The Governor’s Council of Economic Advisors has adopted three systems to monitor key economic indicators in the state.
“It is important we have a better way to understand and to benchmark what is happening in our state’s economy and ultimately set specific goals to drive Kansas forward,” Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback said. “These economic metrics will allow us to determine the state’s relative economic position as it relates to the six-state region and the nation, and to monitor in a timely manner if our policies and initiatives are having the desired economic effect.”
First, the council adopted the “Indicators of the Kansas Economy” (IKE), a set of economic data to help track variables that are broad based in nature.
Second, the council adopted the “Kansas Index of Leading Indicators.” This index uses 10 economic indicators that show excellent correlation as benchmarked against Kansas non-farm employment.
Third, the council adopted five key economic indicators as areas where Kansas needs to grow. The Council set the goal of improving Kansas rankings in these five areas so that by the year 2015, the state will rank in the top 20 in all five. The five indicators are:
• Number of business establishments (currently 30th).
• Private sector employment (currently 32nd).
• Taxpayer migration (currently 37th).
• Gross domestic productivity per job (currently 20th).
• Disposable personal income per capita (currently 22nd).
“Clearly, as our current rankings show, Kansas is lagging in these key areas, and in order for the state to strategically position itself so it is recognized by businesses as a place where they can grow or move their wealth to, these benchmarks must show considerable improvement,” Brownback said. “These goals won’t be easy to attain but policies focused on them will position Kansas to an entirely different level of pro-growth reality and job creation.”
Economist and former economic advisor to President Ronald Reagan, Dr. Arther Laffer, and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, also spoke to the group at its meeting last Tuesday. Laffer emphasized the correlation between low tax rates and economic growth, and Bush focused on the importance of an education system that prepares individuals for contemporary career opportunities.
Brownback established the Council of Economic Advisors as a board of directors for economic development and to work closely with him to assure strategy integration, coordination and accountability across all of the state’s economic development-related initiatives and agencies.