National Neighborhood Data Archive (NaNDA): Essential Workers by Census Tract and ZIP Code Tabulation Area, United States, 2016-2020 (ICPSR 38974)

Version Date: Jan 16, 2024 View help for published

Principal Investigator(s): View help for Principal Investigator(s)
Kate Duchowny, University of Michigan. Institute for Social Research; Robert Melendez, University of Michigan. Institute for Social Research; Grace Noppert, University of Michigan. Institute for Social Research; Philippa Clarke, University of Michigan. Institute for Social Research; Lindsay Gypin, University of Michigan. Institute for Social Research

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https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR38974.v1

Version V1

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During the COVID-19 pandemic, certain occupations and industries were deemed "essential", and typically included individuals who worked in healthcare, food service, public transportation, etc. However, early on in the pandemic, while these workers faced disproportionately higher risks, they often did not receive adequate personal protective equipment (PPE), were unable to work from home, and were limited in their ability to take other precautions to safeguard their health (Chen et al., 2021). As a result, previous studies have documented higher rates of infection, hospitalization, and death among essential workers compared to their non-essential worker counterparts (Selden & Berdahl, 2021; Wei et al., 2022). This dataset provides users with information on the number and proportion of essential workers in census tracts or ZIP Code tabulation areas (ZCTAs) in the United States over the 2016-2020 period.

Duchowny, Kate, Melendez, Robert, Noppert, Grace, Clarke, Philippa, and Gypin, Lindsay. National Neighborhood Data Archive (NaNDA): Essential Workers by Census Tract and ZIP Code Tabulation Area, United States, 2016-2020. Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2024-01-16. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR38974.v1

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United States Department of Health and Human Services. National Institutes of Health. National Institute of Nursing Research (U01NR020556), United States Department of Health and Human Services. National Institutes of Health. National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities (U01NR020556)

census tract and ZIP code tabulation area

Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research
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2016 -- 2020
2023-01-01 -- 2023-12-31
  1. Users should be aware that ZIP Code tabulation areas (ZCTAs) are not equivalent to ZIP codes. ZIP codes are linear mail delivery routes created by the US Postal Service. ZIP code tabulation areas are spatial features consisting of census blocks grouped by the predominant ZIP code found on the block (United States Census Bureau, 2020).

  2. In some cases, a location's address is not the same as its ZIP Code tabulation area (ZCTA). For example, some ZIP codes represent single-point addresses such as large post offices or office buildings. Also, the ZIP code for an address may not match its ZCTA if the ZIP code is not the most common ZIP code on the block. See the Census Bureau's ZCTA overview (United States Census Bureau, 2023) for more information on how ZCTA boundaries are calculated.
  3. Users wanting to combine this dataset with ZIP code geocoded data must use a ZIP code to ZIP Code tabulation area (ZCTA) crosswalk. Such a crosswalk is available on the UDS Mapper website (John Snow, Inc, 2023). Sample code for merging the UDS Mapper crosswalk with National Neighborhood Data Archive (NaNDA) datasets is available in the ICPSR Linkage Library (Chenoweth & Khan, 2021).
  4. For additional information on the National Neighborhood Data Archive (NaNDA), please visit the NaNDA website.
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The purpose of this study is to provide users with information on the number and proportion of essential workers in census tracts or ZIP Code tabulation areas (ZCTAs) in the United States over the 2016-2020 period.

The study team utilized an "essential" occupation designation from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) classification (American Civil Liberties Union Massachusetts, 2020), which leveraged data from the U.S. Census 2018 American Community Survey (ACS) occupation codes (United States Census Bureau, 2022c). Using this designation system, the study team quantified the number and proportion of workers by census tract and ZIP Code tabulation area (ZCTA) who were employed in the following "COVID-essential" occupations:

  1. Healthcare practitioners and technical occupations
  2. Construction and extraction occupation
  3. Farming, fishing, and forestry occupation
  4. Installation, maintenance, and repair occupation
  5. Material moving occupation
  6. Production occupation
  7. Transportation occupation
  8. Office and administrative support occupation
  9. Sales and related occupation
  10. Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance occupation
  11. Food preparation and serving related occupation
  12. Healthcare support occupation
  13. Personal care and service occupation
  14. Protective service occupations

A count of the total number of essential workers was calculated by summing the number of workers in all 14 categories living in each tract/ZCTA. The study team also created a measure of the proportion of workers in essential occupations by dividing the count of essential workers by the total civilian population (age 16+) employed in each tract/ZCTA.

Cross-sectional

The dataset contains one observation per Census Tract or ZIP Code tabulation area (ZCTA) in the 50 United States and Puerto Rico.

ZIP code tabulation area, census tract

Population values and proportion variables are derived from the American Community Survey (ACS) 2016-2020, table C24010, "Sex by Occupation for the Civilian Population" (United States Census Bureau, 2022b).

Essential worker designations are based on research from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), American Civil Liberties Union Massachusetts, 2020 and Standard Occupational Classification codes from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2022.

Population values and proportion variables per census tract and ZIP Code tabulation area (ZCTA) are from the American Community Survey (ACS) five-year estimates for 2016-2020 (United States Census Bureau, 2022a, 2022b).

Variables in this study include total counts of essential workers, and proportion of essential workers in the civilian employed population, per tract and ZIP Code tabulation area (ZCTA).

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2024-01-16

2024-01-16 ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:

  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.
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Notes

  • The public-use data files in this collection are available for access by the general public. Access does not require affiliation with an ICPSR member institution.