Gulf Oil Spill and QCEW
The Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) program produces employment and wage totals
which are available at the local level, often with substantial industry detail. The QCEW program
has developed profiles of the oil and gas drilling industry
and the leisure and hospitality industry
on the Gulf of Mexico. The non-payroll nature of the Gulf fishing industry precludes its full
measurement by the QCEW program.
QCEW data are based on reports from employers covered by the unemployment insurance program.
Workers who are self employed, such as fishing crews or single employee contractors are not eligible
for unemployment coverage. They are not included in QCEW employment and wage totals.
The Gulf fishing industry is not fully captured by QCEW. It is dominated by a partnership arrangement,
based on shares of the catch. These workers are not on a
payroll and fall outside the QCEW scope.
QCEW data are based on place of employment. For beach hotels, this usually means that employment
is reported at the hotel. On the other hand, drilling rig employment is generally reported not at
the well head but at a base of operations. Substantial drilling employment is correspondingly
reported in Houston or in various Louisiana parishes.
QCEW data are available for industry categories based on the North American Industry
Classification System (NAICS). NAICS makes no distinction
between onshore and offshore drilling, let alone between different categories of offshore
drilling based on the depth of the water.
QCEW quarterly data are released with a six and a half month lag. The spill began in the
second quarter of 2010. QCEW data for this period will be available in January 2011.
Geographic and Industry Detail
QCEW data are published at the county (parish in Louisiana), MSA, State, and National levels.
At each geographic level, data are published at each level of NAICS industry detail to the extent
that data exists and that it is not confidential. The data is withheld from publication in cases
where the data may reveal confidential information about specific employers. Industries with many
establishments, such as leisure and hospitality, are usually available down to the county level.
Industries with few establishments, such as seafood processing, are very likely to be withheld
at the county level.
QCEW data are available in a number of forms. For a quick grasp of a locality, the best tool
is the QCEW State and County Map application. For
comparison of an industry across many localities,
try the high level county spreadsheets for the "by area" data files available through the QCEW
data guide. To obtain information for more detailed industries,
use the BLS one-screen data search.
Last Modified Date: March 24, 2014