The Census Bureau’s online mapping tool provides a wealth of
location-specific labor market information
“If you want to put yourself on the map,
publish your own map.” Ashleigh Brilliant
This isn’t your same old blog
post about data. Instead of analyzing and sharing data, this post covers how to
access an extremely useful “big data” labor market information tool. What is
this tool? The U.S. Census Bureau’s OnTheMap web-based mapping and reporting
What’s so great about
OnTheMap? Typically, we report labor market information at the state and county
level. Local-level data is harder to come by. Along with the ability to provide
labor market profiles of small and large nonstandard areas, OnTheMap
graphically demonstrates where people work and where workers live. Users can
define their own geographies and obtain data and maps at the census-block level
of detail. This flexibility can quickly provide information for emergency and
transportation planning, site location and economic development.
Do you want to understand
commuting patterns for a particular area? OnTheMap can generate maps of outflow
Do you want to know the basic characteristics of workers in your
town? OnTheMap has that information.
Do you want to identify the employment characteristics
along a specific stretch of highway? OnTheMap can deliver that data.
want to discern how many workers live within a 50-mile radius of a particular
site? OnTheMap delivers.
Where does this data come
from? OnTheMap combines federal and state administrative data on workers and
employees with Census Bureau census and survey data. Don’t worry. Using
state-of-the-art methods, the Census Bureau is committed to protecting the
confidentiality of business and personal information.
Where People Work
Let’s run through a few
examples of how OnTheMap outputs can help you understand your local economy. Suppose
the Kaysville City Council wants to know where the residents of their town
work. OnTheMap indicates almost a quarter of the city’s working residents are
employed in Salt Lake City.
Next, the mayor wants to know
how many workers travel into Kaysville for employment. OnTheMap suggests that
far fewer workers commute in than out of Kaysville. In-commuters are most
likely to drive from Layton.
Labor Market Characteristics
Now, these local government
officials have decided they would like to know the characteristics of those
folks that work or live in Kaysville. OnTheMap can provide age-group, earnings,
industry, race/ethnicity, gender and educational attainment information. For
example, OnTheMap shows the following characteristics for working residents of Kaysville:
One-fourth are 29
years or younger
48 percent make
more than $3,333 a month
8 percent work in
382 are Hispanic
26 percent have
at least a Bachelor’s degree
43 percent are
A company thinking of
locating to Kaysville is interested in the number (and characteristics) of
workers within a standard commuting distance of a particular worksite. Economic
development professionals can specify a particular radius and obtain a report.
Other shapes (donut and plume) are also available. In addition, users can draw
their own polygons in OnTheMap. To determine how many workers may be
inconvenienced by a road construction project, just draw a line along the
length of the project and “buffer” the selection.
You begin to see what a
valuable informational tool OnTheMap can be for planning and economic