CES Benchmark Announcement


The March 2013 Total nonfarm payroll employment level was revised upward by 347,000, or 0.3 percent, not seasonally adjusted from the previously published level. Over the prior 10 years, absolute benchmark revisions have averaged 0.3 percent, with an absolute range from 0.1 percent to 0.7 percent. Benchmark revisions are a standard part of the payroll survey estimation process. The benchmark adjustment represents a once-a-year re-anchoring, based on March data, of sample-based employment estimates to full population counts available through unemployment insurance (UI) tax records filed by nearly all employers with State Employment Security agencies.

This year's benchmark revision was impacted by a large non-economic code change in the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) that moved approximately 466,000 jobs from Private households, which is out-of-scope for CES, into the Education and health care services industry. After accounting for this code change, the error is ‑119,000, or ‑0.1 percent, not seasonally adjusted.

Additionally, due to the incorporation of previously out-of-scope employment into the Education and health care services industry, a historical reconstruction to the time series was developed. The effect of this historical reconstruction to the over-the-year change in CES from March 2012 to March 2013 at the not seasonally adjusted Total nonfarm level is a downward revision of 29,000.

For more detailed information, please see the CES National Benchmark Article available at www.bls.gov/web/empsit/cesbmart.htm.

Last Modified Date: February 7, 2014