Headwaters Economics

Economic Profile System

Frequently Asked Questions

 

How should I cite data from EPS reports?

Every page of an EPS report includes a full citation at the bottom. Headwaters Economics recommends that you cite data from EPS reports as follows:

<Citation from the bottom of the relevant EPS page(s)>, as reported in Headwaters Economics’ Economic Profile System (headwaterseconomics.org/eps).

For example:

U.S. Department of Labor. 2013. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages, Washington, D.C., as reported in Headwaters Economics’ Economic Profile System (headwaterseconomics.org/eps).

 

How often is EPS updated?

Headwaters Economics processes newly released datasets continuously.  The latest available numbers are reflected in EPS reports within a maximum of 90 days after publication by each individual data source.  There are multiple data sources in EPS, each with a different update schedule.  This EPS page shows the update frequency and timing per data source.

 

How much does it cost to use EPS?

There is no charge to use EPS.  With the help of our partners, the BLM, US Forest Service, and Kresge Foundation, Headwaters Economics developed EPS to improve public access to high-quality economic data.

 

Why does EPS report data from multiple sources?

Where possible, EPS displays data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis’ Regional Economic Accounts. These data are available for the longest time span (1969 to latest year), represent the widest segment of workers (part-time, self-employed, etc.), and report income and employment across all major industries, including government.

The most complete data source for average annual wages by industry is the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages program. Most EPS reports display both average annual wages and employment figures from the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages. This source does not include data for the self-employed or the value of benefits.

Several of the EPS sector reports (Services, Mining, Timber, and Travel & Tourism) rely on data from the Census Bureau’s County Business Patterns. From this data source, Headwaters Economics is able to generate the most complete employment data on sub-categories within industries, such as jobs in saw and paper mills within the timber industry, by estimating data gaps based on data provided on the number of establishments by size. However, County Business Patterns does not include employment in government, agriculture, railroads, or the self-employed, and as a result tends to under-count the size of industry sectors. These data are most useful for showing long-term trends, displaying differences between geographies, and showing the relationship between sectors over time.

All EPS data sources are available for the U.S., states, counties, combined statistical areas, and metro/non-metro portions of states. However, only one data source used in EPS provides detail on “sub-county” levels of geography: the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. American Community Survey data is used throughout the Demographics report, and is the only report that can be run for county subdivisions; cities, towns, and census designated places; American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaii areas; and congressional districts.

Beyond the four data sources mentioned above, EPS relies on additional sources for data on unemployment, land ownership, land use patterns, and payments from federal lands to name a few. Every EPS page includes a full citation at the bottom.

 

Which data are reported by “place of work” vs. “place of residence”?

Data sources displayed in EPS are surveys that differ in sampling and collection methods.  The surveys ask questions based on “place of work”, which refers to the geographic location of a job, or “place of residence”, which refers to the geographic location of a home.  Especially for communities and industries associated with commuting, it can be important to know whether data represents people currently residing versus working in a place.

Bureau of Economic Analysis, Regional Economic Accounts
Employment Place of Work
Earnings by Industry & Earnings per Job Place of Work
Proprietors’ Employment Place of Work
Proprietors’ Income (Farm) Place of Work
Proprietors’ Income (Non-Farm) Place of Residence
Personal Income (incl. Non-Labor & Per Capita Income) Place of Residence
Population Place of Residence
Bureau of Labor Statistics, Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages
Employment Place of Work
Payroll & Wages Place of Work
Census Bureau, County Business Patterns
Employment Place of Work
Payroll & Wages Place of Work
Census Bureau, American Community Survey
Employment Place of Residence
Income Place of Residence
Population Place of Residence

 

Where can I find a map showing Census designated places and county subdivisions?

PDF maps are available by state at this Census webpage.

For more information, contact:
Patricia Gude at 406.599.7425 or [email]