Data

This page provides access to delineation files for a range of labor-shed delineations as described in Fowler and Jensen (2020). Each delineation includes county-level and labor-shed level fit statistics as described in that paper and the delineations are available in several formats to facilitate use by researchers in both standard statistical software and Geographic Information Systems. Descriptions of the columns included in each file are provided in the table at the bottom of this page and further described in the above mentioned paper.

BEA Delineations

The Bureau of Economic Analysis has delineated ‘Economic Areas’ since the 1960’s. Their delineations rely on Census commuting flows with additional information drawn from newspaper circulation information. More information on the most recent (2004) delineation is available on their web site . The delineations presented here are for 1977, 1995, and 2004 (the same 2004 delineations are associated with 2000 and 2010 commuting flows in the files below). In the analysis by Fowler and Jensen these delineations consistently perform well on measures of containment, have complete U.S. coverage, and generally contain an economic core. However, the large size and comparatively small number of Economic Areas delineated may prove to be a limitation for some analyses.

ERS Delineations

ERS Delineations produced in house are available for 1980 through 2000 (see ERS web site here). A replication of the ERS methodology using 2010 data (REP10) is available with the files below. However, Fowler et al. (2016) identified some discrepancies between the method described by ERS and the results reported for previous years, so a second delineation for 2010 (OUT10) is also included. This second delineation reproduces the intention of prior (1980,1990, 2000) delineations and is preferred to REP10 for longitudinal work using the other ERS-originated delineations. REP10 is included here primarily for completeness with respect to results reported in Fowler et al. (2016).

FCC Delineation

The Federal Communications Commission provides ‘Partial Economic Areas’ for 2010. More information available on the FCC web site here. They are divisions of the BEA Economic Areas designed to facilitate auctioning communications licenses. Fit statistics indicate that these county groupings do not do well at matching the concept of a labor market (nor was that their intended purpose). They should not be used to represent labor markets, but are presented here for completeness.

Census CBSA Delineation

Census Core Based Statistical Areas or CBSA’s are one of the principle ways researchers use to divide up the country into different metropolitan regions. The 2010 delineations are available from the Census but are provided here with associated fit statistics so the delineations can be compared with alternatives, particularly that of Tong and Plane (see below).

Tong and Plane Delineation

In a 2014 paper Daoqin Tong and David Plane proposed an alternative to the Census CBSA delineation that was designed to explicitly consider the polycentric configuration of U.S. metropolitan areas. In their paper they demonstrate the particular strengths of this delineation. It is retained here for completeness and so that it can be considered with a consistent set of fit statistics. The delineation files are also available from the authors on request.

File Format Description

This page contains links to the data files in .csv, .xlsx, and .shp formats.

The .csv and .xlsx file formats are presented at the county level with each record containing a county. They currently contain just the raw data used in the analysis (population, wages, and delineations to which a county is assigned), not any of the county-level fit statistics. This may be remedied in the future.

The .shp files are presented in both county-level form and labor-shed level form. The .shp files are delivered in zip archives and include the .shp, .shx, .dbf, and .prj files necessary for these to be used in most common Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Data is delivered in Albers Equal Area Projection.

For the most part the data included in each format is the same, but the following table clarifies the column names and meanings as well as indicating slight variations in what columns are present. For further detail on the method used to generate the fit statistics and the rationale for doing so see Fowler and Jensen (preprint | final print version). Population values are drawn from the decade appropriate decennial Census.

County File Column Names and Descriptions

Column Name Description
FIPS County FIPS code, a unique identifier
[Prefix] The five character identifier specific to a delineation and a given year (e.g. BEA80). The numeric code indicates the labor market number or the labor market to which a county is assigned. Note that 1980-2000 have
Pop[yr] The [yr] specific population of a county
Wage[yr] Year specific average wage for county (from BLS data)

County Data

County Shapefiles:

County Shapes 1980 .zip | County Shapes 1990 .zip | County Shapes 2000 .zip |  County Shapes 2010 .zip

County xlsx files:

Counties 1980.xlsx  |Counties 1990 .xlsx | Counties 2000 .xlsx | Counties 2010 .xlsx

County .csv files:

Counties 1980 .csv |  Counties 1990 .csv | Counties 2000 .csv | Counties 2010 .csv

Labor Market Files Columns and Descriptions

The rationale and detailed description for these columns are provided in the accompanying paper

Column Name Description
Source The five character identifier specific to a delineation and a given year (e.g. BEA80). The numeric code indicates the labor market number or the labor market to which a county is assigned. Note that 1980-2000 have
Year The year for the delineation
LM_Code The code identifying a specific labor market. May be real (as with CBSA delineation) or arbitrary (e.g. ERS 2010 codes are simply sequenced from 1…n)
SplitMetro Does the labor market split a metropolitan area (as defined by OMB for that Year)
 Has_Core  Does the labor market contain a ‘Core’ county as defined by OMB for that Year
 Min_Core  For counties within the labor market, what is the minimum share of residents commuting to a core county in the labor market
 Mean_Core  Averaged across counties within the labor market, what is the share of residents commuting to a core county in the labor market
 MinFrmCor  For counties within the labor market, what is the minimum share of a county’s workforce that commutes from a core county in the labor market
 MeanFrmCor  Averaged across counties within the labor market, what is the share of the workforce commuting from a core county in the labor market
 MinWgCorr  For counties within the labor market, what is the minimum average pairwise correlation in wages over a six year period.
 MeanWgCorr  Averaged across counties within the labor market, what is the average pairwise correlation in wages over a six year period.
 MinCtn  For counties within the labor market, what is the minimum share of residents living and working within the labor market.
 MeanCtn  Averaged across counties within the labor market, what is the share of county residents who also work within the labor market.
 MinCorCon  The minimum value for counties within the labor market where share of residents working in a core county and share of workforce commuting from a core county are added together.
 MeanCorCon  Averaged across counties within the labor market, the sum of residents working in a core county and workforce residing in a core county.

Labor Market Files shapefiles:

BEA 1980 .zip | BEA 1990 .zip | BEA 2000 .zip |  BEA 2010 .zip

CBSA 2010 .zip

ERS 1980 .zip | ERS 1990 .zip | ERS 2000 .zip | ERS 2010 .zip

PEA 2010 .zip

Tong and Plane 2010 .zip