Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages

Location Quotient Calculator

New BLS Web Tool Allows Local Area Comparisons

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has added a powerful new tool for labor market analysis to its web site services: the Location Quotient Calculator. The new calculator generates location quotients, a measure that is familiar to regional labor economists as a way to readily compare the industrial activity levels among different areas of the country. In general, location quotients are ratios that compare the concentration of a resource or activity, such as employment, in a defined area to that of a larger area or base. For example, location quotients can be used to compare State employment by industry to that of the nation; or employment in a city, county, metropolitan statistical area (MSA), or other defined geographic sub-area to that in the State. The new BLS location quotient calculator uses a timely data source that is especially rich in comprehensive industry and area detail – BLS's Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW).

With just a few quick selections from the BLS Web form, the user can specify a base or reference area (usually the United States as a whole) and a base or reference industry (usually the private sector, all industries), where industries are classified on a North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) basis. The user may choose up to three geographic areas to be compared to the base area and may choose numerous industries to be compared to the base industry. Users may choose standard industry lists, such as the NAICS SuperSector, Sector, or SubSector levels, or they may select any number of broad or narrowly defined NAICS industries for analysis. This innovative use of QCEW data allows for focused, detailed industry study at the desired geographic level.

Last Modified Date: March 30, 2005

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