Are we better off? … How is our per capita measure of economic prosperity trending? Answers to these questions, helping us determine where we are and how things might change in the future are partly provided by the REIS economic data updated in November 2013. This section provides an overview of the latest Regional Economic Information System (REIS) data and how these data compare to other data in related analyses and decision-making applications. The REIS county-level data are annually updated by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.
The change in per capita personal income, 2008-2012, by county is shown in the map below (second map shows percent change, same period). Per capita personal income (PCPI) is the most comprehensive measure of economic activity available at the county level for all counties in the U.S.
Our work with the REIS data dates to the 1970s where these data were used in state forecasting models by the State of Missouri. Today, we integrate the REIS data into Situation&Outlook. The REIS annual time series is an indispensable part of any continuing county and regional comprehensive modeling and analysis.
Relation to ACS
REIS and the Census Bureau American Community Survey (ACS) 5-year data provide an annual, but different, characterization of the county level economy. The two sources should be used in combination; one is not better than the other. Some selected comparisons … REIS most current data are for 2012; the ACS 2012 5-year data (December 2013) are centric to 2010. REIS data are developed from employer reported data supplemented with other wide-ranging measures for one year; ACS 5-year estimates are based on a sample survey over a 5 year period. REIS data provide a 20+ year annual time series; ACS 5-year data are available for four years on a comparable basis. REIS data are available for counties, metros and states; ACS 5 year data go down to block group level and cover many other types of geography. REIS is predominantly economic; ACS data are predominately demographic. REIS metro data use the 2013 vintage metros; all available ACS 5-year data are based on the 2009/Census 2010 vintage metros.
Relation to CEW
REIS data are based substantially on employment and payroll data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Census of Employment and Wages (CEW). Analyses should make use of both sources. Some comparisons … REIS data are annual only; CEW data are quarterly and annual. REIS most current data are for 2012; CEW data are available for 1st quarter 2013; CEW will be almost two years more recent when the REIS data are released in 2014. REIS data go to the 2-digit NAICS level; CEW data go to the 6-digit NAICS level. County is the low level geography for REIS and CEW.
Scope of REIS Data
As a generalization, the REIS data are annual time series starting in 1970 and continue to 2012. The series are developed for many types of subject matter by county, metro and state. The series are organized as shown below. Click a link to view a sample profile for Harris County, TX for 2011 and 2012.
• Personal income, per capita personal income, and population (CA1-3)
• Personal income summary (CA04)
• Personal income and earnings by industry (CA05, CA05N)
• Compensation of employees by industry (CA06, CA06N)
• Economic profiles (CA30)
• Gross flow of earnings (CA91)
Access and Interactive Analysis
Use the interactive table at http://proximityone.com/reis13.htm to view, rank compare annual estimates, and change, of per capita personal income for selected years by county, metro and state. See related maps and about mapping tools using the REIS data in that section. The more detailed data shown in above examples are available via Situation & Outlook integrated with multi-sourced data.