Better data

This from the Dow Jones Newswires:
“BEA May Share Some Data On Trade, Flows With BLS”:

The Commerce Department’s Bureau of Economic Analysis is proposing to provide the Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics with data collected from several surveys that it conducts on U.S. direct investment abroad, foreign direct investment in the U.S., and U.S. international trade in services.
In a notice published Monday in the Federal Register, the Bureau of Economic Analysis, or BEA, requested public comment on the proposed data-sharing by May 26. It said the data sharing would be “for statistical purposes exclusively.”
BEA said it “will provide data collected in its surveys to link with data from BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics) surveys, including the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages, the Occupational Employment Statistics survey, and the Mass Layoff Statistics survey.”
“The linked data will be used for several purposes by both agencies, such as to develop detailed industry-wide estimates of the employment, payroll, and occupational structure of foreign-owned U.S. companies or of U.S. companies that own foreign affiliates, and to assess the adequacy of current government data for understanding the international outsourcing activities of U.S. companies,” the notice continued.
BEA said the confidentiality of the data will be protected, saying “access to the shared data will be restricted to specifically authorized personnel and will be provided for statistical purposes only.”

(See Federal Register for the entire announcement)
This is a step forward in understanding the offshoring issue. No reason why the financial and employment data shouldn’t be linked.
Now, if I can only get them to collect data on the transfer prices and volume of intangible assets.

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