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. 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.

These maps were created using OnTheMap, a Census Bureau software application that’s powered by LEHD data. OnTheMap is free and easy to use. It 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 and charts below were compiled in OnTheMap using Inflow/Outflow Analysis and Distance/Direction Analysis reports on primary jobs in 2014. 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.

OnTheMap allows users to import custom geographies for maps and reports using KML, GPS, or SHP files. The maps below break the City of St. Louis up into three sections: North, South, and the Central Corridor. As we’ve discussed in previous posts, the Central Corridor’s boundaries aren’t officially defined, but it generally covers the area between Downtown and Clayton along Interstate 64.

The first three maps share Inflow/Outflow Analysis results for each area of the city. This report analyzes the characteristics of workers who commute in, out, and within the analysis area selected. In other words, it tells us whether North, South, and Central St. Louis are primarily workforce providers or employment providers. (Note: as stated on the map legends, overlay arrows do not indicate directionality of worker flow between home and employment locations; that is, all commuters into an area are not entering from the east, nor are all commuters out of an area commuting east.)




There are conspicuous differences between the reports on North and South St. Louis City and the report on the Central Corridor. In both North and South St. Louis City, the vast majority of workers either live or work in the area, but not both. Similarly, there are far fewer jobs located in North (24,976) and South (46,626) St. Louis City than in the Central Corridor, where 144,425 people are employed. Most strikingly, about 94 percent of the employees occupying those Central Corridor jobs live outside the Central Corridor. Of the 24,178 workers living in the Central Corridor, only about 35 percent of them stay there when they go to work.

Where does this massive inflow of Central Corridor workers live? OnTheMap’s Distance/Direction Analysis provides some insight. This report examines the home locations of workers employed within a given analysis area.


The thermal color layer maps Central Corridor workers’ home locations per square mile. Here, we can see heavy concentrations of workers (between 817 and 2,258 per square mile) living in South St Louis City. The dark blue patches inside the Central Corridor seem to suggest that although relatively few Central Corridor workers live within the analysis area, the ones that do are clustered just northeast of Forest Park and Downtown. Just over 80 percent of all Central Corridor workers live within 24 miles of their primary job locations, and as the radar chart on the top right indicates, most head south or west when they leave work.

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