Presenting LEHD! New workforce and jobs data available


Workers, By Residence



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  • Economy
    • Workforce Characteristics

As stewards of publicly available data, PolicyMap is thrilled to announce the addition of an exciting new dataset to our platform: Census’ Longitudinal Employer – Household Dynamics (LEHD). LEHD is a groundbreaking new program at the Census that partners with states to collect data on employment, wages, and Unemployment Insurance and combines these with federal administrative, Census, and survey data. The result is extremely fine-grained block-level data on where workers live and where workers work. LEHD contains data on worker demographics (age, sex, race, ethnicity, and educational attainment), jobs by earnings, and employment by job sector.

Given the scale of LEHD we are adding it to PolicyMap in stages, and the first installation of LEHD data is now available! Over the next several weeks we’ll be showcasing different indicators from this dataset here on our blog. But, we thought we would start by describing some of the things that have us so jazzed about LEHD!

LEHD offers data about jobs and data about workers.

We have had employment numbers on PolicyMap for some time, but now we are able to offer you data about the workforce in an area. LEHD distinguishes between all jobs and primary jobs, or the job from which the worker garners the largest portion of their income. Counting the number of primary jobs gives you the total number of workers. On PolicyMap you can find a total count of workers in an area, as well as workers by educational attainment, age, race, and ethnicity. Here’s an example below:

LEHD has data by location of employment and by place of residence.

On the one hand, LEHD contains information from employers about where workers are employed. On the other hand, it contains information from administrative records and Census data about the employees that live in a certain place. This dual lens provides for some very interesting analysis. As a simple example, see the maps below. The first shows a map of where workers earning less than $15,000 annually live in and around Philadelphia. The second shows where workers earning less than $15,000 are employed. You’ll see the first map feels highly concentrated, with darker purple shades clustered in parts of North Philadelphia. In contrast, the second map reveals little clustering. The lowest earning jobs are spread throughout the City.

LEHD data links where workers live and where they work.

In addition to offering information about where workers live and where they work, this dataset connects the two, showing you where workers living in a certain area are travelling for work, and vice versa. You’ll hear more about this in the coming months, but PolicyMap is hard at work processing this data to offer average commuting distances throughout the country as well as a few additional live-work indicators. Look for those to be available in early 2014.

LEHD is local.

Most data out there about employment is at the county, metro or state level. LEHD offers data at the block level. This means that you can access neighborhood scale data on workforce and jobs. LEHD will tell you how many people in your neighborhood are employed in retail, or manufacturing, or education. Likewise it can tell you how many employment opportunities in these sectors there are in your immediate area.

LEHD is available at many geographies.

Because LEHD data is released at the block level, PolicyMap was able to aggregate up to all of our most popular geographies including block group, tract, ZIP code, county, place, metro, and state. This will allow visitors to the site much more flexibility than before when using jobs data in Tables and Analytics. We are also excited about the possibility of developing a Jobs and Workforce Report. Look for that in early 2014!

The data can all be accessed under the Jobs & Economy Menu in four datasets: Workforce Demographics By Residence, Workforce Demographics By Job Location, Employment By Residence, and Employment By Job Location.

LEHD data is also available in widgets and through the PolicyMap API. For more information on this data, please visit our data directory, or visit the Census LEHD site here. And stay tuned for more blogs showcasing PolicyMap’s exciting new data addition.