Government agencies offer great information, reports and official data. As a business journalist, or if you cover money in your beat, follow these federal agencies on Twitter for news and insight that can inform your next story.
1. The U.S. Department of Commerce
Follow the Commerce Department on Twitter (@CommerceGov) for the latest news on the Administration’s economic and business agenda, the department’s efforts to create jobs, economic growth and sustainable development in the U.S.
Bonus! Follow Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker (@PennyPritzker). She tweets about major developments within the department and retweets pivotal news on the American business climate.
2. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (@CFPB) formed in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis; now the bureau regulates financial markets to protect consumers. You can learn more about the CFPB’s work, follow the official government analysis of the markets and their impact on everyday borrowers on Twitter.
3. Federal Reserve System
The Fed (@federalreserve) is the United States’ central bank, created to manage the country’s interest rates and banking system. The Fed has been in the news recently because it hasn’t raised the interest rate (The Federal Funds Rate) since lowering the rate to nearly zero percent in 2008. Financial analysts speculate the Fed plans to raise this rate sometime in 2015 or 2016.
Chairwoman Janet Yellen has no official Twitter handle, but a search for her name on Twitter will yield many developments at the Fed.
4. Federal Trade Commission
The FTC (@FTC) protects consumers against dishonest business practices and enforces antitrust laws. Most notably, the commission regulates the mergers of large corporations, ensuring fair competition across industries. On Twitter the commission pushes out news updates and tips to help consumers to stay safe from disingenuous businesses.
Bonus! The Commission’s Chairwoman Edith Ramirez (@EdithRamirezFTC) tweets regularly about what she and the commission are up to.
5. The Department of Housing and Urban Development
HUD (@HUDgov) shapes U.S. housing policy, ensures fair home lending and creates programs to improve communities across the country. Follow HUD for all things related to housing and home financing.
Bonus! You can also follow HUD Secretary Julian Castro (@SecretaryCastro) for additional HUD updates on the department’s work.
6. The U.S. Department of Labor
The Labor Department (@USDOL) ensures wage and hour standards, workplace safety, unemployment insurance, and provides the public with employment and economic statistics. On Twitter, the Labor Department produces regular reports based on Bureau of Labor Statistics data, news releases about its programs and investigations of employer misconduct.
Bonus! Labor Secretary Tom Perez (@LaborSec) curates information relevant to employment and promotes the department’s work on Twitter.
7. The Securities and Exchange Commission
The SEC (@SEC_News) regulates the financial markets and publicly traded companies. While its website hosts an indispensable business journalist’s tool (that is, the EDGAR Search Engine of federally required financial reports), on Twitter the commission releases its investigations of publicly traded companies. You’ll find SEC tweets helpful when investigating any coverage of a company in your region.
8. Small Business Administration
The SBA (@SBAgov) provides tools and resources to help entrepreneurs start and run a small business. For added depth for your reporting on small business, follow the SBA for data, economic climate reports and SBA initiatives supporting small businesses.
Bonus! SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet (@MCS4Biz) is active on Twitter with updates about the department’s programs.
9. The United States Trade Representative
If you seek deeper understanding on how the Trans-Pacific Partnership is implemented, the negotiations for the new Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership and how these partnerships might impact your readers, follow the U.S. Trade Representative (@USTradeRep) on Twitter. The U.S. Trade Rep coordinates our international trade and negotiates trade agreements with other countries.
10. Department of the Treasury
The Treasury Department (@USTreasury) works to manage the government’s finances and collects federal taxes (through the Internal Revenue Service). Among other money-related roles at the federal level, the Treasury Department also mints U.S. currency. The department made headlines recently for deciding to redesign the $10 bill, replacing the face of Alexander Hamilton with the face of a prominent woman. So far, suggestions include Harriet Tubman, Susan B. Anthony and Rosa Parks. Follow the department and hashtag #thenew10 for project updates.