By Jenny Connelly-Bowen, CBN Graduate Research Assistant

In this week’s newsletter, we’re taking a look at maps that examine major job sectors in St. Louis City. These maps use 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. This data set uses several key sources to provide census-block-level information on where people live and work. Here’s the Census Bureau’s brief description of where LEHD data comes from:

“Under the LED Partnership, states agree to share Unemployment Insurance earnings data and the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) data with the Census Bureau. The LEHD program combines these administrative data, additional administrative data and data from censuses and surveys. From these data, the program creates statistics on employment, earnings, and job flows at detailed levels of geography and industry and for different demographic groups. In addition, the LEHD program uses these data to create partially synthetic data on workers’ residential patterns.”

You can access LEHD data sets here. 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.

Data downloaded from an OnTheMap Area Comparison Analysis (by census tract) of primary jobs in St. Louis City in 2014 was used to compile the maps below in QGIS. 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 Area Comparison Analysis produces a report of key characteristics connected to workers employed in the analysis area selected, including categories that classify them by age range, wage range, race, educational attainment, sex, and job industry. Today, we’re looking at the five industry sectors (as classified by the North American Industry Classification System, NAICS) with the highest share of total workers employed (hereafter, “jobs”) in St. Louis City. These industries are as follows, in descending order:

1. Health Care and Social Assistance (NAICS sector 62): 20.2% of total jobs
2. Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services (NAICS sector 54): 8.6% of total jobs
3. Accommodation and Food Services (NAICS sector 72): 8.5% of total jobs
4. Administrative and Support, Waste Management and Remediation (NAICS sector 56): 7.9% of total jobs
5. Manufacturing (NAICS sectors 31-33): 7.4% of total jobs

Area Comparison Analysis data by census tract is broken down into two separate formats for each industry on the maps below. The first map for each industry displays the total number of industry jobs in that census tract. Dark blue areas have the heaviest concentration of industry jobs; light blue areas have the lowest concentration.

The second map for each industry looks at the relative importance of that job industry to each census tract: it expresses the number of industry jobs in that census tract as a percentage of total jobs in that census tract. In other words, dark orange areas are tracts where jobs in that industry comprise a large percentage of total jobs in that tract; light orange areas are tracts where that industry has relatively few jobs as a percentage of total tract jobs.

These separate breakdown strategies produce some interesting patterns in job industry concentration. In some categories, the maps are fairly similar: Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services jobs appear to be located primarily downtown according to both measurements, for example (perhaps unsurprising, since this category includes law and accounting firms, advertising agencies, architectural and engineering services, and a variety of expert consultants). Similarly, manufacturing seems to be primarily concentrated in a handful of generally industrial City census tracts (with a few exceptions that are largely residential on the percentage map).

The maps diverge for other industries, though. In Health Care and Social Assistance, jobs by total count are concentrated in the census tract that holds many of the City’s hospitals, but the jobs by percentage map reveals that the industry is also very important to a several other tracts in the City. Even more interesting are the two maps that track the Accommodation and Food Services industry. When measured by job count alone, the vast majority are concentrated downtown. But mapping this industry as a share of total jobs by census tract reveals how significant it is to many other areas throughout the City: in nine of the census tracts shown, Accommodation and Food Service represents between 23.6 percent and 43.7 percent of all jobs.

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

Note: This post was updated on September 24, 2016 to correct an issue with omitted data.