State Economic Development Program Expenditures Trends FY2014-FY2016

Source: C2ER, June 2015

C2ER has updated its State Economic Development Program Expenditures Database as part of a continuous effort to track investments in economic development across all fifty states. The database now includes all Governor Recommended Budgets for fiscal year 2016.

Over the past few years, U.S. state spending on economic development has followed a general upward trend. As the national economy finally shows signs of improvement following the Great Recession, this trend seems to be reversing. According to the C2ER State Economic Development Program Expenditures Database, in FY2016 U.S. states are collectively proposing to spend $6.97 billion on economic development investments, representing a slight dip from FY2015 spending levels. In FY2015, states Appropriated $7.05 billion for economic development, which was a 7 percent increase over actual economic development spending of $6.65 billion in FY14.

Looking at spending trends in individual states shows similar patterns, although spending in every state did not follow this overall trend. Between FY2014 and FY2015, 31 states increased economic development spending, while 19 state decreased spending or kept it steady. Between FY2015 and FY2016, 25 states increased economic development spending, while 25 states decreased spending or kept it steady. However, for the states that showed increases in funding between FY2014 and FY2015, the increases were significantly larger than increases between FY2015 and FY2016. In addition to state revenue used for funding economic development activities, states received large infusions of federal funding for their programs, with $3.28 billion in FY2014, $3.65 billion in FY2015, and $3.49 billion in FY2016. ….