Looking into the BEA (US Bureau of Economic Analysis) API - there is ton of data available, but I can't figure out how to get labor data by sector per county. Anyone has experience with it?

4 Answers 4


In July I wrote to BEA with a similar question--getting regional employment and wages by industry. They confirmed that these tables (specifically, I wanted SQ6N, SQ7N, and SA27N) aren't yet available via API. "Later this year, I hope," they said.

In the meantime, I've been getting data from BEA's interactive tool and bulk download page (http://www.bea.gov/regional/downloadzip.cfm) and loading it to our internal API.

  • Nice update. I looked thru the download page. Several of the CSV files under the category Local Area Personal Income Accounts are broken down by County and Industry Sector (NAICS/SUC codes). Commented Oct 9, 2014 at 13:47
  • Thank you, I looked through the API and couldn't find it and thought I was missing something. Looks like it isn't available
    – user1336
    Commented Oct 11, 2014 at 16:44

I've not seen this API before, but I tried some examples. It does not appear the RegionalData dataset has a parameter to breakdown results by industry sector. But you can get results by county by setting the parameter: GeoFIPS=COUNTY .

The results look very similar to the IRS Statistics of Income (SOI) datasets.

The NIPA dataset does have a parameter for breaking down by industry sector (TableID) but does not have a parameter to breakdown geographically. The counts appear to be national values.

I reviewed the documentation on all the other datasets (very interesting stuff). Except for RegionalData, none of the others support the GeoFIPS US geographic parameter.

  • Yes, it is super interesting data - the amount of data available in these gov sites is mind boggling. Only problem is that, the documentation isn't very friendly - one has to spend hours reading through the PDFs to find what (s)he is looking for.
    – user1336
    Commented Oct 13, 2014 at 15:42

Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) data may be of interest. It is a major input to BEA Personal Income. I work for the QCEW program.

QCEW provides employment and wage data by industry at the county, MSA, State, and national levels. Go to http://www.bls.gov/cew/opendata.htm to access the open data version of the dataset. Available for 2012-forward, QCEW open data is a csv-based static API.

We built it with users like you in mind. We are using it as the input for all our future QCEW data front ends, so it has to be great!

For data prior to 2012, (back to 1975 at some levels of aggregation), see the flat files available at http://www.bls.gov/cew/datatoc.htm Many of the resources at this location are zip archives of csv files.


The US Department of Labor has a new website and API and dev portal (Quarry). See here for details


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