Methodology and Sources

General: Zero Entries

Several of the data series discussed below include a number of entries which are non-disclosable under federal and state law.  These instances in particular affect data that has been disaggregated by industry and some of the smaller geographic areas.  Such data is included in the totals, but is not available separately if the results can be identifiable with individuals or individual establishments.  Rather than attempting to estimate these data gaps through regression or share techniques, the data series currently show these values as zero amounts for display purposes.  While in a few cases the actual value for the specific data element is zero, in most cases this result reflects a situation where the data is not available or is not disclosed.

General: Geographic Areas

Data is presented for the State of California and for all 58 counties.

Data for the Assembly and Senate Districts is presented for the 2011 redistricted boundaries, which were in effect fully in 2014.

The regional data is presented for the regional boundaries listed by the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz).  Additional regional groupings now also include the Workforce Regions under the California Community College System.

Employment, Wages & Number of Establishments by Industry (QCEW)

Data for California and the counties are taken from US Bureau of Labor Statistics Quarterly Census of Employment & Wages (QCEW).  Data is compiled from all establishments reporting to the Unemployment Insurance program, representing about 99.7% of all wage and salary civilian employment in the US.  Unallocated amounts reported in the QCEW data base are not distributed among the counties but are included in the California totals.  The most current data currently in the Data Tool is the preliminary data for the 3rd Quarter of 2012, and will be revised once the updated numbers are released this Fall.

All data by industry is for Private employment, not seasonally adjusted.  The Government entries for the counties are calculated by subtracting total Private from the county Total for employment, wages, and establishments.

Employment and wage data includes all covered workers who worked during or received pay for the pay period that included the 12th day of the subject month, including workers on paid leave during that period.  The data is establishment based, meaning it counts the number of wage and salary jobs rather than the number of people employed.  An individual worker may hold more than one job, but each job is counted separately in the data base.  Similarly, the jobs may be full or part time, but each one is treated equally for the purposes of counting employment.

Employment and wage data does not include proprietors, self-employed in an unincorporated business or practice, unpaid family members, and certain farm and domestic workers.  The data also does not include jobs held by those not working because of a labor-management dispute.

Average weekly wage is derived by the Bureau by dividing total wages by total employment, and then dividing that number by the number of weeks in the period.  As such, average weekly wage is a combination of the hourly wage rate and the number of hours worked in each industry.  All dollar figures are in current (nominal) dollars. 

Number of establishments in general is the number of individual physical locations reported by each firm.  An employer may operate more than one establishment at the same location if the operations fall under distinctly different NAICS (North American Industry Classification System) codes and if separate records are maintained.  For certain geographic levels, the Bureau of Labor Statistics also provides data disaggregated by size of establishment.  These are available through the Bureau’s web site link above.

Reporting periods differ for the three data elements.  Employment data is currently provided monthly from 2001 through the 3rd quarter of 2012.  Wage and establishment data is available quarterly for the same period.  NOTE that the Data Tool shows wage and establishment data monthly--these entries are the quarterly data entered for each month of the relevant quarter.  They should not be interpreted as monthly estimates, but show the quarterly data levels covering the subject month.

Data updates are generally released 6 months following the end of a quarter, and will be incorporated into this site as they become available. 

Earlier data has been revised by the Bureau of Labor Statistics for 1990-2000 to be consistent with the currently published NAICS data series.  This data will be incorporated into this site in a later revision and update.

Data for Assembly and Senate Districts currently is provided only for 2011 and was developed through employment by industry data (wage and salary employment and self-employed) from the 2007-2011 ACS 5-year estimates.  This data differs from the QCEW data for the state and counties in that the ACS data is person-based and measures the number of persons employed in each industry.  The QCEW data is establishment-based and measures the number of jobs in each industry.  As such, the ACS data is not directly comparable to the QCEW series, but does provide information on the distribution (as opposed to number) of jobs within the districts.  Wage data is not included in the ACS estimates, and consequently the District profiles currently show the wage levels for the State averages.  While not necessarily reflective of the absolute wage levels within a District, the state averages illustrate the relative differences between high-wage and low-wage employment.

Currently, the Center is working with the California Employment Development Department to obtain quarterly data on QCEW jobs, wage, and establishment data for the Districts.  This data will be added to the Data Tool as it becomes available. 

Industry data is reported where available for the following NAICS supersectors.  Note that these supersectors differ slightly from those used for the Current Employment Statistics (CES) data series, as shown in the following table.  The number shown for each sector in parentheses is the NAICS classification:

QCEW Supersector CES Supersector

Natural Resources and Mining

   Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting (11)

   Mining (21)

Natural Resources and Mining

   Logging (1133)

   Mining (21)

Construction

   Construction (23)

Construction

   Construction (23)

Manufacturing

   Manufacturing (31-33)

Manufacturing

   Manufacturing (31-33)

Trade, Transportation and Utilities

   Wholesale Trade (42)

   Retail Trade (44-45)

   Transportation and warehousing (48-49)

   Utilities (22)

Trade, Transportation and Utilities

   Wholesale Trade (42)

   Retail Trade (44-45)

   Transportation and warehousing (48-49)

   Utilities (22)

Information

   Information (51)

Information

   Information (51)

Financial Activities

  • Finance and insurance (52)
  • Real estate and rental and leasing (53)

Financial Activities

   Finance and insurance (52)

   Real estate and rental and leasing (53)

Professional and Business Services

   Professional, scientific and technical services (54)

   Management of companies and enterprises (55)

   Administrative and support and waste management

      and remediation services (56)

Professional and Business Services

   Professional, scientific and technical services (54)

   Management of companies and enterprises (55)

   Administrative and support and waste management

      and remediation services (56)

Education and Health Services

   Education services (61)

   Health care and social assistance (62)

Education and Health Services

   Education services (61)

   Health care and social assistance (62)

Leisure and Hospitality

   Arts, entertainment and recreation (71)

   Accommodation and food services (72)

Leisure and Hospitality

   Arts, entertainment and recreation (71)

   Accommodation and food services (72)

Other Services

   Other services, except public administration (81)

Other Services

   Other services, except public administration (81)

Public Administration

   Public administration (92)

Government

   Federal

   State

   Local

Unclassified

   Unclassified (99)

 

 

One key difference between the two series is the treatment of agricultural employment.  The CES data breaks out Private employment by Farm and Nonfarm, while QCEW data incorporates the agricultural employment in the data series under the Natural Resources and Mining supersector.  Another key difference is that the QCEW data allows Government employment to be separated as Public Administration, with various government enterprise employment classified under the other appropriate supersectors.  The CES combines these numbers under the Government supersector.

The QCEW data is also available by 2-digit NAICS (shown in parentheses in the table above) and greater for most of the counties.  Disaggregating the data to these levels, however, increases the number of nondisclosable entries, particularly for the smaller counties and many of the legislative districts.  Use of the supersector level in the Data Tool provides the greatest level of comparability across the geographic units while still retaining of level of industry structure for analysis.  Future enhancements to the Center’s web site will include detailed analyses of various subsectors, and will include the disaggregated NAICS data for the applicable industries for the state and where available for the counties and regions as well.

Labor Force & Unemployment (CES)

Data for California and the counties are taken from California Employment Development Department Unemployment Rates (Labor Force) from the Current Employment Statistics (CES).  Several months of data are not included in the current EDD data base, and these gaps were filled from the same data series maintained by the Bureau of Labor Statistics under the joint program with EDD.

Data for California and Los Angeles County are compiled by EDD from time series models based on the Current Population Survey and monthly Unemployment Insurance (UI) claims data.  Data for the other counties is derived by EDD from the Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS) methodology employing UI and other data.  Estimates for sub-county areas are derived by EDD from the LAUS census share methodology discussed below.

All data is for civilian labor force, age 16 and above, not seasonally adjusted.  Seasonally adjusted data is available from EDD for the state, but is not provided for counties other than Los Angeles. 

Data for the most current month is preliminary and is revised as the updated numbers are released, generally in the middle of each month.

The labor force data elements are as defined by EDD:

  • Civilian Labor Force is the sum of civilian employment and civilian unemployment. Civilians, as defined, are age 16 years or older, not members of the Armed Services, and are not in institutions such as prisons, mental hospitals, or nursing homes.
  • Civilian Employment includes all individuals who worked at least one hour for a wage or salary, or were self-employed, or were working at least 15 unpaid hours in a family business or on a family farm, during the week including the 12th of the month.  Those who were on vacation, on other kinds of leave, or involved in a labor dispute, were also counted as employed. 
  • Civilian Unemployment includes those individuals who were not working but were able, available, and actively looking for work during the week including the 12th of the month.  Individuals who were waiting to be recalled from a layoff, and individuals waiting to report to a new job within 30 days were also considered to be unemployed.
  • Unemployment Rate is the number of unemployed as a percentage of the labor force.

Labor force participation rate is calculated for all geographic areas below the state level separately from the population demographic data and the labor force data for each geographic area.  For each month, civilian labor force is divided by total population age 16 and above to estimate the labor force participation rate.  This result is then adjusted by the ratio of the official civilian labor force participation rate to the comparable calculated state labor force participation rate to provide a consistent adjustment to a civilian Noninstitutional base.  The population factor is determined as discussed under the Population Demographics section.  Data for the state is taken from the BLS.  

Labor force data includes all persons within the geographic area who are working or looking for work.  The data is population based, meaning it counts the number of residents within an area who are employed, regardless of the number of jobs they hold or whether they work full or part time.  The data includes persons with wage and salary jobs, business owners, self-employed, private household workers, and unpaid workers in a family enterprise.  The data includes residents who travel to jobs in other areas.  Also included as employed are persons with jobs but who are not working due to a labor-management dispute.

Employment and wage data does not include residents of other areas commuting to jobs within the reporting area.

Reporting period is monthly, beginning in 1990. 

Data updates are released 2-3 weeks following the end of a month, and will be incorporated into this site as they become available. 

Data for Assembly and Senate Districts are estimated using the LAUS Census Share methodology, as detailed by EDD, using data from the 5-year American Community Survey (ACS) estimates.   This approach assumes that the rates of change for employment and unemployment within the larger geographic area are the same as those within the smaller geographic area being estimated. 

The specific steps are as follows:

  • The number of employed and unemployed is estimated separately for each county and portion of a county within each District from the ACS data.  Monthly labor force data for counties lying wholly within a District was taken as contained in the EDD/BLS data.  Monthly labor force data for counties within more than one District are distributed as shown in the next steps.
  • For portions of counties, employment and unemployment ratios are developed using the 5-year ACS estimates comparing the level of employment/unemployment within the portion lying within a District to the total for that county.  For example, the employment ratio for the portion of AD 56 within Riverside County is calculated as:

# of employed in the Riverside County portion of AD 56

employment ratio =     _____________________________________________

                                                               total employed in Riverside County

  • For each month, the resulting ratios are applied to the EDD/BLS county data for employment and unemployment, and the results summed for each District.
  • Total labor force is then estimated by summing the employment and unemployment estimates for each district.  The unemployment rate is estimated by dividing the number of unemployed by total labor force.

The Legislative District estimates are then revised as the new 5-Year ACS factors are published each year.

Population Demographics

Two primary data sources are used to develop the population demographic estimates.  Total population, gender, age, and race/ethnic for the state, counties, and regions is from Department of Finance estimates.  Educational attainment is from the ACS 5-year estimates.  Total population for the Senate and Assembly Districts is estimated from the Department of Finance estimates, while gender, age, race/ethnic, and educational attainment are from the ACS 5-year estimates.

While 1-year and 3-year ACS estimates are available for some of the geographic areas, the 5-year ACS estimates are the only data series that provides coverage for the state, all counties, regions, and the Assembly and Senate Districts.  For the state, counties, and regions, the 2005-2009 and 2006-2010 ACS estimates are also available but were not used in order to maintain comparability with the Assembly and Senate District results.

The ACS data—for both Population Demographics and Labor Force Demographics—provide a single estimate for each area based on survey responses over the applicable 5-year period.  As a result, the monthly data for the ACS-based demographic factors is not estimated separately similar to the population estimates.  Instead, the annual factors from the applicable ACS for each year are repeated in each month for display purposes.  The most recent ACS data is also repeated in the subsequent years for display purposes to show the most current estimates for these demographic factors.

Population data for the state, counties, and regions by gender, age, and race/ethnic is taken from estimates and projections developed by the California Department of Finance:

The Finance data is provided annually as of July 1 in each year.  Monthly estimates are developed through a straight-line interpolation between consecutive annual data points.

Population data for educational attainment is taken from the 5-year ACS estimates. The data is shown as a percentage for each attainment level, estimated and displayed as described below in the section on population data for Assembly and Senate Districts.

Population data for Assembly and Senate Districts is derived from the 5-year ACS estimates and estimated from the county data.

Total population is estimated monthly for 2007 to current using the Census Share method described under the Labor Force & Unemployment (CES) section. Population age 16 and older is also estimated using the Census Share method in order to calculate the labor force participation rate. The core data is taken from the 2010 Census population figures by county/partial county contained within each district from the 2012 Assembly and Senate District boundaries, as provided in State of California Citizens Redistricting Commission, Final Report on 2011 Redistricting, Appendix 4, August 15, 2011. These ratios are then applied to the monthly county data for total population and population age 16 and older derived as above from the Department of Finance data.

The other population demographic factors for the Senate and Assembly Districts are determined as percentages from each of the 5-year ACS factors.  For all geographic levels, the monthly data for the ACS-based demographic factors (gender, race/ethnic, educational attainment, and age) is not estimated separately similar to the population estimates.  Instead, the annual factors from the applicable ACS for each year are repeated in each month for display purposes.

Gender is male and female.

Race/Ethnic is broken down by Non-Hispanic White, Non-Hispanic Black, Non-Hispanic Asian & Pacific Islander, Non-Hispanic Native American, Non-Hispanic Multiple Race, and Hispanic. The Finance estimates do not include data for Non-Hispanic Multiple Race prior to 2000, and these earlier estimates are shown as zero for this category.

Educational attainment is for the population age 25 and older. The categories show the highest level of educational attainment for the following levels: less than high school, high school diploma (including GED) but no college, some college (including AA) but no bachelor degree, and bachelor degree and higher.

Age groupings are provided for age 0-15, 16-19, 20-24, 25-64, and 65 and older.


Labor Force Demographics

Data for California, counties, regions, and Senate and Assembly Districts is taken from the 5-year ACS series.

The data is shown as a distribution within each demographic factor. For example, an entry of “4.2%” for Age 16-19 under Employed means that 4.2% of the total employed within that geographic area were aged 16-19.

While more current annual and 12-month running average monthly data is available for the state from the Current Population Survey, the Data Tool reports the ACS data for all geographic levels in order to provide a basis of comparison with the counties and the Senate and Assembly Districts. The Current Population Survey data for California is reported separately under the Indicators page to provide a more current picture of differences in employment and unemployment by demographic factor.

Gender is male and female.

Race/Ethnic is broken down by Non-Hispanic White, Non-Hispanic Black, Non-Hispanic Asian & Pacific Islander, Non-Hispanic Native American, Non-Hispanic Multiple Race, and Hispanic.

The ACS survey form differs from other data series in providing an open-ended “Other Race” category rather than having respondents select the category with which they are principally identified. To correct for this factor, the distribution for the race/ethnic factor was calculated from the total less the number shown for “Other Race.”

A second adjustment was made for Black, Asian & Pacific Islander, Native American, and Multiple Race. The ACS tables do not report these categories separately for Non-Hispanic, and an adjustment factor was calculated using the state-wide 5-year averages from the Current Population Survey for Non-Hispanic and Hispanic estimates for each category. These adjustment factors were then applied to the ACS data for each geographic area.

The result of the two adjustments was to push the California ACS results closer to the comparable 5-year running averages from the Current Population Survey. Share estimates for each of the race/ethnic categories are within 1-2% of the Current Population Survey results, well within the margin of error for the ACS. The primary exception is White unemployed, which is somewhat overestimated, but still within 10% of the Current Population data.

Educational attainment is for the population age 25 to 64 years. The categories show the highest level of educational attainment for the following levels: less than high school, high school diploma (including GED) but no college, some college (including AA) but no bachelor degree, and bachelor degree and higher. This factor differs slightly from the comparable population demographic factor, which shows educational attainment for the population 25 and older.

Age groupings are provided for age 0-15, 16-19, 20-24, 25-64, and 65 and older.

Labor Force Demographics

Data for California, counties, regions, and Senate and Assembly Districts is taken from the 5-year ACS series for 2007-2011.  These factors will be updated following release of the 2008-2012 ACS later this year.

The data is shows as a distribution within each demographic factor.  For example, an entry of “4.2%” for Age 16-19 under Employed means that 4.2% of the total employed within that geographic area were aged 16-19.

While more current annual and 12-month running average monthly data is available for the state from the Current Population Survey, the Data Tool reports the ACS data for all geographic levels in order to provide a basis of comparison with the counties and the Senate and Assembly Districts.  The Current Population Survey data for California will be reported separately on a separate Economic Indicators page to provide a more current picture of differences in employment and unemployment by demographic factor.

Gender is male and female.

Race/Ethnic is broken down by Non-Histrongic White, Non-Histrongic Black, Non-Histrongic Asian & Pacific Islander, Non-Histrongic Native American, Non-Histrongic Multiple Race, and Histrongic. 

The ACS survey form differs from other data series in providing an open-ended “Other Race” category rather than having respondents select the category with which they are principally identified.  To correct for this factor, the distribution for the race/ethnic factor was calculated from the total less the number shown for “Other Race.” 

A second adjustment was made for Black, Asian & Pacific Islander, Native American, and Multiple Race.  The ACS tables do not report these categories separately for Non-Histrongic, and an adjustment factor was calculated using the state-wide 5-year averages from the Current Population Survey for Non-Histrongic and Histrongic estimates for each category.  These adjustment factors were then applied to the ACS data for each geographic area.

The result of the two adjustments was to push the California ACS results closer to the comparable 5-year running averages from the Current Population Survey.  Share estimates for each of the race/ethnic categories are within 1-2% of the Current Population Survey results, well within the margin of error for the ACS.  The primary exception is White unemployed, which is somewhat overestimated, but still within 10% of the Current Population data.

Educational attainment is for the population age 25 to 64 years.  The categories show the highest level of educational attainment for the following levels:  less than high school, high school diploma (including GED) but no college, some college (including AA) but no bachelor degree, and bachelor degree and higher.  This factor differs slightly from the comparable population demographic factor, which shows educational attainment for the population 25 and older.

Age groupings are provided for age 0-15, 16-19, 20-24, 25-64, and 65 and older. 

California Job Trends: Business Employment Dynamics

Data for California is from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics Business Employment Dynamics series.  The data shows changes in wage and salary jobs at the establishment level, taken from the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages.  The data is not available by county, region, or Senate and Assembly District. 

The data shows the change in jobs and change in establishments from the following dynamic factors:  establishment expansions, establishment openings, establishment contractions, and establishment closings.  All four factors include at least some level of migration of establishments in and out of California, although this aspect is not culled out separately in this data series. 

All data is for Private employment, not seasonally adjusted.  The data is for all size classes of establishments, although disaggregation by establishment size is also available from Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

Industry data is reported where available for the NAICS supersectors.  Data for Utilities and Natural Resources and Mining is not available at the state level, but is only reported for the US.  Additional NAICS detail is available through the Bureau of Labor Statistics data base. 

Data elements are as follows for both the number of jobs and number of establishments:

  • gross gain - total gains from expansions and openings
  • expansion - gains from the expansion (new hires) of existing establishments in California
  • opening - gains from the opening of new establishments in California
  • gross losses - total losses from contractions and closings
  • contraction - losses from the contraction (layoffs) of existing establishments in California
  • closing - losses from the closing of existing establishments in California
  • net gross - total change calculated as total gains (expansions and openings) minus total losses (contractions and closings) in California.  Positive number indicates a net inflow for the quarter, and negative indicates a net outflow.
  • net expansion - total change associated with continuing establishments calculated as total expansions minus total contractions.
  • net opening - total change associated with establishment births and deaths calculated as total openings minus total closings.

Data includes all covered workers who worked during or received pay for the pay period that included the 12th day of the subject month, including workers on paid leave during that period.  The data is establishment based, meaning it counts the number of wage and salary jobs rather than the number of people employed.  An individual worker may hold more than one job, but each job is counted separately in the data base.  Similarly, the jobs may be full or part time, but each one is treated equally for the purposes of counting employment. 

Data does not include self-employed workers, religious organizations, most agricultural workers on small farms, all members of the Armed Forces, elected officials in most States, most employees of railroads, some domestic workers, most student workers at schools, and employees of certain nonprofit organizations.  In addition, the data does not include certain employment included in the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages:  government employees, private households, and establishments with zero employment.

Reporting period is quarterly and currently available from 3rd quarter of 1992.  Data for the 3rd Quarter of 2012 is preliminary, and will be revised once the updated numbers are released. 

Data updates are generally released 6 months following the end of a quarter, and will be incorporated into this site as they become available. 

Data series shows another level of analysis on the changes occurring in the California economy.  Rather than just aggregate numbers, the data shows the source of job flows and the extent to which establishments are expanding/opening or contracting/closing by industry.

California Job Trends: WARN Act

Data has been compiled from filings pursuant to the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act that became effective in 2003 (Assembly Bill 2957, Chapter 4, Part 4, Sections 1400-1408, California Labor Code).  In general, the Act requires covered establishments with 75 or more full or part-time employees to provide notice 60 days in advance of a plant closing, layoff, or relocation of 50 or more employees within a 30-day period.  The comparable federal provisions are similar to California’s, but apply to covered establishments with 100 or more employees.

The data was compiled from the filings and summaries provided by the California Employment Development Department.  EDD has since ceased publication of the detailed WARN Act reports, and instead is now showing summary lists without much of the detail in the prior reports.  Updates of this data will be made as individual data requests are submitted to EDD.

Data elements are taken from the WARN Act summaries:  date of notice, company name, and city.  The NAICS code was based on the company description and company profile websites such as Manta.com. 

County, Senate District, and Assembly District was based on the zip code in each notice.  With very few exceptions, WARN Act notices provide a city and zip code for each location where layoffs or closures occurred.  Using this city and zip code data, each such notice was attributed to a specific county.  In addition, the zip code data was used to attribute each such notice to one or more Assembly Districts and one or more Senate Districts using the District Zip Code Directory from the California Senate Office of Demographics.  

Many zip codes are split between two or more Assembly or Senate districts – and WARN ACT notices from those zip codes were attributed to multiple districts.  In those cases, a WARN Act notice would be attributed to a particular legislative district only if that district contained 5% or more of the zip code in question.  While this approach shows some duplicate postings of notices to more than one district, the relative small size of a zip code in practice means a company closing or major layoff is likely to have demonstrable impacts on the districts within that area.

Reporting period is determined as the notices become available.  The data base currently includes all notices provided since 2009.

Data series shows another level of analysis on the changes occurring in the California economy.  Rather than just aggregate numbers, the data provides specific examples of the contractions and closings contained in the aggregate Business Employment Dynamics data.

California Job Trends: Media Survey

Data has been compiled from a continuous survey of press and web articles concerning company openings, expansions, closings, and contractions in California, including companies moving operations to California and companies moving operations from California to other states and nations.  The survey concentrates on business journals but also includes articles from mainstream and industry press.

Data elements are taken from the articles and include to the extent that information is available, company name, city, county, number of employees, and nature of the employment change.  The data is generally not sufficient to also determine the Senate and Assembly Districts. 

Reporting period currently covers 2013 to date.  Data for earlier years is being developed. 

Data updates will be provided as new data becomes available.

Data series shows another level of analysis on the changes occurring in the California economy.  Rather than just aggregate numbers, the data provides specific examples of the contractions and closings contained in the aggregate Business Employment Dynamics data.  In particular, this data shows examples of the types of firms that are moving to and moving from California. 

Reports

Data provides data links and economic reports related to the current state and direction of the California economy.  The information can be sorted by region, subject industry, issue category, and type of information source.

Data links include all sources of data used in the Data Tool and other pages of this web site.

Updates are provided periodically as new reports become available.

Articles

Data provides links to press and web articles on the California economy.  The information can be sorted by subject industry and issue category. 

Updates are provided at least weekly.

Topics


Regions


Industries


Sources