Data Dictionary: ACS 2008 (1-Year Estimates)
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Data Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Table: C08528. Means Of Transportation To Work By Class Of Worker For Workplace Geography [30]
Universe: Workers 16 years and over
Relevant Documentation:
Excerpt from: Social Explorer; U.S. Census Bureau; American Community Survey 2008 Summary File: Technical Documentation.
Means of Transportation to Work
The data on means of transportation to work were derived from answers to Question 30, which was asked of people who indicated in Question 28 that they worked at some time during the reference week. (See "Reference Week.") Means of transportation to work refers to the principal mode of travel or type of conveyance that the worker usually used to get from home to work during the reference week.

People who used different means of transportation on different days of the week were asked to specify the one they used most often, that is, the greatest number of days. People who used more than one means of transportation to get to work each day were asked to report the one used for the longest distance during the work trip. The category, "Car, truck, or van," includes workers using a car (including company cars but excluding taxicabs), a truck of one-ton capacity or less, or a van. The category, "Public transportation," includes workers who used a bus or trolley bus, streetcar or trolley car, subway or elevated, railroad, or ferryboat, even if each mode is not shown separately in the tabulation. "Carro público" is included in the public transportation category in Puerto Rico. The category, "Other means," includes workers who used a mode of travel that is not identified separately within the data distribution. The category, "Other means," may vary from table to table, depending on the amount of detail shown in a particular distribution.

The means of transportation data for some areas may show workers using modes of public transportation that are not available in those areas (for example, subway or elevated riders in a metropolitan area where there is no subway or elevated service). This result is largely due to people who worked during the reference week at a location that was different from their usual place of work (such as people away from home on business in an area where subway service was available), and people who used more than one means of transportation each day but whose principal means was unavailable where they lived (for example, residents of nonmetropolitan areas who drove to the fringe of a metropolitan area, and took the commuter railroad most of the distance to work).
Limitation of the Data
Beginning in 2006, the group quarters (GQ) population is included in the ACS. Some types of GQ populations have means of transportation distributions that are very different from the household population. The inclusion of the GQ population could therefore have a noticeable impact on the means of transportation to work distribution. This is particularly true for areas with a substantial GQ population.
Question/Concept History
Beginning in 1999, the American Community Survey questions differ from the 1996-1998 questions only in the format of the skip instructions. Beginning in 2004, the category, "Public transportation" was tabulated to exclude workers who used taxicab as their means of transportation.
Excerpt from: Social Explorer; U.S. Census Bureau; American Community Survey 2008 Summary File: Technical Documentation.
Class of Worker
The data on class of worker were derived from answers to Question 40. The information on class of worker refers to the same job as a respondent's industry and occupation and categorizes people according to the type of ownership of the employing organization. The class of worker categories are defined as follows:
Private wage and salary workers
Includes people who worked for wages, salary, commission, tips, pay-in-kind, or piece rates for a private for-profit employer or a private not-for-profit, tax-exempt or charitable organization. Self-employed people whose business was incorporated are included with private wage and salary workers because they are paid employees of their own companies.

ACS tabulations present data separately for these subcategories: "Employee of private company workers," "Private not-for-profit wage and salary workers," and "Self-employed in own incorporated business workers."
Government workers
Includes people who were employees of any local, state, or federal governmental unit, regardless of the activity of the particular agency. For ACS tabulations, the data are presented separately for the three levels of government.

Employees of foreign governments, the United Nations, or other formal international organizations controlled by governments were classified as "federal government workers."

The government categories include all government workers, though government workers may work in different industries. For example, people who work in a public elementary school or city owned bus line are coded as local government class of workers.
Self-employed in own not incorporated business workers
Includes people who worked for profit or fees in their own unincorporated business, profession, or trade, or who operated a farm.

Unpaid family workers
Includes people who worked without pay in a business or on a farm operated by a relative.
Excerpt from: Social Explorer; U.S. Census Bureau; American Community Survey 2008 Summary File: Technical Documentation.
Workplace-based Geography
The characteristics of workers may be shown using either residence-based or workplace-based geography. If you are interested in the number and characteristics of workers living in a specific area, you should use the standard (residence- based) journey-to-work tables. If you are interested in the number and characteristics of workers who work in a specific area, you should use the workplace-based journey-to-work tables. Because place-of-work information for workers cannot always be specified below the place level, the workplace-based tables are presented only for selected geographic areas.
Limitation of the Data
The data on place of work is related to a reference week, that is, the calendar week preceding the date on which the respondents completed their questionnaires or were interviewed. This week is not the same for all respondents because data were collected over a 12-month period. The lack of a uniform reference week means that the place-of-work data reported in the survey will not exactly match the distribution of workplace locations observed or measured during an actual workweek.

The place-of-work data are estimates of people 16 years and over who were both employed and at work during the reference week (including people in the Armed Forces). People who did not work during the reference week but had jobs or businesses from which they were temporarily absent due to illness, bad weather, industrial dispute, vacation, or other personal reasons are not included in the place-of-work data. Therefore, the data on place of work understate the total number of jobs or total employment in a geographic area during the reference week. It also should be noted that people who had irregular, casual, or unstructured jobs during the reference week might have erroneously reported themselves as not working.

The address where the individual worked most often during the reference week was recorded on the questionnaire. If a worker held two jobs, only data about the primary job (the job where one worked the greatest number of hours during the preceding week) was requested. People who regularly worked in several locations during the reference week were requested to give the address at which they began work each day. For cases in which daily work was not begun at a central place each day, the respondent was asked to provide as much information as possible to describe the area in which he or she worked most during the reference week.

Since both the American Community Survey and the decennial censuses are related to a "reference week" that has some variability, the data do not reflect any single week. Since the American Community Survey data are collected over 12 months, the reference week in American Community Survey has a greater range of variation. (See "Reference Week.")
Question/Concept History
Starting in 1999, the American Community Survey questions differ from the 1996-1998 questions in that the labels on the write-in spaces were modified to provide clarifications. The 2004 American Community Survey marked the first time that workplace-based tables were released as a part of a standard census data product.