Analyst’s refreshed interface includes access to a set of what used to be called Legacy Reports, which offer different ways of looking at EMSI’s dataset. They include several different industry, occupation, and program reports. One of the most useful is the regional comparison by industry report. While the traditional industry overview has some ability to compare the same industry or group of industries across regions, it’s much simpler and more thorough in the regional comparison report.
Tracking Growth: Past, Present, and Future
For an example of how this report works, we’ll examine the computer and electronics equipment manufacturing industry—a large high-tech manufacturing sector—in Boston, Atlanta, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C.
The first data the report gives us is this chart, covering the 20-year trend for jobs in the computer and electronics equipment manufacturing industry in each of those cities.
Since 2001, Boston, Atlanta, and Washington, D.C. have all followed a fairly similar downward trajectory, while Baltimore has also declined slightly but has stayed a lot steadier. Baltimore also recovered much more quickly from the 2008-2009 recession, although in the four years the report covers, 2011 to 2014 (which are highlighted in yellow on the graph), it’s seen a sharp decline while Atlanta has seen steady growth. And in the projected data, which extends through 2024, all but D.C. are expecting steady improvement.
We can also see numbers for 2011-2014 job growth in the table under the graph, as well as the industry’s average earnings in each MSA (which are surprisingly high), and the number of establishments in 2014. You can adjust the years that this table and the rest of the report cover in the toolbar to the left of the report.
Finding Regional Specialties
Since this report is covering a high-level industry, it’s also helpful to see which of the subsidiary 6-digit industries within that category are driving each region—for example, Washington, D.C. saw the most jobs come from radio and television broadcasting and wireless communications equipment manufacturing, while in 2011 Boston had 4,107 jobs in analytical laboratory instrument manufacturing.
Further down, the report also shows each region’s location quotient (LQ) for computer and electronic product manufacturing, charted against each other:
With the size of each bubble representing the number of industry jobs in the economy, we can see that not only does Boston (in green) have the most jobs by a significant margin, it also has the highest concentration of jobs in this industry, with an LQ of about 2.6. Below, we can see a table of LQs for each 6-digit industry in the category, to flesh out our perspective. LQs for broad industry categories are usually pretty flat, but in the specific industries we can find some important regional specializations. Boston, for example, has a 20.44 LQ in computer storage device manufacturing, which makes sense since that industry has 5,634 jobs in Boston (out of 23,000 nationally).
Finding out that Boston has a strong workforce in computer storage device manufacturing is the kind of useful insight that the regional comparison report is meant to provide—not just broad trends, but also specific facts about aspects of the economy that might not get noticed otherwise. Analyst also offers a companion report that examines occupations in the same way. Between the two of them, it’s possible to get a detailed understanding of how specific sectors of multiple economies compare to each other.
Data for this post came from Analyst, EMSI’s flagship online labor market data tool. To learn more about the regional comparison report and the other ways Analyst can help you and your institution make better decisions, email Josh Wright. Follow EMSI on Twitter (@DesktopEcon) or check us out on LinkedIn and Facebook.