comments through this webpage.
FRN: https://www.federalregister.gov/d/2024-05560

For AEA members wishing to submit comments, "A Primer on How to Respond to Calls for Comment on Federal Data Collections" is available at https://www.aeaweb.org/content/file?id=5806

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