WASHINGTON, July 20 (UPI) -- The director of the U.S. Census Bureau says there is a need for better economic statistics.
In an op-ed article published Thursday in The Washington Post, U.S. Census Bureau Director Robert Groves said a modern economy runs on accurate statistics.
"With them, we know how well the economy is providing for the public well-being," Groves wrote. "With them, businesses can identify opportunities for growth and new markets, building jobs with each data-based decision."
But, economic statistics, such as those gathered by the American Community Survey and the economic census, are being threatened by the appropriations bill, which is being considered by the U.S. House of Representatives, Groves said.
"Without the ACS, communities and businesses will make riskier decisions about where to place schools, hospitals and retail outlets. In short, without these data bridges, the road ahead will become more difficult," Groves said.
While a U.S. Senate version of the appropriations bill keeps the ACS funded by the government, a House version would make participation in the ACS voluntary, Groves said.
"A voluntary ACS would cost more taxpayer money to produce the same-quality statistics, at a time when the Census Bureau is trying to produce better statistics with less money," Groves said.
"A strong country is strong because it knows itself. Statistical information is central to that strength; we need stronger data bridges, not to dismantle those we are now using," Groves concluded.
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