At A Glance

This data source guide is a reference tool describing data important to workforce professionals. We created the guide because multiple federal and state organizations provide data relevant to workforce professionals; and skillful data use requires understanding:

  • the sources of data
  • how often it is collected, for what years it is available, and a link to the data release dates
  • the geographic level of analysis (state, county, etc.)
  • the variables included in the data
  • how to access and use the data
DATA SOURCES IN THIS GUIDE

Decennial Census | American Community Survey (ACS) | Current Population Survey (CPS) | Longitudinal Employment-Household Dynamics (LEHD) | U.S. Population Migration Data (IRS) | Virginia Employment Commission (VEC) | Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

Decennial Census

Source

U.S. Census Bureau, www.census.gov

Frequency of Data
Geographic Levels

Nation, State, County, City, Census Tract and Census Block

Description

The U.S. Census counts every resident in the United States at 10 year intervals, as mandated by the Constitution. It provides a snapshot of each person living in the country on April 1 of the year in which the Census is conducted. The data collected by the decennial census affects the number of seats a state has in the U.S. House of Representatives and is used to distribute funding and allocate resources across localities and communities. The 2010 Census reported data on age and sex distributions, race, Hispanic or Latino origin, household relationship and type, the group quarters population, and housing occupancy and tenure (whether the housing occupant owns or rents).

Variables

2010 Census

  • Household: Household Size, Home Ownership, and Families.
  • Demographic: Age, Race, Hispanic Origin, Gender, Marital Status.

2000 and earlier

  • Household: Household Size, Home Ownership, Mortgage Payment, Rent, Household Income, Government Subsidies, Number of Rooms and Bedrooms, Number of Mothers, Fathers, Couples, and Families.
  • Demographic: Age, Race, Hispanic Origin, Gender, Marital Status, Birthplace, Ancestry, Citizenship Status, Language, English Pro?ciency.
  • Education and Employment: School Attendance and Type, Grade Level, Educational Attainment, Employment Status, Labor Force Status, Occupation, Industry, Means of Transportation to Work, Carpooling, Travel Time to Work.
  • Income: Personal Income, Wage/Salary Income, Social Security, Public Assistance, Poverty Status
  • Migration: 5-Year Migration Status and Place of Residence, 5-Year Metropolitan Status.
  • Disability and Veteran Status: Work Disability, Veteran Status, Service Period.
Access the Data
Guides to Using the Data

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American Community Survey

Source

U.S. Census Bureau, www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/

Frequency of Data
Geographic Levels

Nation, State, County, City, Census Tract and Census Block Group

Description

The American Community Survey (ACS) is an ongoing survey that covers a sample of nearly 3.5 million addresses across the U.S. The data is released at 1- or 5- year intervals, with the discontinuation of the 3-year data product. The survey provides current data and allows a choice between single-year and multi-year estimates, depending on research needs with respect to currency, reliability and level of geography. The data helps local agencies and individuals – in both government, business, non-profits etc. – to better understand their communities and the workforce. The ACS provides information on a variety of subjects, including demographics, economics, housing and social situations.

Variables
  • Demographic: Age and Sex, Group Quarters Population, Race, Hispanic or Latino Origin, Race, Relationship, Total Population.
  • Economic: Class of Worker, Commuting to Work, Employment Status, SNAP, Health Insurance Coverage, Income and Earnings, Industry and Occupation, Poverty, Work Status
  • Housing: Computer Ownership & Internet Access, House Heating Fuel, Occupancy/Vacancy Status, Occupants per Room, Owner Monthly Costs, Plumbing Facilities, Rent Statistics, Rooms, Bedrooms, Telephone Service Available, Tenure, Units in Structure, Value of Home, Vehicles Available, Year Householder Moved into Unit, Year Structure Built
  • Social: Ancestry, Citizenship Status, Disability Status, Educational Attainment, Fertility, Field of Degree, Grandparents as Caregivers, Language, Marital History, Marital Status, Place of Birth, School Enrollment, Residence 1 Year Ago/Migration, Veterans, Year of Entry
Access the Data
Guides to Using the Data

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Current Population Survey (CPS) with the Annual Social and Economic (ASEC) Supplement

Source

U.S. Census Bureau and Bureau of Labor Statistics Partnership, www.census.gov/cps

Frequency of Data
Geographic Levels

Nation, Region, State

Description

The Current Population Survey (CPS) is a monthly survey conducted on a sample of 60,000 occupied households; it provides information on labor force characteristics like issues related to employment and earnings, along with demographic data for the U.S. population. The March survey has a supplement (ASEC) that annually provides additional information on income, health insurance, school enrollment, etc. The survey excludes institutional group quarters and military who reside in military barracks. The lowest level of geography at which the CPS is available is the state and the twelve largest metropolitan statistical areas.

Variables
  • Household: Household Income, Government Subsidies, Number of Fathers, Mothers, Families, and Couples.
  • Demographic: Age, Race, Hispanic Origin, Gender, Marital Status, Birthplace, Mother’s Birthplace, Father’s Birthplace, Ancestry, Citizenship Status.
  • Education and Employment: School Attendance, Educational Attainment, Employment Status, Labor Force Status, Occupation, Industry, Class of Worker, Full/Part-Time, Pension at Work, Union Membership, Reason for Unemployment, Firm Size.
  • Income: Personal Income, Wage/Salary Income, Social Security, Public Assistance, Poverty Status, Retirement Income, SSI Income, Income from Interest, Unemployment Bene?ts, Worker’s Compensation, Veterans Bene?ts, Survivor Bene?ts, Disability Bene?ts, etc .
  • Migration: 1-Year Migration Status and Place of Residence, Reason for Moving.
  • Disability and Veteran Status: Work Disability, Health Status, Quit Job for Health Reasons, Veteran Status, Service Period.
  • Health Insurance: Coverage Status, Insurance Type (Employer, Private, etc.), Medicaid, Medicare, VA/Military Health Insurance, State Children’s Health Insurance.
  • Welfare: GED Classes, WIC, Job Search Program, Job Readiness Training, Job Training, Child Care Assistance, Transportation Assistance, Work Program for Cash Assistance.
Access the Data
Guides to Using the Data

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Longitudinal Employment-Household Dynamics (LEHD)

Source

U.S. Census Bureau and Virginia Employment Commission, www.census.gov/lehd.did.census.gov/

Frequency of Data

Collection: quarterly (CPS)

Geographic Levels

Nation, State, County, Metropolitan/Micropolitan Area, County, Workforce Investment Area.

Description

The Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics (LEHD) program is a combination of administrative records along with censuses and surveys; this compiled data provides statistics on employment, earnings, and job flows at detailed levels of geography and industry and for different demographic groups. In addition, the LEHD program uses its data to create partially synthetic data on workers’ residential patterns. The Local Employment Dynamics (LED) refers to the partnership between the Census and other state/federal agencies to cooperate and collaborate, under which states agree to share Unemployment Insurance earnings data and the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) data with the Census Bureau. The Quarterly Workforce Indicators (QWI) and LEHD Origin-Destination Employment Statistics (LODES) are data products/tools developed and released under the LED.

Variables
  • Demographic: Age Group, Gender, Education, Race, Ethnicity.
  • Industry: 3-digit NAICS code, 4-digit NAICS code.
  • Workforce Indicators: Employment, Hires, New Hires, Separations, Turnover, Average Monthly Earnings for All Employees, All Hires, and New Hires, Total Payroll, Firm Job Gains, Firm Job Losses.
Access the Data
  • LEHD Data | U.S. Census Bureau
  • QWI Explorer | U.S. Census Bureau
    interactive access to Quarterly Workforce Indicators dataset, including charts, maps and tables.
  • OnTheMap | U.S. Census Bureau
    maps where workers are employed and where they live with reports on worker characteristics
  • LED Extraction Tool | U.S. Census Bureau & LED Partnership
    access to raw data
Guides to Using the Data

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U.S. Population Migration Data

Source

Internal Revenue Service, www.irs.gov/uac/Tax-Stats-2

Frequency of Data

Collection: annually

Geographic Levels

State, County

Description

U.S. Migration data is based on year-to-year address changes reported on individual income tax returns filed with the IRS. They present migration patterns by State or by county for the entire U.S. and are available for inflows—the number of new residents who moved to a State or county and where they migrated from, and outflows—the number of residents leaving a State or county and where they went.

Variables
  • Number of returns filed, which approximates the number of households that migrated
  • Number of personal exemptions claimed, which approximates the number of individuals
  • Total adjusted gross income, starting with Filing Year 1995
  • Aggregate migration flows at the state level, by the side of adjusted gross income (AGI) and age of the primary taxpayer, starting with Filing Year 2011.
Access the Data
Guides to Using the Data

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Data Available from the Virginia Employment Commission (VEC)

Source

Virginia Employment Commission (labor market information), data.virginialmi.com/vosnet/Default.aspx

Data Available

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Data Available from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

Source

Bureau of Labor Statistics, www.bls.gov/

Data Available

Access all BLS data on the SUBJECTS AREA page of their website.
Below is a sampling of the type of data available.

  • Inflation & Prices | consumer, producer and import/export price indexes, consumer expenditure survey (buying habits of American consumers)
  • Employment | labor force statistics (national employment/unemployment data), job openings and labor turnover survey, employment and wage data by industry and geographic area (QCEW), occupational employment statistics (OES), employment projections …
  • Unemployment | national, state and local unemployment rates, mass layoff statistics
  • Pay & Benefits | National Compensation Survey, benefits, local industry wages, earnings statistics from the CPS …
  • Spending & Time Use | Consumer Expenditure Survey, American Time Use Survey
  • Productivity | quarterly labor productivity, annual indexes for industry productivity …
  • Workplace Injuries
  • International | comparative productivity and labor costs by country …
  • Regional Resources | regional offices, including Mid-Atlantic and Southeast

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