Notes on QCEW Data Availability
Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) annual data for
1990 forward are available on the BLS Internet site. This marks a major expansion of the economic information contained in the BLS database. QCEW (also known as ES-202) data include information at the most detailed industry level (to the 4-digit SIC from 1975 to 2000; to the 6-digit NAICS industry since 1990) on establishment counts,
annual employment, and annual and weekly wages for every county, Metropolitan Statistical Area, and state, as well as data for Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, and national totals. It includes the most timely data available at the county level. Data for prior years are not available.
On October 16, 2002, the QCEW program began releasing data quarterly. Formerly, BLS released annual average employment and wage data from the QCEW program along with quarterly totals once per year, about 10 months after the end of each calendar year. The addition of quarterly publication responds to the demand for more timely data and reflects improvements in the accuracy of the preliminary data provided by the states.
On May 27, 2004, the QCEW program began its release of reconstructed
NAICS-based data for the 1990-2000 period with the release of data for 2000
in flat file format. This activity concluded in September 2004 with the release of data for 1990. Data prior to 1997 are currently available in flat file format only.
QCEW data on the BLS website are of great value and interest to local economic
development agencies, chambers of commerce, and other economic data users. These data can be used for purposes such as:
- detailed cross-regional comparisons,
- locating concentrations of particular industries,
- targeting areas for specialized marketing, recruitment, and site selection activities,
- transportation planning.
Data can be acquired in two ways. The first is via the Create
Customized Tables (one
screen or multiple screens),
Most Requested Statistics, and Series Report features. These features
are designed to allow quick access to particular items in the BLS database.
The second method is useful for downloading large quantities of QCEW data. Flat
text files containing all data by geographic groupings are available via the special
request FTP service available at ftp://ftp.bls.gov/pub/special.requests/cew/.
In addition to annual data, these files have monthly employment and quarterly
establishment and wage data. Quarterly data files have average monthly
Last Modified Date: October 6, 2004