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Thread: Mapping employment density

  1. #1
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    Mapping employment density

    If anyone has any leads, please post.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Plus
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    Census has two different data sets

    Census Tract, residents that live in that tract who are employed

    Zip Codes in County Business Patterns, number of employees'
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  3. #3
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    Have you looked at on the Map? http://onthemap.ces.census.gov/

    Of course, if you want a fine level of detail you would need to tap some of the more expensive sources. If you wanted to use current year only data you could tap a source such as Dun & Bradstreet, which would give you the address, SIC (yes, they still use SIC and you would need to create a bridge to NAICS), and employment, as well as other data. Your cost would be about $1.20 per establishment, but you would be able to geocode something like actual employment to its physical location. You could even create heat maps to show density. One interesting aspect of this is that you would also be picking up the small establishments and home based businesses.
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  4. #4
    Cyburbian WSU MUP Student's avatar
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    For most purposes, I think the Business Patterns data is adequate. We subscribe to and use D&B, ReferenceUSA, and ESRI Business Analyst and while they all have their strong points, you have to be careful about duplication and firms being double counted, especially when you get into some of the major metropolitan areas. D&B will show multiple subsidiaries and LLCs of the same company all with the same employment figures. If you have a small geography that you are working with (in terms of size or number of firms) or you know the local economy very well, it's not too bad to parse out what is real and what isn't, but if you are looking at a larger area or somewhere you do not really know well, it quickly becomes too much of a time suck to get anything accurate from it. Business Analyst is slightly better, but you will lose many of the nonemployers that are counted in D&B (but not counted at all in the Business Patterns program).

    Edit:
    Oh, and ReferenceUSA is junk.
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  5. #5
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by WSU MUP Student View post
    For most purposes, I think the Business Patterns data is adequate. We subscribe to and use D&B, ReferenceUSA, and ESRI Business Analyst and while they all have their strong points, you have to be careful about duplication and firms being double counted, especially when you get into some of the major metropolitan areas. D&B will show multiple subsidiaries and LLCs of the same company all with the same employment figures. If you have a small geography that you are working with (in terms of size or number of firms) or you know the local economy very well, it's not too bad to parse out what is real and what isn't, but if you are looking at a larger area or somewhere you do not really know well, it quickly becomes too much of a time suck to get anything accurate from it. Business Analyst is slightly better, but you will lose many of the nonemployers that are counted in D&B (but not counted at all in the Business Patterns program).

    Edit:
    Oh, and ReferenceUSA is junk.
    All great points. I will agree about ReferenceUSA and add a couple more points. D&B is better than ESRI. Still, two other problems contribute to the data quality issues. It may take a year or sometimes longer for a new business to make it onto the list. Then, it may take longer for a closed business to make it off of the list. I have seen some appearing five years after they closed their doors. The next problem is that some of the numbers attached to the businesses are junk. The example of double-counted employees is correct, but others are guessed, and there is no annual verification, so an establishment listed with ten employees for an entire decade may have actually had 10, 9, 8, 11, 15, 7, 8, 10, 13.... You will also see that they offer data on square footage and sales. I would guess that at most, 20 percent of the companies actually report their square footage and many of those are estimating it. Use your tax assessment records. Te numbers for sales are also guesses. Most do not report this, some may report company wide sales. Your local Walmart does not do $450 billion in sales. Where sales are guessed, some use an averaging approach, as in "the average sales per employee at warehouse clubs is x". So if Sam's Club has 100 employees and the Costco next door has 100 employees, they must have the same sales volume. Of course this is nowhere close to the truth. Think of all this the next time somebody shows you a "market report" from ESRI Business Analyst.
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  6. #6
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    So, I mapped Employment density for part of my thesis

    I used CTPP data (census Transportation Planning Products).
    They have the Part 2 data, which is at the Workplace, and you can get s detailed as TAZ level, which is close to census block groups.

    It is a great way to map employment density, in my opinion.

    http://ctpp.transportation.org/Pages/5-Year-Data.aspx

    Plus its free!

  7. #7
    Cyburbian The One's avatar
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    Yup

    Policy Map has County data for 2010-2011 at

    http://www.policymap.com/maps
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