By Jenny Connelly-Bowen, CBN Graduate Research Assistant

This week, we’re revisiting Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics (LEHD) data, produced by the Center for Economic Studies at the U.S. Census Bureau through the Local Employment Dynamics (LED) Partnership. As discussed in our Know Your Region post from September 14th, this data set uses Unemployment Insurance earnings data, the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) data, additional administrative data, and census and survey data to provide census-block-level information on where people live and work. You can access LEHD data sets here.

The LEHD-based portion of the data analysis behind these maps was produced using OnTheMap, a Census Bureau software application that’s powered by LEHD data. OnTheMap allows users to create, view, print, and download maps, profiles, and reports related to workforce information, transportation, and economic development. You can read more about OnTheMap here.

The maps below were compiled in QGIS using data from the 2010-2014 American Community Survey (ACS) Five-Year Estimates and data downloaded from an OnTheMap Area Comparison Analysis (by census tract) of primary jobs in the 1950 urbanized area of St. Louis. LEHD defines a “job” as “a link between a worker and a firm at which the worker has been employed during the reference quarter and during the quarter prior to the reference quarter. The reference quarter is Quarter 2 (April-June) of the year of interest.” A “primary job” is defined as “the highest paying job for an individual worker for the year.” In this data set, the count of primary jobs matches the count of workers.

The maps below detail total population by census tract (according to 2010-2014 ACS 5-Year Estimate data), total primary jobs by census tract (according to LEHD data), and total jobs per capita by census tract. Per capita job count was calculated by dividing the total number of primary jobs in a census tract by that tract’s total population and multiplying the result by 1,000. The final calculation represents the number of jobs in that census tract per every 1,000 people living there (rounded to the nearest whole number).

For reference, per 2010-2014 ACS data, the total population of the 1950 urbanized area of St. Louis was 798,776. The total primary jobs in this area during 2014, per LEHD data, was 482,261.

The first map reflects the general population distribution patterns one of our other Know Your Region posts touched on last month: census tracts with the highest population count are primarily located in West and North St. Louis County. The five most highly populated census tracts are listed below, in descending order:

1. Tract 2162 (St. Louis County – University City): 8,109 people
2. Tract 2158 (St. Louis County – University City): 7,808 people
3. Tract 2120.01 (St. Louis County – Jennings): 7,709 people
4. Tract 2198 (St. Louis County): 7,619 people
5. Tract 2176 (St. Louis County – Crystal Lake Park, Huntleigh, and Des Peres): 7,352 people


The two maps that cover job count and jobs per capita show a different pattern, though: the darkest areas are clustered around the region’s “Central Corridor,” particularly on the jobs per capita map. The Central Corridor lacks hard boundaries, but generally covers the area between Downtown and Clayton along Interstate 64. Maryland Heights (home to Westport Plaza) and Creve Coeur (home to SSM Health System Office and Monsanto) are strong exceptions to this pattern, but in general, the highest concentration of St. Louis area jobs are clustered Downtown, south and southeast of Forest Park, and around Richmond Heights, Brentwood, and downtown Clayton. These areas touch some of the St. Louis region’s largest employers, including the U.S. Postal Service and the City of St. Louis Downtown, BJC HealthCare and St. Louis University in the Central West End, and Enterprise Holdings in Clayton. Tract 1186 in the Central West End is also home to the Cortex Innovation Community.

The five census tracts with the most jobs per capita are listed below, in descending order:

1. Tract 1255 (St. Louis City – Downtown): 9,638 jobs per 1,000 residents
2. Tract 1256 (St. Louis City – Downtown): 8,997 jobs per 1,000 residents
3. Tract 2150.01 (St. Louis County – Maryland Heights): 8,925 jobs per 1,000 residents
4. Tract 1186 (St. Louis City – Central West End): 6,434 jobs per 1,000 residents
5. Tract 1181 (St. Louis City – Forest Park Southeast, Botanical Heights): 5,392 jobs per 1,000 residents



To see maps from previous editions of the Community Builders Exchange, click here.