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COMZONE
Commuting Zone within Labor Market Area

Description

COMZONE is a two digit code for commuting zones within Labor Market Areas (LMA). See LMA for additional information. COMZONE identifies smaller county clusters within the LMA with stronger commuting ties compared to other counties in the LMA. The variable is five digits in length with the LMA as the first three digits and the commuting zone, COMZONE, as the last two digits. COMZONE is a sequential variable ranging from 00 to 11 to identify the number of different commuting zones within the LMA, and it is not a unique identifier without the LMA code. A COMZONE value of 00 indicates that the LMA consists of a single commuting zone.

The commuting zone is based on journey-to-work data and defines clusters of counties with strong commuting ties. The commuting zone is the lowest level of geography for local labor markets and does not depend on population size. When necessary, commuting zones are aggregated into larger LMAs to meet the minimum 100,000 total population criteria set by the Census Bureau to protect confidentiality. Commuting zones do not have a maximum population limit and range in total population size from 100,000 to several million persons. The boundaries of the commuting zone are based on county geography and may cluster counties from more than one state.

Commuting zones are determined by a statistical procedure called cluster analysis that uses county-level commuting data. The cluster analysis assigns each county or county equivalent to a single commuting zone based on the journey-to-work commuting data. The journey-to-work data identify the county workplace destination for residents of all U.S. counties and equivalents. The hierarchical cluster analysis uses an algorithm to identify groups of counties with strong commuting ties and organizes spatial commuting zones based on the calculated cluster centroid distances. (See C. Tolbert and M. Sizer, U.S. Commuting Zones and Labor Market Areas, for additional information on the statistical techniques used to construct commuting zones and LMAs.)

Codes

This variable is only available for the 1980 Labor Market Area sample. COMZONE is a 2-digit numeric variable which identifies commuting zones within Labor Market Areas (LMA). See LMA for additional information. COMZONE identifies smaller county clusters within the LMA with stronger commuting ties compared to other counties in the LMA. The commuting zone is based on journey-to-work data and defines clusters of counties with strong commuting ties. The commuting zone is the lowest level of geography for local labor markets and does not depend on population size. When necessary, commuting zones are aggregated into larger LMAs to meet the minimum 100,000 total population criteria set by the Census Bureau to protect confidentiality. Commuting zones do not have a maximum population limit and range in total population size from 100,000 to several million persons. The boundaries of the commuting zone are based on county geography and may cluster counties from more than one state (See Description for a detailed discussion on the construction of COMZONEs). COMZONE specific variable codes for missing, edited, or unidentified observations, observations not applicable (N/A), observations not in universe (NIU), top and bottom value coding, etc. are provided below if applicable by Census year (and data sample if specified).

User Note: COMZONE codes are five digits in length with the LMA as the first three digits and the commuting zone, COMZONE, as the last two digits. Therefore, COMZONE is LMA-dependent, and must be read in combination with LMA. COMZONE is a sequential variable ranging from 00 to 11 to identify the number of different commuting zones within the LMA, and it is not a unique identifier without the LMA code. A COMZONE value of 00 indicates that the LMA consists of a single commuting zone.

COMZONE Specific Variable Codes
See 1980 Labor Market Area composition for detailed Commuting Zone codes.

Comparability

This variable is only available for the 1980 Labor Market Area sample.

For other samples from the post-1950 period, the Census Bureau designated different geographic entities to meet confidentiality requirements. These include 1970 county groups of 250,000+ population (in CNTYGP97), 1980 county groups of 100,000+ population (in CNTYGP98), 1990 Public Use Microdata Areas (PUMAs) of 100,000+ population (in PUMA), Public Use Microdata Areas (PUMAs) of 100,000+ population for the 5 percent sample of the 2000 census (in PUMA), and Super-Public Use Microdata Areas (Super-PUMAs) of 400,000+ population for the 1 percent sample of the 2000 census (in PUMASUPR).

Universe

  • All households and group quarters.

Availability

United States
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Flags

This variable has no flags.

Editing Procedure

There is no editing procedure available for this variable.