using FRED to explore various data sources


Question Description

Use the St. Louis Federal Reserve Education Database (FRED) to explore the various data sources that measure the state of employment in the United States (namely, the Current Population Survey (commonly called the Household Survey) and the Establishment Survey). You will also be responsible for creating, editing, and interpreting data in a FRED series.

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In this assignment, you will use the St. Louis Federal Reserve Education Database (FRED) to explore the various data sources that measure the state of employment in the United States (namely, the Current Population Survey (commonly called the Household Survey) and the Establishment Survey). You will also be responsible for creating, editing, and interpreting data in a FRED series. Written material should be typed, 12 pt. font, double spaced with 1 inch margins. Please do not ask me to accept assignments that are not combined, and please do not exceed the space limit of two written pages of text–my grading will stop there. When you are ready to submit your project, please include your paper and the file containing your data. The purpose of this assignment is to: • • Help you apply and analyze the data discussed in the course and write professionally about data series. Give you some experience using data and manipulating graphs to tell a story. Use FRED to Find Employment and the Labor Force Data Employment is an important measure of an economy’s health. Economists and policymakers examine several data sources to assess the state of employment in the United States. The data are available on the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis’ FRED database. The following steps give you an opportunity to access the data and make some observations. The most important FRED data source for employment is the Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Situation Report. This report is probably the most anticipated of all economic reports—it measures the growth (or loss) of jobs, whether individuals are in the workforce, and household earnings. The report consists of two parts: the Current Population Survey (commonly called the Household Survey) and the Establishment Survey. As you may have guessed, the Household Survey questions households about their participation in the workforce and wages earned. The Establishment Survey (sometimes called the payroll survey) questions private businesses, companies, and government agencies about their changes in staffing. This exercise begins with the Household Survey portion (it is much smaller) and then moves to the Establishment Survey portion of the report. Looking at the Unemployment Rate: 1. Start at the FRED website ( To begin looking at employment data, click on the categories tab. 2. Under the Population, Employment & Labor Markets category, choose the Current Population Survey (Household Survey) link. The number in parentheses after each category listed indicates how many series are available in that category. 3. Here you will see a list of possible data series. Data are sorted initially by popularity. They can also be sorted several other ways—by start or end date, units, seasonal adjustment, and update date. Select Unemployment Rate from the list of categories, and then choose Civilian Unemployment Rate, usually the first (the most popular) series. To bring up the series, click on the title. 4. The graph shows the entire history of the series and allows options to view or download the data. Now, choose Download in the upper right corner of the page to view all of the data in an Excel file. 5. Look at the data and then answer the following question in your write-up: What is the highest unemployment rate recorded since 1948 and when did it occur? Looking at the Change in Employment: 1. Next, go back to the Population, Employment & Labor Markets main category, and choose the Establishment Survey Data. 2. Within that category, choose the Total Nonfarm category 3. Within the Total Nonfarm category, choose All Employees: Total Nonfarm Payrolls, seasonally adjusted. This series represents the number of people reported as employed by companies (so, if a person has two jobs, they are counted as two employed persons). 4. This will be the first graph you will edit for your write-up. To make changes to the graph, select the Edit Graph button in the upper-right corner of the page. 5. A window should appear that will allow you to Edit Line 1 (All Employees: Total Nonfarm Payrolls). This window will allow you to make several changes to the display. Two items will be changed: the units and the date range. 6. The data are in thousands (notice the label on the y-axis). To show the data as a change from the previous month, click on the pull-down next to Units, then choose Change, Thousands of Persons. You can now close the edit window for this graph. 7. Next, change the data range from the default (entire range) to the last 10 years. Above the graph lists the date range for the data. Click the link for 10Y link to show only the last ten years of data. The graph will automatically update as you change variables. 8. Save this graph by clicking on the Download tab. Include it in your write-up as part of the appendix. Putting it Together 1. Go back to the category of Establishment Survey Data. You will now compare the number of jobs from several different areas of the economy (for this portion of the project, use construction and retail). This requires locating one series and then adding others to the graph. To do this, first choose Construction as a category. 2. Choose the All Employees: Construction, seasonally adjusted, series in the category (again, sorted by popularity). 3. To add another series for comparison, choose the Edit Graph tab link above the graph. Select Add Line tab to bring up a search bar to add more data to the graph your graph. To add a line showing the number of employees in the retail trade industry, begin typing Employees Retail Trade. FRED will suggest likely data series as you type. Choose All Employees: Retail Trade. Make sure you select the seasonally adjusted data series. 4. You now have a graph with the number of construction employees in blue and the number of retail trade employees in red. Consider adding other industries to the graph. You may want to add All Employees: Financial Activities or All Employees: Professional and Business Services. 5. Select at least one more set of employees to add to the graph and then save your new graph to be included in the appendix of your write-up. Looking at Labor Force Participation Rates 1. As a final way of studying employment, let’s look at some labor force participation rates. This will be an opportunity to create a single graph with multiple lines from a list. Choose the Current Population Survey (Household Survey). 2. Then choose the Civilian Labor Force Participation Rate. 3. Select the labor force participation rates for Men and Women by checking the boxes located next to the entries. Click Add to Graph to create a single graph with both data series already together. 4. The line for men’s labor force participation is blue, the line for women is red. 5. In your write-up, discuss some of the historical factors driving the change in labor force participation rates for men and women. What Do You Want to Look at? Use the FRED Data site to lookup the relationship between variables of your choosing. You are welcome to select from any of the datasets provided by FRED, so long as they are tangentially related to labor economics (For example, you can look at the number of new housing construction and the total number of employees in the construction industry to look at the derived demand for construction workers.). In addition to the work you’ve done above, create at least two more graphs containing different sets of variables and discuss what you find. Your Write-up Write out, in two double-spaced, typewritten pages: 1) A brief description of what you did and why you did it. 2) Answer the questions above and discuss the graphs you saved. Include the graphs at the back of your write up. Everything should be *combined* together into a single file and follow the formatting specified at the top of this assignment. Take care to make your graphs clear and visually pleasing: in business, presentation matters. ...
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Tutor Answer

School: Rice University



Running head: ECONOMICS


Data Exploration using FRED
Student Name:
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There are a total of five figures in the appendix section, where each of these graphs depict
the trends of various variables, with the first four being in direct relationship with labor
economics while the fifth one considers the rate of inflation as estimated by investors in the
market and what the treasury records in the long run. In some instances, there was a need for
graph modification to include specific variables relevant to the study, which made them as
resourceful as possible. In some cases, there were instances where frequencies had to be
adjusted. The entire assignment data and graphs are to simplify the nature of the US labor market
over time; indicating whether there is improvement, stagnation or decline in the current trends.
According to the availed excel data, civilian unemployment rate hit the ceilings from
March 1982 when there was a record of 9.0; however, it worsened with time before attaining a
peak rate in November that year. It is, therefore, 1982 that had the highest values of civilian
unemployment with its months of November and December closing with a percentage recording
of 10.8. On average upon comparing annual civilian unemployment rate, the year 1982 stood out
with a value of 9.7; only the years 1983 and 2010 were a mark closer to the set rate since they
stood at 9.6 each. In history, such percentages imply a high level of inefficiency in the country.
Figure 1 display the total number of household individuals in employment as revealed by
various firms and companies or entities. The only demerit in this method could be on
determining the accurate number of people employed since there is a risk of double entry for
those having dual or more jobs. That aside, the figure displays the information on employment
variation over the past ten years. 2009 and some part of early 2010 indicate the country was in an
inefficient state with employment rate hitting negatives, but that changed from 2011 employment
figures. 2018 through the beginning of this year are showing positive trends, and there is a
possibility that the labor market will extend further with increased employment opportunities.



Figure 2 displays information comparing sectors’ employee absorption rate in the labor
market. I chose to go with four variables; Construction, Financial Activities, Retail Trade as well
as Professional and Business Services. The graph provides that retail trade has been the major
contributor in the labor market since 1940 before Professional and Business Services took over
in the late 1990s to date. The two remain the primary job creators and display the highest level of
absorption as the gap between them, and the rest confirms. As for Construction and Financial
Activities, their distinction in job provision became apparent in the mid-1970s when Financial
Activities became famous, however, after 2010, Construction looked determined to attain the
same level.
Figure 3 exploits the civilian labor force participation by comparing gender since 1948 to
date. Earlier in the graph there is a wide gap between men and women’s level of involvement in
the labor market. The gap dwindled though, with the present percentage displaying a better
representation of every gender, however, there is still more work to be done to ensure equality in
the national employment opportunities with the future being...

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Tutor went the extra mile to help me with this essay. Citations were a bit shaky but I appreciated how well he handled APA styles and how ok he was to change them even though I didnt specify. Got a B+ which is believable and acceptable.

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