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Category: Big data, open data platforms, and web services; labor markets; longitudinal databases; regional industries and economies

Overview: The Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics (LEHD) database consists of linked employer-employee data from 49 states and the District of Columbia. The underlying data is a complex system of linked state unemployment insurance wage record data and Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) data, linked to Census demographic and business data. The state data is made available to Census from the Local Employment Dynamics (LED) state-federal data-sharing partnership.

As most statistical products are calculated either from a household frame or a business frame, a linked employer-employee jobs frame has enormous potential to provide new information about the economy.

Currently two public use data products are derived from the LEHD data, the Quarterly Workforce Indicators (QWI) and OnTheMap. The QWI are 30 labor force indicators, providing detailed information on employment, job creation/destruction, and wage dynamics by worker demographic characteristics (age, sex, education, and race/ethnicity). The OnTheMap synthetic data allows for the mapping and reporting of employment and home
locations of workers within user-defined areas. The LEHD program at Census continues to work on new public use data
products developed from the LEHD jobs data, and to enhance the existing set of data products.

Nature of Source: Microdata

Unit of Analysis: Job


  • UI-covered employment only; federal and self-employed workers to be added
  • All states except Massachusetts and Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands

Size: The LEHD microdata are extremely large, covering all UIcovered jobs for 49 states over the available time series

Key Data Elements: QWI labor force indicators include total employment, net job flows, job creation/job destruction, new hires/recalls, separations, turnover, and average monthly earnings (all workers, new hires, attached workers)

Geographic Detail:

  • QWI is released at the State, County, Metro, and WIA level
  • OnTheMap/LODES is released at the Block level

Timeframe: Time series availability varies by state; several states have data back to the early 1990s, some states not available until mid-2000s

Frequency: The underlying microdata are quarterly frequency data. QWI is updated quarterly, and OnTheMap (calculated off of Q2 data) is updated annually.

Data Collection Method: Collects no additional data; state partners supply UI wage & QCEW records & WIA geographic definitions; records are linked with Census demographic and business data

Access: QWI and OnTheMap are public use data products. LEHD microdata are confidential but can be accessed by researchers with approved projects through the secure Census Research Data Centers (RDCs).

Potential Uses for Regional Analysis: QWI analyzes demographics and wages of newly hired versus other workers in the same industry and employment trends at sub-state geographies. OnTheMap can identify residential concentrations of workers in the local labor market

For Additional Information:

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