The State of Economic Development Spending FY2012

My colleagues at the Center for Regional Economic Competitiveness have just released their annual compendium of state economic development budgets acrosss the US.  The full data release is available only to members of the Council for Community Economic Research, but even the limited free data summary contains some interesting insights.   It should be no surprise that overall spending is down.  State economic development budgets for FY2012 will be 13% smaller than the previous year.  Total budgeted spending is slated to reach $7.7 billion.    The biggest growth category is business assistance which saw a budget increase of $103 million over the past year.   While a 13% cut is significant, the budget slicing probably could have been worse.  It’s also promising to see state governments continue to think more broadly about what economic development is–this is reflected in growing budgets for business assitance as well as continued strong investments to support workforce development.

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