The Trump Administration released its budget request for Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 on February 12. The budget eliminates two state grant programs that WDQC has supported for connecting education and workforce data. In one bright spot, however, the budget proposes expanding access to wage data for performance measurement and evidence-based policymaking.
Funding proposals related to workforce data include:
On a more positive note, which reflects WDQC’s advocacy for improved, secure access to administrative wage data, Chapter 6 of the President’s Analytical Perspectives acknowledges broad recommendations from the Commission on Evidence-Based Policymaking and proposes a new initiative to allow wider access to the National Directory of New Hires (NDNH), which maintains quarterly wage data. The access would apply “to units within Federal agencies that conduct research, statistical activities, evaluation, and/or performance measurement associated with assessing labor market outcomes.” The proposal would enable:
Potentially holding additional implications for inter-agency use of data, in March, the Administration will release the President’s Management Agenda. The Administration hopes to improve data efficiencies and transparencies by modernizing the government’s information technology. The Administration also promises to undertake specific reviews of important agency structures and activities such as “streamlining Federal statistical functions across multiple Federal agencies.”
The President’s budget now goes to Congress. Congress had not enacted a full-year 2018 Appropriation at the time the budget was prepared, so the budget assumes accounts are operating under the Continuing Appropriations Act of 2018, which runs until March 23. As part of the Continuing Resolution (CR) passed on February 9, Sec. 306 of the CR Supplemental appropriation included Grants to States for Reemployment Services and Eligibility Assessments. The grant program will allow states to set aside up to 10 percent of the funds from these grants for evaluation activities, and the Secretary of Labor will later submit to Congress a report describing promising interventions used by states to provide reemployment assistance. The FY 2018 CR Supplemental also included the “Social Impact Partnerships to Pay for Results Act” which requires meeting predetermined successful outcomes before receiving payment, as well as supplemental funding for conducting Census activities required for Decennial Census preparations.
WDQC will continue to analyze the President’s FY 2019 budget and advocate for sufficient funding to enable the use of data for improving workforce development at all levels of government.
For more information on workforce programs in the FY 2019 budget, visit the National Skills Coalition’s Skills blog.