March 3, 2021

Research Tools: Subsidy Tracker Database of U.S. Government Subsidies to Business Passes 500,000 Entries

From Good Jobs First:

The first national database of taxpayer-funded subsidy awards to business today reached two significant milestones: The latest expansion of Good Jobs First’s Subsidy Tracker brings the number of entries to 500,000 with a total value of more than $250 billion.

The awards come from more than 740 federal, state and local programs. The free search engine was launched in 2010 and has been continuously expanded and improved since by Good Jobs First, the non-profit watchdog group known for its investigative reports and tools.

In addition to collecting raw data from hundreds of online and offline sources, Subsidy Tracker adds value by linking the entities named in the individual awards to their ultimate corporate parents, using a proprietary matching system. With this latest expansion, the database covers 2,606 parent companies—an increase of 570 since 2015 and nearly three times the number when the matching system was launched in 2014.

The 2,606 parents consist of the largest corporations doing business in the United States, publicly traded and privately held, domestic and foreign-based. Together, these companies and their entities account for $190 billion in cumulative subsidies, or three-quarters of the Subsidy Tracker total. The database generates downloadable search result pages for each of the parent companies, showing their subsidy totals plus links to all the individual entries contributing to those totals. Parent-subsidiary linkages in the system are based on current relationships and thus are updated to reflect mergers, acquisitions and other ownership changes.

Despite significant improvement in disclosure practices, some large subsidy deals, especially those granted by local governments, are still not reflected in the official agency data upon which Subsidy Tracker primarily depends. To fill this gap, Good Jobs First created a category called Megadeals for awards of $50 million or more. These entries are derived from a variety of information sources, and now total 363, including 18 Megadeals worth $1 billion or more.

Direct to Subsidy Tracker Database (via Good Jobs First)

See Also: Violation Tracker (Fed. Environmental, Health and Safety Penalties by Company) (October 27, 2015)
Another resource from Good Jobs First that launched last year.

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

Share