The data on place of work were derived from answers to Question 24, which was asked of people who indicated in Question 28 that they worked at some time during the reference week. (See "Reference Week.")
Data were tabulated for workers 16 years old and over, that is, members of the Armed Forces and civilians who were at work during the reference week. Data on place of work refer to the geographic location at which workers carried out their occupational activities during the reference week. In the American Community Survey, the exact address (number and street name) of the place of work was asked, as well as the place (city, town, or post office); whether the place of work was inside or outside the limits of that city or town; and the county, state or foreign country, and ZIP Code. In the Puerto Rico Community Survey, the question asked for the exact address, including the development or condominium name, as well as the place; whether or not the place of work was inside or outside the limits of that city or town; the municipio or U.S. county. Respondents also were asked to "enter Puerto Rico or name of U.S. state or foreign country" and the ZIP Code. If the respondent's employer operated in more than one location, the exact address of the location or branch where he or she worked was requested. When the number and street name were unknown, a description of the location, such as the building name or nearest street or intersection, was to be entered. People who worked at more than one location during the reference week were asked to report the location at which they worked the greatest number of hours. People who regularly worked in several locations each day during the reference week were requested to give the address at which they began work each day. For cases in which daily work did not begin 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.
Place-of-work data may show a few workers who made unlikely daily work trips (e.g., workers who lived in New York and worked in California). This result is attributable 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 areas where the workplace address was geographically coded to the block level, people were tabulated as working inside or outside a specific place based on the location of that address regardless of the response to Question 24c concerning city/town limits. In areas where it was impossible to code the workplace address to the block level, or the coding system was unable to match the employer name and street address responses, people were tabulated as working inside or outside a specific place based on the combination of state, county, ZIP Code, place name, and city limits indicator. The city limits indicator was used only in coding decisions when there were multiple geographic codes to select from, after matching on the state, county, place, and ZIP Code responses. The accuracy of place-of-work data for census designated places (CDPs) may be affected by the extent to which their census names were familiar to respondents, and by coding problems caused by similarities between the CDP name and the names of other geographic jurisdictions in the same vicinity.
Place-of-work data are given for selected minor civil divisions (MCDs), (generally cities, towns, and townships) in the 12 strong MCD states (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Wisconsin), based on the responses to the place of work question. Many towns and townships are regarded locally as equivalent to a place, and therefore, were reported as the place of work. When a respondent reported a locality or incorporated place that formed a part of a township or town, the coding and tabulating procedure was designed to include the response in the total for the township or town.
Beginning in 2006, the group quarters (GQ) population is included in the ACS. Some types of GQ populations have place of work distributions that are different from the household population. The inclusion of the GQ population could therefore have a noticeable impact on the place of work distribution. This is particularly true for areas with a substantial GQ population.