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Basic Sources of United States Economic Statistics


In addition to the major sources, also see these specialized sources and the Industrial Relations Library Guide.

Historical labor productivity statistics by industry (1947-2000).  Not all industries have data for the full period. Compiled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  Believed to be derived from the print source Productivity measures for selected industries.   Base year is 1987.  Data for 1987 and after are available on the BLS website in the Labor Productivity and Costs (LPC) database Industry Productivity.


The Bureau of the Census Catalog contained descriptive lists of all Census publications.

The micro-level data for many censuses from the United States back to 1850 as well as other nations is available through the Integrated Public Use Microdata Series. Princeton has microdata from select other censuses.

For many economic questions, one can use Global Insight or Sage Data to get the working age population, children, over 65, etc. by state.  Age groups tend to be in 5 year increments or more.   For the most detailed data by lower levels of geography and/or specific age, see the Census Bureau's Estimates page. For 1990+, the Missouri Census Data Center has a very useful tool that allows one to put together any age group you choose by state and county.

For the earlier censuses, see Bibliography and Reel Index: A Guide to the Microform Edition of the United States Decennial Census Publications 1790-1970. The collection includes the special censuses. The guide can be found in Firestone Microforms or Stokes Library at call number Z7554.U5R47 1975. The film holdings are located in ReCAP at call number MICROFILM S00171.  Also see the Research Guide to the historical U.S. censuses.

In addition to the major sources, also see these specialized sources.

The Current Population Survey (CPS), a monthly interview survey conducted by the Census Bureau, provides supplementary data on the economic status and activities of the population of the United States. The Current Population Reports appear as several series of individual reports providing current, historical, or projected data on various population and housing subjects. They are especially valuable for information on the years in between the census years. They are classed in the U.S. Government Documents collection under C3.186.  The March survey is considered the main one. However specialized questions regarding issues such as school enrollment, computer ownership, voter registration, and food security are periodically asked. Listings documenting the occurrence of current population survey supplements by topic and month are available.