Find a Series

There are three ways to find a data series and its id:
  1. Search the Federal Reserve FRED website.
  2. Use the program's Find a Series feature in the menu.
  3. Use the program's Popular Data Series feature in the menu.
To use the program's Find a Series feature, select the following from the menu:

Add-ons>>Federal Reserve Economic Data>>Find a Series

The above will open the following dialog box:

Find a Series screen

Type a search term in the Search Fred text box then click Search.  A list of matching series will appear in the Search Results box.  If the series you want is displayed, select it and click Add Series ID to add the series id to the spreadsheet. You may select multiple series at once by holding down the control key and clicking the items to be included.

Chances are your initial search will yield thousands of items.  You can filter your search further by including search tags.  The Select Category box will show broad categories of search tags.  Selecting a category will reveal available tags in the Select Tags box to the right.  Click the tags that match your criteria.  When a tag is selected it will appear in the Active Tags box and the search results will be refreshed automatically.  Repeat as needed until you find the series you're interested in. If you want to remove a single tag just click it.

There may be multiple series with the same title but differ by frequency, seasonal factors, and data type (such as percent, dollars, etc).  The frequency, seasonal factors, and data type are appended to the end of the title.


The following is a step-by-step example taking you from finding a series to downloading the data.  In this example we're looking for unemployment data series for the state of Indiana.  We first conduct a broad search for unemployment then use filters to narrow the results:

Find a Series example

The initial search (before adding tags) yielded over 19,000 results.  The tag bls indicates the source of the data was the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The second tag limited data on a state level.  Finally, the in tag limited the results to Indiana.  The two selected items were added to the spreadsheet after the Add Series ID button was clicked.  

By default, the program will automatically download the latest series data into the spreadsheet.  An example of the output to the spreadsheet is shown as follows:

Find Series Search Results Added to Spreadsheet

If you want to review your selections in the spreadsheet before downloading the data, you can disable automatic downloading by unchecking the box at the bottom of the Find a Series screen.  You can download the results later by selecting Download Data or Update Select Series from the menu.  The results, if downloading was disabled, are shown below:

Find Series Spreadsheet Results