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April 08
The LED Extraction Tool: Easy Access to County Jobs Data

Last month, the US Census Bureau’s Center for Economic Studies released the Local Employment Dynamics (LED) Extraction Tool, a user-friendly interface for accessing a combination of federal, state and Census Bureau workforce data. While none of the data is new, the interface enables users to extract data suited to their needs more easily than the previous QWI Online interface.

The LED Extraction Tool is designed as a seamless data query that guides users through building a custom dataset of the Quarterly Workforce Indicators (QWI) data. It enables users to gather data across geographic units, years and demographic or firm characteristics in one search.  Some new options open up the data to users in a way that was not possible before.
Users navigate through six tabs to build a custom dataset, starting with their geographic unit of choice. Next, users have the chance to specify industries through an entirely new set of options organized by industry codes. Data can be customized by firm characteristics, such as firm age, ownership and size. The third tab lets users specify the age and gender of workers, while the fourth enables them to choose from 30 economic indicators, a big step up from the mere eight available in the QWI tool.
 
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Users can extract data from any quarter of available data, an improvement over the previous interface.
 
For example, the LED tool allows a quick glance at county job trends by industry. Using the LED tool, one can see that the professional, scientific and technical services industry in Allegheny County, Penn. surpassed its pre-recession employment peak in the second quarter of 2012.
The LED Extraction tool enables users to access more data, while being more clear and user-friendly. The tool will make county data accessible to a wider range of stakeholders who may not have used it in the past.

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