About

Good Jobs First is a national policy resource center that promotes corporate and government accountability in economic development. Since 1998, it has fought for reforms to increase transparency around the use of public money used in the name of economic development, and has revealed the numerous ways corporations – many of whom receive subsidies – violate civil and criminal regulations and laws.

Our award-winning work includes the following:

  • Data: Our unrivaled databases track public subsidies given to private businesses, compile corporate misconduct cases, and report foregone government revenue from tax abatements. Additionally, our Covid Stimulus Watch database reports loans and grants given to private businesses under the CARES Act, cross-referencing their past subsidies and corporate misconduct.
  • Research: Our more than 125 reports – many of which have set research precedents – provide analysis on issues related to subsidies, corporate violations, accountability measures, and smart growth. Our Corporate Research Project provides industry-specific information, research tools and commentary to advance corporate accountability campaigns.
The Problem

Each year, as much as $90 billion is given to corporations by state and local governments in the form of economic development subsidies. These deals are often negotiated behind closed doors, and often fail to create good-paying, permanent jobs. They also drain vitally needed funding from government budgets, contributing to cutbacks in public services such as schools, furthering racial and economic disparities, and shifting the tax burden onto small businesses and working families.

Our award-winning work includes the following:

  • Data: Our unrivaled databases track public subsidies given to private businesses, compile corporate misconduct cases, and report foregone government revenue from tax abatements. Additionally, our Covid Stimulus Watch database reports loans and grants given to private businesses under the CARES Act, cross-referencing their past subsidies and corporate misconduct.
  • Research: Our more than 125 reports – many of which have set research precedents – provide analysis on issues related to subsidies, corporate violations, accountability measures, and smart growth. Our Corporate Research Project provides industry-specific information, research tools and commentary to advance corporate accountability campaigns.
  • Reform Advocacy: We offer legislative reforms and organizing strategies that can and have made subsidies more accountable. Our 50-state “report card” studies have spurred further subsidy transparency and our comment campaign led to the landmark GASB Statement No. 77 on Tax Abatement Disclosures.
  • Technical Assistance and Training: We provide activist support to community groups, tax and budget watchdogs, legal rights and sunshine groups, corporate ethics advocates, worker centers, labor unions, environmentalists, and public officials working on campaigns and reforms.
  • Better Media Coverage: We assist journalists every day, helping them better understand and communicate economic development issues while bringing “sunshine” to specific deals and policies.


Vision

A world where economic development empowers disenfranchised communities and strengthens public services and corporations act in the best interests of everyone. 

Mission

To tell the complete story of what comes of the billions of dollars given to corporations each year in the name of economic development, and to chronicle how corporations treat workers, the environment, and communities. Our data and technical assistance play a vital role in efforts to create a fair and people-centered economy.