U.S. Census Bureau
The U.S. Census Bureau gathers information from the American Community Survey, American Housing Survey, Annual Economic Surveys, Annual Surveys of Governments, Census of Governments, Decennial Census, Economic Census, Equal Employment Opportunity Tabulation, Population Estimates Program, and Puerto Rico Community Survey.
Bureau of Labor Statistics
The Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor is the principal federal agency responsible for measuring labor market activity, working conditions, and price changes in the economy. Some data available through BLS: Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages, which created customized tables based on counties; Economy at a Glance, which provides annual changes from month to month over a 12-month period; State and Area Employment, Hours, and Earnings, which creates customized tables based on Metropolitan Statistical Area; and more.
ALICE is an acronym for asset limited, income constrained, employed – households that earn more than the Federal Poverty Level but less than the basic cost of living for the county (the ALICE Threshold). While conditions have improved for some households, many continue to struggle, especially as wages fail to keep pace with the cost of household essentials (housing, child care, food, transportation, health care, and a basic smartphone plan.
City-Data.com and MyMove.com/cities
City-Data.com aggregates public records that are open to anyone. It contains graphs of the latest real estate prices and sales trends, recent home sales, a home value estimator, hundreds of thousands of maps, satellite photos, demographic data (race, income, ancestries, education, employment), geographic data, state profiles, crime data, registered sex offenders, cost of living, housing, religions, businesses, local news links, political contributions, city government finances, employment, schools, etc.
MyMove.com/cities provides cost of living between cities while also offering comparisons of salary and various living categories including groceries, housing, healthcare, lifestyle, transportation, and utilities. In addition, they also feature an explore option of multiple cities for those who are thinking about moving, learning about new cities, and budgeting.
According to U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, the U.S. Cluster Mapping Project is used by governments, economic developers, and businesses to understand and shape the competitive landscape for a wide range of industries. Pritzker says the data are being put in the hands of local officials, who are using the information to make strategic investments, recruit new companies and lay the groundwork for new industries.
Cost of Living Index
Compiled by the Council for Community and Economic Research, the Cost of Living Index is a measure of living cost differences among urban areas in the United States. The index compares the price of goods and services among areas that participate in their surveys. It is widely used by economists, researchers and corporations to measure relative cost of living.