Resources to Analyze the Local Area Employment Situation

.. April 2015; updated monthly … current, monthly data on the employment situation are essential to assess recent trends. The only historical source of these data for all metropolitan areas, counties and sub-county areas is the Bureau of Labor Statistics (about these data). The civilian labor force, employment, unemployment and unemployment rate are estimated monthly with only a two month lag between the reference date and the data access date (e.g., February 2015 data are available in April 2015). Historical monthly seasonally adjusted and non-adjusted time-series data are available. Use tools and resources provided/described in this section to access and analyze these Local Area Employment Situation (LAES) data. See related Web page with interactive ranking table.

February 2015 Unemployment Rate by Metro (CBSA)
The following graphic shows the February 2015 unemployment rate by metro.
— view created using CV XE GIS and associated LAES GIS Project

The LAES data and this section are updated monthly. The LAES data, and their their extension, are part of the ProximityOne Situation & Outlook database and information system. ProximityOne extends the LAES data in several ways including monthly update projections of the employment situation one year ahead.

Use the interactive table in the related Web page to view, sort, compare employment situation characteristics by Core-Based Statistical Area (CBSA) — metropolitan and micropolitan statistical areas.

Visual Pattern and GeoSpatial Analysis
Use the CV XE GIS software and LAES GIS project to create thematic pattern maps and integrate the employment situation data with other data. ProximityOne User Group members may install the LAES GIS Project at no fee and prepare thematic pattern maps like the one shown above and below. The map shown below shows February 2014 unemployment rate for each CBSA (a year earlier than the above map). Compare the maps and see how patterns have changed.

— view created using CV XE GIS and associated LAES GIS Project

Using the LAES GIS Project
Use the LAES GIS Project to develop maps, such as those shown above, and perform geospatial analysis operations. The LAES GIS Project updates monthly as new data become available. The CBSA layer/shapefile includes monthly civilian labor force, employment, unemployment and unemployment rate estimates for each month from January 2013 through the most recent estimate month (e.g., the April 2015 release includes monthly data from January 2013 through February 2015). Steps to develop custom thematic pattern maps are summarized below (requires Windows computer with Internet connection)
1. Install the ProximityOne CV XE GIS
… run the CV XE GIS installer
… take all defaults during installation
2. Download the LAES GIS project fileset
… requires ProximityOne User Group ID (join now, no fee)
… unzip LAES GIS project files to local folder c:\laes
3. Open the c:\laes\laes1.gis project
… after completing the above steps, click File>Open>Dialog
… open the file named c:\laes\laes1.gis
4. Done. The start-up view is shown at top of this section.

About the Author
— Warren Glimpse is former senior Census Bureau statistician responsible for innovative data access and use operations. He is also the former associate director of the U.S. Office of Federal Statistical Policy and Standards for data access and use. He has more than 20 years of experience in the private sector developing data resources and tools for integration and analysis of geographic, demographic, economic and business data.

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