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We measure the state of the nations workforce, including employment and unemployment levels, weeks and hours worked, occupations, and commuting.
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Geography is central to the work of the Bureau, providing the framework for survey design, sample selection, data collection, tabulation, and dissemination.
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The Geographic Support System Initiative will integrate improved address coverage, spatial feature updates, and enhanced quality assessment and measurement.
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The Census Bureau's Director writes on how we measure America's people, places and economy.
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BDS Visualization Tools – Analysis Examples
Take a look at the sample analyses below to see how BDS data can be examined and interpreted using the visualization tools. Notice zooming in to examine particular years or categories of the data can provide a clearer picture of what is happening in the economy.
Ready to get started? Use the interactive links in the menu to the left.
In 2009, the United States experienced large job losses as a result of the Great Recession. The impact of these losses was not felt equally across all states. The net job creation rate combines the jobs lost as businesses closed with the slower job creation by surviving businesses to give a complete view of the effect of the recession on the job market.
The Thematic Map shows states in the west and east experienced severe losses. States like Nevada and Arizona appear in light colors representing very negative (–9.9 to –6.0) net job creation rates. By contrast states in the middle of the country experienced relatively fewer losses. States like North Dakota and South Dakota appear in dark colors representing smaller negative or slightly positive (–2.9 to 1.5) job creation rates.
The Time Series lets us explore this in more detail by selecting individual states to compare next to each other. The labels indicate your selections. The sample bar chart below is zoomed in on a subset of years. Drag a box around the points of interest in a graph to zoom in.
Click an image below to explore the Great Recession.
The jobs recovery has been slow but picked up strength in 2011. While some states like Montana and Idaho have still felt the effects of the recession (dark bars) others like Texas and California (light colored bars) experienced strong job gains.
Click an image below to explore the recovery.
Note: In the bar chart, drag a box around the bars in the All category to to zoom into those bars as shown below.
The US economy is very dynamic with a substantial share of jobs created every year. Firms that were 0 years of age, known as startups, accounted for 2.5 million jobs created in 2011.
Click the image below to explore job creation by startup businesses. Drag a box around age categories of interest to zoom in on them as shown below.
Startups play an important role in the U.S. economy. The time series chart below shows new jobs created by startups for selected sectors. The Services sector contributed a relatively high number of jobs through new ventures between 1992 and 2006. The chart also shows entrepreneurs in the Services sector were disproportionately affected during the Great Recession.
Click the image below to explore startup job creation by sector.
Startups and young firms contribute a substantial number of jobs to the U.S. economy. However, many of these firms will quickly exit. This is a common feature of modern dynamic economies and part of the experimentation process leading to innovation and productivity growth. New firms whose ideas succeed tend to grow quickly, while those that fail exit the market. The figure shows the job creation rate and the job destruction rate from exit for firms by age. Young firms expand at a relatively quick rate after entry (the job creation rate), but many young firms exit contributing to considerable job losses.
Click the image below to explore the up–or–out dynamic. Drag a box around age categories of interest to zoom in on them as shown below.