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Prototype National QWI

The Quarterly Workforce Indicators are local labor market data produced and released every quarter by the United States Census Bureau. Unlike any other local labor market series produced in the U.S. or the rest of the world, the QWI measure employment flows for workers (accession and separations), jobs (creations and destructions) and earnings for demographic subgroups (age and sex),  economic industry (NAICS industry groups), and detailed geography (county, Core-Based Statistical Area, and Workforce Investment Area, as well as experimental, unreleased block-level estimates). The current QWI data cover 47 states and about 98% of the private workforce in each of those states.

John Abowd and Lars Vilhuber have used the existing public-use data (and only those public-use data) to construct the first national estimates. The national estimates are an important enhancement to existing series because they include demographic and industry detail for both worker and job flows compiled from data that have been integrated at the micro-level by the Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics Program at the Census Bureau. The research paper  (see below) compares the new estimates to national data published by the BLS from the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages and the Business Employment Dynamics series. The paper and its underlying data can be downloaded from below.

Versions of the Paper

  • J. M. Abowd and L. Vilhuber, "National estimates of gross employment and job flows from the Quarterly Workforce Indicators with demographic and industry detail," Journal of econometrics, vol. 161, iss. 1, pp. 82-99, 2011.
    [DOI] [URL] [Bibtex]
    @Article{AbowdVilhuber2011,
    author={Abowd, John M. and Vilhuber, Lars},
    title={National estimates of gross employment and job flows from the {Quarterly} {Workforce} {Indicators} with demographic and industry detail},
    journal={Journal of Econometrics},
    year=2011,
    volume={161},
    number={1},
    pages={82-99},
    month={March},
    doi={10.1016/j.jeconom.2010.09.008},
    keywords={},
    abstract={The Quarterly Workforce Indicators (QWI) are local labor market data produced and released every quarter by the United States Census Bureau. Unlike any other local labor market series produced in the US or the rest of the world, QWI measure employment flows for workers (accession and separations), jobs (creations and destructions) and earnings for demographic subgroups (age and gender), economic industry (NAICS industry groups), detailed geography (block (experimental), county, Core-Based Statistical Area, and Workforce Investment Area), and ownership (private, all) with fully interacted publication tables. The current QWI data cover 47 states, about 98\% of the private workforce in those states, and about 92\% of all private employment in the entire economy. State participation is sufficiently extensive to permit us to present the first national estimates constructed from these data. We focus on worker, job, and excess (churning) reallocation rates, rather than on levels of the basic variables. This permits a comparison to existing series from the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey and the Business Employment Dynamics Series from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The national estimates from the QWI are an important enhancement to existing series because they include demographic and industry detail for both worker and job flow data compiled from underlying micro-data that have been integrated at the job and establishment levels by the Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics Program at the Census Bureau. The estimates presented herein were compiled exclusively from public-use data series and are available for download.},
    url={http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jeconom.2010.09.008}
    }
  • J. M. Abowd and L. Vilhuber, "National estimates of gross employment and job flows from the Quarterly Workforce Indicators with demographic and industry detail (with color graphs)," Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau, Working Papers 10-11, , 2010.
    [PDF] [URL] [Bibtex]
    @TechReport{ces-wp-10-11,
    author={John M. Abowd and Lars Vilhuber},
    title={National Estimates of Gross Employment and Job Flows from the {Quarterly} {Workforce} {Indicators} with Demographic and Industry Detail (with color graphs)},
    year=2010,
    month=Jun,
    institution={Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau},
    type={Working Papers},
    url={http://ideas.repec.org/p/cen/wpaper/10-11.html},
    number={10-11},
    abstract={The Quarterly Workforce Indicators (QWI) are local labor market data produced and released every quarter by the United States Census Bureau. Unlike any other local labor market series produced in the U.S. or the rest of the world, the QWI measure employment flows for workers (accession and separations), jobs (creations and destructions) and earnings for demographic subgroups (age and gender), economic industry (NAICS industry groups), detailed geography (block (experimental), county, Core- Based Statistical Area, and Workforce Investment Area), and ownership (private, all) with fully interacted publication tables. The current QWI data cover 47 states, about 98\% of the private workforce in those states, and about 92\% of all private employment in the entire economy. State participation is sufficiently extensive to permit us to present the first national estimates constructed from these data. We focus on worker, job, and excess (churning) reallocation rates, rather than on levels of the basic variables. This permits comparison to existing series from the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey and the Business Employment Dynamics Series from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The national estimates from the QWI are an important enhancement to existing series because they include demographic and industry detail for both worker and job flow data compiled from underlying micro-data that have been integrated at the job and establishment levels by the Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics Program at the Census Bureau. The estimates presented herein were compiled exclusively from public-use data series and are available for download.},
    keywords={}
    }

Data

When using the data, please add the following reference to your bibliography (and send us a copy of the paper):

  • J. M. Abowd and L. Vilhuber, "National Quarterly Workforce Indicators, r2254," Cornell University, Labor Dynamics Institute [distributor], Ithaca, NY, USA, [Computer file] , , 2012.
    [URL] [Bibtex]
    @TECHREPORT{NQWI,
    author = {John M. Abowd and Lars Vilhuber},
    title = {National {Quarterly} {Workforce} {Indicators}, r2254},
    institution = {Cornell University, Labor Dynamics Institute [distributor]},
    year = {2012},
    type = {[Computer file]},
    address = {Ithaca, NY, USA},
    howpublished = {Computer file},
    organization = {Cornell University, Labor Dynamics Institute [distributor]},
    owner = {vilhuber},
    timestamp = {2013.06.10},
    url = {http://www2.vrdc.cornell.edu/news/data/qwi-national-data/}
    }

The most current data can be downloaded from

http://www.vrdc.cornell.edu/qwipu.national

As of June 2012, the most recent version was computed based on the R2011Q3 release of QWI data. Data are available as SAS, Stata, and CSV files.  Older versions of the data are archived here. To access the detailed state-level QWI public-use data, please see this other page. Download formats include CSV, SAS binary, and Stata 10 formats. All download files are gzipped, and can be uncompressed using popular ZIP utilities (WinZip ($), PKZip ($), 7zip (free)).

Content information

Categorical variables for the National QWI are a subset of those for the corresponding regular QWI - see "QWI Cheatsheet" for more information. Formats (SAS) for categorical variables can be found on the QWI download site:

Variable names on the datasets correspond to the  "short" academic names  (a,s,jc, etc., as per notation in Abowd et al, 2009), rather than the "long" names used in the regular QWI public-use files (CSV headers:HirA,Sep,FrmJbGn). However, most variables are present only as rates, not as levels. Users wishing to merge the regular QWI with our National QWI should first run the following SAS program on the regular QWI.

Some variables are not present on the regular QWI, but are derived from variables on the regular QWI:

  • eb2 - \frac{(E+B)}{2} - average employment
  • f2 - \frac{F_{t-1}+F_{t}}{2} - average full-quarter (FQ) employment
  • ar - AR_{agkst}=\frac{A_{agkst}}{\left( B_{agkst}+E_{agkst}\right) /2} - accession rate
  • sr - SR_{agkst}=\frac{S_{agkst}}{\left( B_{agkst}+E_{agkst}\right) /2} - separation rate
  • wrr - WRR_{agkst}=\frac{A_{agkst}+S_{agkst}}{\left( B_{agkst}+E_{agkst}\right) /2} - worker reallocation rate
  • jrr  - JRR_{agkst}=\frac{JC_{agkst}+JD_{agkst}}{\left( B_{agkst}+E_{agkst}\right) /2} - job reallocation rate
  • err - ERR_{agkst}=WRR_{agkst}-JRR_{agkst} - excess reallocation rate
  • eir - EIR_{agkst}=AR_{agkst}-JCR_{agkst} - excess inflow rate
  • eor - EOR_{agkst}=SR_{agkst}-JDR_{agkst} - excess outflow rate
  • the equivalent concepts for FQ variables

Indexes agkst expand as follows:

  • age groups, a=0,1,...,8 (all, 14-18, 19-21, 22-24, 25-34, 35-44, 45-54, 55-64, 65+);
  • gender groups, g=0,1,2 (both, male, female);
  • industries, k=11, 21,...,81 (19 NAICS sectors defined consistent with the Census Bureau's NAICS standard
  • states s \in S (FIPS codes 01,...,56) (50 states, excluding DC, using FIPS codes),
  • time index t=1993:Q1-20xx:Qy (to whatever is the latest year-quarter combination on file)

Each variable is further prefixed to indicate its type. These prefixes are not present on the regular QWI, as are most of the statistics that they indicate. For further information on these statistics, consult our paper. Below, we provide the formula for WRR, similar formulae apply to other indicators, where the weight variables (EB_{agskt}^{\left(\ell \right)} below) vary by variable.

  • qwi_ - the actual variable, also present (without prefix) on regular QWI
  • vm_qwi_ - Average within implicate variance =
    \sum_{\ell =1}^{L} V^{\left( \ell \right) }\left[ \widehat{WRR}_{agkt}\right] =\frac{1}{\dim (S)-1}%<br />
\sum_{\forall s}%<br />
\frac{%<br />
EB_{agskt}^{\left(\ell \right)} \left( WRR_{_{agskt}}^{\left(\ell \right) }%<br />
-\widehat{WRR}_{agkt}^{\left( \ell \right) }%<br />
  \right) ^{2}}{%<br />
   \sum_{\forall v}%<br />
   \left( EB_{agvkt}^{\left( \ell \right)}\right)%<br />
 }
    where \ell = 1 \dots M indexes the number of implicates used.
  • b_qwi_ - between-implicate variance = B\left[ \overline{WRR}_{agkt}\right] =\frac{1}{M-1}\sum_{\ell%<br />
=1}^{M}\left( \widehat{WRR}_{agkt}^{\left( \ell \right) }-\overline{WRR}%<br />
_{agkt}\right) ^{2}
  • vt_qwi_ - total variation = T\left[ \overline{WRR}_{agkt}\right] =\frac{1}{M}\sum_{\ell =1}^{M}V^{\left(%<br />
\ell \right) }\left[ \widehat{WRR}_{agkt}\right] +\frac{M+1}{M}B\left[ %<br />
\overline{WRR}_{agkt}\right]
  • st_qwi_ - standard error = \sqrt{T}
  • df_qwi_ - degrees of freedom = df\left[ \overline{WRR}_{agkt}\right] =\left( M-1\right) \left( 1+\frac{1}{%<br />
M+1}\frac{\frac{1}{M}\sum_{\ell =1}^{M}V^{\left( \ell \right) }\left[ %<br />
\widehat{WRR}_{agkt}\right] }{B\left[ \overline{WRR}_{agkt}\right] }\right)^{2}
  • mr_qwi_ - effective missing data rate = MR\left[ \overline{WRR}_{agkt}\right] =\frac{B\left[ \overline{WRR}_{agkt}%<br />
\right] }{T\left[ \overline{WRR}_{agkt}\right] }

For information on formats and compression, see this page.