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The U.S. Census Bureau has several free online tools to help jobseekers, employers and economic planners get a handle on the local job market.
The program—called Local Employment Dynamics (LED)—is a partnership between state labor market information agencies and the Census Bureau. It fills critical data gaps in workforce statistics at the state, county, metro and workforce investment area levels.
The LED tools can help decision-makers understand current workforce conditions and plan economic development. These tools help employers find potential workers and show jobseekers where to locate up-and-coming industries. The program featured data from five states when it launched in 1999, and had expanded to 44 states by early 2007.
“You see where workers live, where they work and how they commute,” said Census Bureau Director Louis Kincannon. “You can use these tools to spot, for example, where to relocate an office or see where you need more public transportation. The possibilities and uses are endless.”
Users give the LED tools high marks.
“The power of the mapping capability just knocks your socks off,” said Ray Uhalde of the National Center on Education and the Economy.
Philip Rones, acting commissioner of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, describes the LED tools as “the Holy Grail of labor force data.”
The three LED online tools are: QWI (Quarterly Workforce Indicators) Online, Industry Focus and On the Map. QWI Online contains eight economic indicators: total employment, net job flow, job creation, number of new hires, separations, turnover and average monthly earnings for all workers and new hires.
Each indicator is a measure of a local economy that combines wage information with demographic data, such as age and sex. Together, they provide a complete picture of an area’s workforce, and changes can be tracked over time.
Industry Focus allows users to identify the leading industries for an area, focus on a particular industry to see how it ranks among top industries, and view graphs and charts of worker characteristics within industries. Users can analyze industries by state, county, workforce investment or metro area based on eight workforce indicators.
On the Map is a Web-based mapping tool showing where people live in relation to where they work with reports on age, earnings, industry distribution and local workforce indicators.
The Local Employment Dynamics data tools can be found at <http://lehd.did.census.gov/led/>. For more information about the program, contact Dorothy Paugh at 301-763-2058 or by e-mail at Dorothy.J.Paugh@census.gov.