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Big Data for Workforce Diversity & EEO

Last week the U.S. Census Bureau released the long-awaited data rich Census 2010 EEO Tabulation. This is the closest thing to Big Data available for workforce diversity and equal employment opportunity (EEO). The tabulation is the most comprehensive and unique tool of its kind in assessing EEO nationwide based on a broad range of acute demographic factors.

For example, the voluminous special data compilation can answer such questions as:

Where do most Millennials, Baby Boomers, and Gen Xers work and live? What occupations are they concentrated in and how much do they earn on average?

How has the percentage of women and men in the labor force changed over the decades based on geography, job type and other statistical variables?

What are the leading industries for the growing number of racial and ethnic groups, including individuals of mixed race?

How have commuting patterns changed in various regions of the country by job type, age, gender and race?

1 Trillion Calculations, 19 Billion Stats

“This tabulation is so detailed, it took more than 1 trillion calculations to complete, yielding more than 19 billion statistics,” according to the Census Bureau.

“The new EEO Tabulation consists of 107 tables with about 6,500 different geographic entities, for residence, worksite, and commuting flows (that is, the connections between where people work and where they live). The tables include 488 detailed occupation categories based on the 2010 Standard Occupational Classification, 15 different race and ethnicity group combinations, and — for the first time — citizenship,” says the Census Bureau.

Using the Data

How will the data be used and by whom?

This unique mega-data tabulation is produced for federal agencies responsible for monitoring employment practices and enforcing workplace civil rights laws. The sponsoring agencies are the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the Department of Justice, Department of Labor, and the Office of Personnel Management (OPM). The tabulation also helps employers to measure legal compliance with federal laws and proactively prevent various kinds of discrimination — both explicit and implicit.

The Census Bureau says: “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. We are now publishing a new version of the EEO Tabulation based on the five-year American Community Survey (2006-2010) for the first time…”

“Economists, researchers, and business leaders will find that these statistics are the only source for counts of workers in specific occupations by sex, race and ethnicity, crossed by specific characteristics at such a local geographic level…”

“City planners will find that the tables provide extensive information on the movements of different populations between worksites and the communities in which they live. Researchers can explore the relationship between civil rights laws and equality in work opportunities. Labor specialists can study the geographic patterns in work opportunities or other geographic patterns in labor force characteristics,” according to Census officials.

In terms of Big Data for EEO and workforce diversity, this is big.

Further Resources

1) Census Bureau press release

2) Census Bureau blog, Measuring Workforce Diversity.

3) Census Bureau American FactFinder (data search tool)


* As always, all views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author only.

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