October 2003, Vol. 126, No. 10
Concurrent seasonal adjustment for national CES survey
Economist, Division of Current Employment Statistics, Bureau of Labor Statistics.
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Excerpt from the report:
The Current Employment Statistics (CES) survey, conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, is a monthly survey of more than 400,000 business establishments. The CES program obtains payroll employment, hours, and earnings information and produces industry-based estimates for the Nation, States, and major metropolitan areas. The national CES estimates of employment, hours, and earnings are some of the most timely and sensitive economic indicators published by the Federal Government. Widely viewed as a key measure of the health of the economy, the estimates are closely tracked by both public and private policymakers alike.
Most CES data users are interested in the seasonally adjusted over-the-month employment changes as a primary measure of overall national economic trends. Therefore, accurate seasonal adjustment is an important component in the usefulness of these monthly data. While seasonally adjusted series go through several monthly revisions and an annual benchmark revision before they are finalized, the first published estimates are the most widely anticipated and analyzed. Thus, it is important to use the most efficient and reliable methods for seasonal adjustment of current months’ data.
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