Written by: Jennifer Cheeseman Day
Last week, an important milestone marked the maturity of the American Community Survey as an extension of the decennial census program. We released the Equal Employment Opportunity Tabulation, which for the first time is based on the American Community Survey. Previously, this tabulation could only be accomplished using the decennial census long form.
This tabulation harnesses the full power of the vast statistics available from the American Community Survey, allowing us to look at the intersection of race, ethnicity and sex across detailed occupations for more than 6,500 unique geographic entities. The data for this tabulation were collected from 2006 to 2010.
These EEO tabulations provide a treasure trove of interesting statistics about who comprises the American workforce. For example, did you know you could use the estimates to determine that 110 financial analysts work in Los Angeles County and live in Orange County, Calif.? Or that 22 percent of flight attendants in Atlanta are between 40 and 44 years old? Or that 7.7 percent of cashiers in Austin, Texas, are non-Hispanic Asian and 5.0 percent of mechanical engineers in the transportation equipment manufacturing industry in Michigan are non-Hispanic black? These are just a few of the workforce characteristics we can learn through the American Community Survey statistics that are part of the EEO Tabulation.
Without the American Community Survey, these detailed tabulations, created for four sponsoring federal agencies, would not be possible. This immense tabulation serves as the primary benchmark for organizations wishing to compare the diversity of their labor force with the diversity of the areas from which they draw their workers, and for the federal government to monitor and enforce compliance with civil rights laws.
So what is the American Community Survey? It is the largest survey in the United States with a sample size of about 3.5 million housing unit addresses annually. Statistics are collected on an ongoing basis and yield aggregate estimates every year. The ACS is designed to address the nation’s need for more current information on the characteristics of its population and housing.
The EEO tabulations are just one of many ways that communities use the American Community Survey to make decisions. The cumulative sample of the ACS taken over a five-year time period allows measurement of detailed characteristics in local geographies and increases precision of its estimates.
Today we released 2007 to 2011 American Community Survey estimates, giving you the ability to explore a variety of topics about your hometown and communities throughout the country. You can also explore the already-released EEO tabulations here.