Technical Documentation: Creating State, City and Industry Visualizations


Our core data are the 2016 EEO-1 surveys of medium and large firms. In the EEO-1, firms with 100 or more employees, report to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) a yearly snapshot of the employment diversity at the firm level and also in all of their workplaces with 50 or more employees. The EEOC has been collecting these data since 1966, two years after they were authorized to do so by the U.S. Congress in Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Title VII instructed the EEOC to monitor progress toward an equal opportunity society. Title VII also included confidentiality restrictions on these data. As a result, we never report firm or workplace estimates and repress any cells in which there are less than 10 workplaces or any one workplace comprises more than 50% of employment in that cell.

These data detail occupational employment distributions by the sex (Male/Female) and race/ethnicity (White, Black, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, Pacific Islander and two or more races) of employees. 2016 is the most recent data available from the EEOC.  We create comparison baselines of the population available to be hired from the American Community Survey (ACS) for each state, city or industry. These comparisons help answer the question posed to the EEOC in the 1964 Civil Rights Act: what progress is the nation making toward an equal opportunity society?

The ACS is the core survey used by the U.S. Bureau of the Census to describe local area populations. It is collected yearly from random samples of people living in the United States. Five years of ACS date are required to produce statistically accurate estimates of population size for sub-national units such as states or cities. Because we focus here on 2016 employment data from the EEOC, we use the previous five years, 2011-2015, ACS to estimate local labor forces potentially available to be hired by EEO-1 reporting firms. We defined our population baselines as the people who report a stable job as well as those looking for work. In addition, we restricted our population to individuals aged 16 and above (not excluding 65 and older because the BLS has no age restriction on the labor force except for those younger than 16). From these data, we estimate the race/gender composition of the labor force for both states and cities. Cities are defined as Core-Based Statistical Areas (CBSAs) which include both Metropolitan (MSA) and Micropolitan Statistical Areas. The ACS provides only Public Use Microdata Areas (PUMA), which may cross multiple CBSAs, for confidentiality purpose. We reweighted the ACS sample using the MABLE crosswalk provided by Missouri Census Data Center in order to match geographic unit between the ACS PUMAs to the EEO-1 survey CBSAs. We drop CBSAs with less than 50,000 labor forces in the ACS baseline.

We next merged the to EEO-1 data on employment representation by gender, race, and occupation in mid-to-large private-sector workplaces with ACS estimates of local labor market demographic composition.  We used this merged ACS and EEO-1 data to create state, city and industry level estimates of employment representation relative to local labor market composition for specific occupations. We do this by dividing the demographic representation in EEO-1 job categories in EEO-1 reporting workplaces over the proportion of each demographic group in the state or city labor force. We refer to these estimates as “relative representation”. Relative representation asks for any particular occupation or industry “given the local labor supply is this demographic group under or over represented in the target occupation or industry?

Occupations are presented at the fairly aggregate level in the EEOC workplace and firm level data collection. In some ways, these occupational distinctions are more closely aligned with social class distinctions between jobs based on authority and skill, rather than the much more detailed job titles/responsibilities encountered in most medium and large private sector firms. Table 1 lists these occupational categories and provides the EEOC’s descriptions and examples of more detailed job titles.


TOP EXECUTIVES – Individuals who plan, direct and formulate policies, set strategy and provide the overall direction of enterprise/organizations for the development and delivery of products or services, within the parameters approved by boards of directors or other governing bodies. Includes: In larger organizations, those individuals within two reporting levels of the CEO, whose responsibilities require frequent interaction with the CEO, i.e. CEO; COO; CFO line of business heads; VP’s; Chief HR, marketing, legal, or information officers, etc.

FIRST/MID LEVEL OFFICIALS AND MANAGERS – Individuals who serve as managers overseeing the delivery of products, services or functions at group, regional or divisional levels of organizations. Also, individuals who report directly to middle managers

Includes: group, regional or divisional controllers, treasurers, HR, marketing or operations; first-line managers; team managers; unit managers; purchasing and transportation managers, etc.

PROFESSIONALS - Occupations requiring either college graduation or experience of such kind and amount as to provide a comparable background.

Includes: coders, computer scientists, engineers, mathematicians, natural scientists, physical scientists, lawyers, professors, and surgeons.

SKILLED TECHNICAL WORKERS - a person whose job or training involves a specific technical process, or is someone skilled or trained in a specific art or craft.

Includes:  forensic science technicians, radio operators, medical and clinical laboratory technicians, dental hygienists, radiological technicians, etc.

SALES WORKERS – workers whose primary task is to sell goods and services to other entities and individuals.

Includes:  cashiers, counter and rental clerks, advertising sales agents, insurance sales agents, product promoters, telemarketers, real estate brokers, etc.

ADMINSTRATIVE AND CLERICAL WORKERS -  Office employees responsible for managing the office, running errands and assisting the executive or boss, typing, filing, and other office related duties as required by the specific job.

Includes:  court reporters, paralegals, medical transcriptionists, telephone operators, bank tellers, HR assistants, etc.

SKILLED CRAFT AND TRADE WORKERS - manual workers of relatively high skill level having a thorough and comprehensive knowledge of the processes involved in their work. These workers exercise considerable independent judgment and usually receive an extensive period of training. 

Includes:  boilermakers, brick masons, carpenters, plumbers, electricians, sheet metal workers, solar photovoltaic installers, etc.

MACHINE OPERATIVES - Operative employees are those employees who directly produce goods and services for a business and do not supervise others' work. They often use equipment to assist with manufacturing, packaging, and other steps along a production line.

Includes:  meat packers, engine assemblers, forging machine setters, press machine setters, metal caster and pourers, etc.

LABORER - a person engaged in physical work, especially of an unskilled kind.  They are often employed in construction, and agricultural industry.

Includes:  loggers, farmworkers, construction helpers, tree trimmers, etc.

SERVICE WORKERS – Any worker involved primarily in providing a service for a person or company, rather than producing a product.

Includes:  cooks, health care support workers, bartenders, waiters and waitresses, janitors, childcare workers, etc.

We report all results at the intersection of sex and race/ethnicity. Table 2 details the race/ethnic distinctions available in the EEO-1 reports. In the visualizations, we limit any data display of relative representation to localities in which we had at least 200 observations in the ACS and the ACS estimate was that the target group was greater than 1% of the local population. This decision was based on sampling error estimates, which suggested that with a sample size of 200 the standard error of the estimate for a group around 1% of the local labor market produced a confidence interval that included zero (0). This decision excluded estimates for all non-white groups in the states in which they are a small part of the population. We drop all people who claim “Two or more Races” in addition in all states, cities, and industries.


Hispanic or Latino - A person of Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican, South or Central American, or other Spanish culture or origin regardless of race.

White (Not Hispanic or Latino) - A person having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, the Middle East, or North Africa.

Black or African American (Not Hispanic or Latino) - A person having origins in any of the Black racial groups of Africa.

Asian (Not Hispanic or Latino) - A person having origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, or the Indian Subcontinent, including, for example, Cambodia, China, India, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippine Islands, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander (Not Hispanic or Latino) - A person having origins in any of the peoples of Hawaii, Guam, Samoa, or other Pacific Islands.

Native American or Alaska Native (Not Hispanic or Latino) - A person having origins in any of the original peoples of North and South America (including Central America), and who maintain tribal affiliation or community attachment.

Two or More Races (Not Hispanic or Latino) - All persons who identify with more than one of the above five races.