As the nation pores over news about workers and the workplace this Labor Day, many stories are based on data from federal and state governments. Data is critical to telling not just the stories of workers but of many aspects of our economic life.

That’s why the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing (SABEW) is alarmed by the growing number of cases where the integrity of government data is being undermined for political purposes and shortsighted penny-pinching. (Footnotes #1, #2)

SABEW calls on federal and state lawmakers to adequately fund data collection and analysis, and to ensure that politics plays no role in the operation of statistical agencies. Lawmakers must ensure that the public has access to accurate data about the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the health of Americans.

On September 1, SABEW produced a virtual event with top officials from Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) and Census on the critical role that high-quality data plays in American society.

As we all enjoy a brief respite from our work responsibilities, SABEW reminds Americans to participate in Census 2020 and the data collection efforts of the BLS and BEA, among others (Footnote #3).


Footnotes:
1) Paycheck Protection Program loan database: https://www.bloombergquint.com/politics/ppp-data-errors-raise-questions-about-effectiveness-of-stimulus

2) COVID-19 data: https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2020/07/31/897429054/covid-19-hospital-data-system-that-bypasses-cdc-plagued-by-delays-inaccuracies

https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2020/05/cdc-and-states-are-misreporting-covid-19-test-data-pennsylvania-georgia-texas/611935/

3) 2020 Census participation: https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2020/07/28/four-in-ten-who-havent-yet-filled-out-u-s-census-say-they-wouldnt-answer-the-door-for-a-census-worker/