Friday, May 1, 2015

State Data Sources

Click here to download a pdf version of this article (tagged for screen readers) 

On an uneven but approximately annual schedule the state of California publishes its Annual Census of Employees in State Civil Service report, typically called the Annual Census Report (ACR).  On page six (6), footnote one (1) of the current (2013) ACR, the state cites four data sources:

  • State Controller's Office
  • Employment Development Department
  • California state agencies
  • U.S. Census Bureau

For convenience, the most recent 10 years'  Annual Census reports are can be retrieved from the links below:

The tables provided in various ACR's have changed substantially over the last 10 years, with some being discontinued, others being added, and with many of them being renamed multiple times.  Some tables have had as many as five different names over a 10 year period.  Naturally, these facts make it hard to try to develop a 10-year picture of the state's treatment of people with disabilities and people of color.  All the tables, with all of their names, annoted by the years in which they appeared have been assembled in a comparison table which can be retrived by clicking on the link below.

Unfortunately, CalHR does not provide ACR data in spreadsheet format in spite of the general trend amongst other state organizations to provide their data in that way.  Modern software such as Adobe Acrobat Pro v. 11 has the ability to turn pdf tables into Excel spreadsheets, and thus cleanly made data tables could be converted into spreadsheets using this technology.  Unfortunately, however, CalHR tends to create tables where multiple disparate data are co-presented in single cells, as demonstrated in the example below (click to enlarge):

This manner of data reporting stymies the use of technology to try to harvest data into spreadsheets. 

The CalHR 5112 report provides counts on hiring, rehiring, and promotions.  These reports are hundreds of pages in length.  At the end of each report is a 10-11 page summary table.  These have been aggregated and can be downloaded from the link below:

The CalHR 5102 report provides counts on race, sex, and disability status across 14 broad job categories.  Like the 5112 report, the 5102 report is lengthy.  These have been aggregated and can be downloaded from the link below:

  • Hundreds of hours were devoted to manually coverting ACR, 5102, and 5112 data tables into spreadsheet format, for the years 2002 to 2013.  
  • These have been tripled checked for accuracy. 
  • Access requests can be sent to trendsinstatework - using gmail - dotcom