Press Releases

News from EPI State of Working America Data Library gives unprecedented access to regularly updated labor force statistics

EPI is proud to launch its new State of Working America Data Library, part of our effort to present a clear, accessible, and in-depth view of the economy and the working people in it. The Data Library provides researchers, media, and the public with easily accessible, up-to-date, and comprehensive historical data on the American labor force, compiled from EPI’s unique analysis of government data sources.

“The new data library is a clearinghouse of EPI’s best data for use by researchers, journalists, policymakers, and the general public,” said Senior Economist Elise Gould. “We’re making it accessible to help people interested in the labor force answer questions, ask new ones, and find solutions.”

The Data Library opens up EPI’s analysis of the labor market, wages, and wage gaps, analysis which forms the basis of EPI’s signature State of Working America. Employment data, which go back to 1979,  includes the unemployment rate, the long-term unemployment rate, the underemployment rate, the labor force participation rate, and the employment-to-population ratio—all with previously not publically accessible demographic data. Data on wages, meanwhile, go back to 1973 and can be sorted by decile, gender, race, and education. The Data Library also contains EPI’s unique wage gap analysis—such as the black-white wage gap and the college wage premium. The data can be sorted by different variables and downloaded as an Excel or CSV file.

“A primary reason why EPI was founded and what drives our work to this day is the recognition that top-line, aggregate economic statistics do not accurately convey how the economy is working for typical American workers and their families,” said EPI President Lawrence Mishel. “Every month economists, policymakers and journalists pore over the jobs report to track the pulse of the economy. But this data does not provide enough texture to answer the questions many of us have about the economy. Has the recovery reached African-American working families? Which groups of prime-age workers have made the most, or the least, progress in returning to pre-recession employment rates? Which demographic groups have been hit hardest by the still-high rates of underemployment? How low has unemployment had to go in previous recoveries to spur growth in median wages? Is this different for men compared to women, or for workers of different levels of education?”

The State of Working America Data Library will empower researchers and the public to answer important economic questions. Importantly, it will be a tool people routinely come back to. Employment and labor force data will be updated monthly, while wage data will be updated annually. In addition, EPI will be regularly adding more statistics on workers, wages, incomes, poverty, and wealth, including by geographic region, and when possible by state. Along with the expansion of data, EPI will add tools in coming editions to improve the ease of use and help non-professional users create charts and tables.