Madison Lau and Kerrie Leslie are economists in the Division of Current Employment Statistics – National, Office of Employment and Unemployment Statistics, Bureau of Labor Statistics. Telephone: (202) 691‑6555; email: Contact CES
With the release of January 2016 data on February 5, 2016, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) introduced its annual revision of national estimates of employment, hours, and earnings from the Current Employment Statistics (CES) monthly survey of nonfarm establishments. Each year, the CES survey realigns its sample-based estimates to incorporate universe counts of employment—a process known as benchmarking. Comprehensive counts of employment, or benchmarks, are derived primarily from unemployment insurance (UI) tax reports that nearly all employers are required to file with State Workforce Agencies.
The March 2015 benchmark level for total nonfarm employment is 140,099,000.
In most years, a discussion of revisions to the not seasonally adjusted employment level for the March benchmark also describes the revisions to the over-the-year change from the previous March benchmark level. This year, with the implementation of the March 2015 benchmark, historical data have been reconstructed back to January 2000 for CES series 65-624120 services for the elderly and persons with disabilities. More information on this historical reconstruction is available in the Reconstructed data section below. As a result of this reconstruction, the March 2014 not seasonally adjusted employment level has also been revised and the revisions associated with this benchmark can be looked at in several ways.
To eliminate the nonstandard impact on the benchmark from the reconstruction to CES series 65-624120 services for the elderly and persons with disabilities, the originally published CES employment levels were adjusted to incorporate the reconstruction prior to calculating the benchmark error and performing the wedge. For more information on the CES wedging process, refer to the Methods section of this article. This approach better reflects the performance of the estimates for the benchmark time period. The tables in this article reflect this process.
Considering only the change to the employment level due to error, which accounts for the decrease of 27,000 due to the reconstruction, total nonfarm employment for March 2015 had a downward revision of −172,000, or −0.1 percent, to 140,099,000. Because the March 2014 employment level now reflects changes due to the reconstruction, another measure of the impact of the benchmark is to consider the over-the-year change revision from March 2014 to March 2015. Prior to the implementation of the benchmark, the level change for total nonfarm over that time period was 3,084,000. After the benchmark, the change is 2,912,000 which is 172,000 less than previously published.
Compared with the sample-based, published estimate for March 2015, the March 2015 benchmark level is 199,000 lower. This is a downward adjustment of −0.1 percent.
Table 1 below shows the recent history of total nonfarm percentage benchmark revisions. Over the prior ten years, the annual benchmark revision at the total nonfarm level has averaged 0.3 percent (in absolute terms), with an absolute range of 0.0 percent to 0.7 percent.
Table 1. Percent and level differences between nonfarm employment benchmarks and estimates by industry supersector, March 2005 – 2015 (1)
Footnotes (1) The differences listed in this table reflect the error due to normal benchmarking procedures. Typically this error is equal to the March benchmarked level minus the published March estimated level. However in some years, other factors beyond normal benchmarking procedures influence the difference between the benchmarked and published March estimate levels. Those years are footnoted.
(2) A review of industries for the possible presence of noncovered employment in benchmark 2011 yielded 13 additional industries. As a result of including these industries, employment for total nonfarm was 95,000 more than the originally published March 2011 estimate level. The difference between the benchmarked and published March 2011 estimate level was 162,000. For this table, the 95,000 amount was added to the original published total nonfarm and total private March 2011 estimates before calculating the percent and level differences. Similarly, for the financial activities and education and health services supersectors, this table displays March 2011 data after incorporating the employment from the additional industries.
(3) The percent and level differences in this column reflect reconstructions to series within CES supersectors financial activities and education and healthcare services. Each first quarter, the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) program, whose data account for approximately 97 percent of the CES universe scope (see www.bls.gov/web/empsit/cestn.htm#section1), incorporates updated industry assignments. In 2013, these updates included two substantial groups of nonrandom, noneconomic code changes, one to funds, trusts, and other financial vehicles (NAICS 525), and the other, a reclassification of approximately 466,000 in employment from private households (NAICS 814), which is out of scope for CES, to services for the elderly and persons with disabilities (NAICS 62412), which is in scope. These changes also had an impact, beyond what would be considered typical for a given benchmark year, on corresponding CES series. For more information about the changes to these industries, see the QCEW First Quarter 2013 News Release available at www.bls.gov/news.release/archives/cewqtr_09262013.htm or the Special notice regarding reconstructed data section of the 2013 CES Benchmark Article at www.bls.gov/ces/cesbmart13.pdf.
(4) With the 2015 benchmark, CES reconstructed the national employment series for CES series 65-624120 services for the elderly and persons with disabilities back to January 2000. CES previously reconstructed this series with the 2013 benchmark; however, between the 2013 and 2015 benchmark, a better source of information for the employment within NAICS 62412 for the state of California was found. The inclusion of the reconstructed series resulted in total nonfarm and total private employment that was 27,000 less than the originally published March 2015 estimate level. The difference between the benchmarked and originally published March 2015 estimate level is −199,000 or −0.1 percent. This table displays March 2015 data after accounting for the decrease of 27,000 from the reconstructed series. Similarly, for the education and health services supersector, this table displays March 2015 data after incorporating the reconstructed series.
Tables 2, 5, and 6 on this page contain clickable headers that sort the table by the clicked column.
Table 2 shows the nonfarm employment benchmarks for March 2015, not seasonally adjusted, by industry. The revision to the reconstructed total nonfarm employment is −172,000.
Nine supersectors saw negative revisions. The largest downward revision occurred in professional and business services, −110,000, or −0.6 percent. Within this supersector, the largest revision was in administrative and support services with a revision of −69,400, or −0.9 percent. The next largest downward revision occurred in leisure and hospitality, which experienced a downward revision of −45,000, or −0.3 percent. This downward revision was driven by a large downward revision in food services and drinking places (−60,000, or −0.6 percent). Information was revised downward by −44,000, or −1.6 percent. Within this supersector, the largest downward revision was in telecommunications (−55,500, or −6.9 percent). Other services had a downward revision of −20,000, or −0.4 percent, driven by a large downward revision in membership associations and organizations (−34,200, or −1.2 percent). Mining and logging experienced the largest downward revision in percentage terms among supersectors with a revision of −19,000, or −2.2 percent. Manufacturing and financial activities also had downward revisions of −12,000, or −0.1 percent, and −9,000, or −0.1 percent, respectively. The two smallest downward revisions occurred in education and health services (−7,000, or 0.0 percent) and trade, transportation, and utilities (−5,000, or 0.0 percent).
The remaining two supersectors had upward revisions. The larger upward revision occurred in government by an amount of 60,000, or 0.3 percent. Construction had an upward revision of 39,000, or 0.6 percent.
Table 2. Nonfarm employment benchmarks for industries released with first preliminary estimates, March 2015 (in thousands)
Securities, commodity contracts, investments, and funds and trusts
Insurance carriers and related activities
Real estate and rental and leasing
Rental and leasing services
Lessors of nonfinancial intangible assets
Professional and business services
Professional and technical services
Accounting and bookkeeping services
Architectural and engineering services
Specialized design services
Computer systems design and related services
Management and technical consulting services
Scientific research and development services
Advertising and related services
Other professional and technical services
Management of companies and enterprises
Administrative and waste services
Administrative and support services
Office administrative services
Facilities support services
Temporary help services
Business support services
Travel arrangement and reservation services
Investigation and security services
Services to buildings and dwellings
Other support services
Waste management and remediation services
Education and health services
Health care and social assistance
Ambulatory health care services
Offices of physicians
Offices of dentists
Offices of other health practitioners
Outpatient care centers
Medical and diagnostic laboratories
Home health care services
Other ambulatory health care services
Nursing and residential care facilities
Nursing care facilities
Residential mental health facilities
Community care facilities for the elderly
Other residential care facilities
Individual and family services
Emergency and other relief services
Vocational rehabilitation services
Child day care services
Leisure and hospitality
Arts, entertainment, and recreation
Performing arts and spectator sports
Museums, historical sites, and similar institutions
Amusements, gambling, and recreation
Accommodation and food services
Food services and drinking places
Repair and maintenance
Personal and laundry services
Membership associations and organizations
Federal, except U.S. Postal Service
U.S. Postal Service
State government education
State government, excluding education
Local government education
Local government, excluding education
(1) The CES estimates in this column
contain reconstructions to series within the education and health services supersector.
With the 2015 benchmark, CES reconstructed the national employment series for CES series 65-624120
services for the elderly and persons with disabilities back to January 2000. CES previously reconstructed
this series with the 2013 benchmark; however, between the 2013 and 2015 benchmark, a better source of
information for the employment within NAICS 62412 for the state of California was found. The inclusion of
the reconstructed series resulted in total nonfarm and total private employment that was 27,000 less than the
originally published March 2015 estimate level. The difference between the benchmarked and originally published
March 2015 estimate level is −199,000 or −0.1 percent. This table displays March 2015 data after accounting for
the decrease of 27,000 from the reconstructed series. Similarly, for the education and health services supersector,
this table displays March 2015 data after incorporating the reconstructed series.
From April 2015 to December 2015, also known as the postbenchmark period, estimates were recalculated for each month based on new benchmark levels and new net birth/death factors. Net birth/death factors were revised to incorporate information from the most recent year of universe employment counts. Table 3 shows the net birth/death model values for the supersectors over the postbenchmark period. From April 2015 to December 2015, the net birth/death model cumulatively added 928,000, compared with 852,000 in the previously published April 2015 to December 2015 employment estimates.
Table 3. Net birth/death estimates by industry supersector, April – December 2015 (in thousands)
Table 4 presents revised total nonfarm employment data on a seasonally adjusted basis for January 2015 through December 2015. The revised data for April 2015 forward incorporate the effect of applying the rate of change measured by the sample to the new benchmark level, as well as updated net birth/death model adjustments and new seasonal adjustment factors. Revisions to November and December also reflect incorporation of additional sample receipts.
Table 4. Differences in seasonally adjusted levels and over-the-month changes, total nonfarm employment, January – December 2015 (in thousands)
With the release of the January 2016 first preliminary estimates, CES incorporated series changes related to annual sample adequacy and disclosure review, and began publishing additional industry employment data with the first preliminary release of monthly estimates.
All CES series are evaluated annually for sample size, coverage, and response rates. The following changes result from a re-evaluation of the sample and universe coverage for CES industries, which are based on North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) industries. Some small industries no longer have sufficient sample to be estimated and published separately and will be combined with other similar industries for estimation and publication purposes. The following information is also available at www.bls.gov/web/empsit/cesnewseries.htm.
Some series have new CES industry codes or titles as a result of the series changes (Exhibit 1). These CES industry code or title changes have been applied to all data types published for the designated series. Historical data for those series with new CES industry codes or CES industry titles were impacted as noted on the remainder of this page; historical data are available under the new CES industry codes or CES industry titles.
Exhibit 1. Series with CES industry code or title changes
CES Industry Code
CES Industry Title
CES Industry Code
CES Industry Title
Spring and wire products
Hardware, spring, and wire products
Computer terminals and other computer peripheral equipment
Computer storage devices, terminals, and other peripheral equipment
Women's and all other cut and sew apparel
Cut and sew apparel, except contractors
Residential mental and substance abuse care
Residential mental health and substance abuse facilities
Services for the elderly and disabled
Services for the elderly and persons with disabilities
Automotive transmission repair
Automotive exhaust system and transmission repair
All other personal services
All other personal services, including photofinishing
Exhibit 2 through Exhibit 7 show the new CES industry codes and titles, not the previous CES industry codes and titles, as noted in Exhibit 1.
Only directly estimated data types1 are included in the exhibits:
All Employees (AE)
AE Average Weekly Hours (AE AWH)
AE Average Hourly Earnings (AE AHE)
AE Average Weekly Overtime Hours (AE AWOH)
Women Employees (WE)
Production Employees (PE)
PE Average Weekly Hours (PE AWH)
PE Average Hourly Earnings (PE AHE)
PE Average Weekly Overtime Hours (PE AWOH)
The directly estimated data types listed except for AE are collectively called non-AE data types. In order to more easily identify affected series, since AE series are published at a more detailed industry level than non-AE series, series changes are shown for AE and non-AE data types. The non-AE tables cover all directly estimated non-AE data types.
The first three exhibits reference the AE data type and the second three exhibits reference all non-AE data types. The three exhibits in each group display the discontinued, collapsed, and new series. Discontinued series exhibits (Exhibit 2 and Exhibit 5) display series for which the data types noted are no longer published. Collapsed series exhibits (Exhibit 3 and Exhibit 6) display series for which the data types noted are no longer published because the industry no longer has sufficient sample to be estimated and published separately. Affected industries have been combined with other similar industries for estimation and publication purposes. Historical data for these series were reconstructed to provide consistent time series. New series exhibits (Exhibit 4 and Exhibit 7) display series for which the data types noted are now published.
Exhibit 2. Discontinued AE Series
CES Industry Code
CES Industry Title
Next Highest Published Industry Title (CES Industry Code)
Additional series published at first preliminary release of monthly estimates
Additional industry employment data are now published by the CES program with the first preliminary release of monthly estimates. Twenty-seven additional industries are now available in the Employment Situation Table B-1 for both not seasonally adjusted and seasonally adjusted employment. Exhibit 8 details the additional industries that are available:
Exhibit 8. Additional CES Series available with first preliminary release
Three separate data reconstructions were performed as part of the 2015 CES benchmark. Exhibit 9 outlines at the most detailed published levels, the CES series, data types, and timespans that were impacted by reconstructions of data.
Exhibit 9. CES detailed series involved in data reconstructions
CES Industry Code(s)
CES Industry Title(s)
Data Type(s) Involved
Services for the elderly and persons with disabilities
Employment of all employees (AE); employment of production and nonsupervisory employees (PE); and employment of women employees (WE)
January 2000 – March 2015
Education and health services; Membership associations and organizations
All hours and earnings data types related to AE
March 2006 – February 2009
These data were suppressed on November 24, 2015.
Education and health services
Employment of PE; all hours and earnings data types for both AE and PE
Services for the elderly and persons with disabilities, January 2000 – March 2015
The CES series 65-624120 services for the elderly and persons with disabilities was previously reconstructed with the 2013 benchmark due a correction in the coding of UI records for several state programs that provide funding for services for the elderly and persons with disabilities. That reconstruction was developed based upon the best information available at the time for the programs. For more information, see the 2013 CES National Benchmark Article at www.bls.gov/ces/cesbmart13.pdf.
Since the initial reconstruction was completed, the state of California Labor Market Information (LMI) agency continued to work on analyzing the data for the In-Home Support Services (IHSS) program with the authorized payroll agent. The payroll agent had switched to a new payroll processing system, providing more accurate employment counts for the IHSS program. The prior system’s primary focus was to ensure that wages were reported in the correct quarter, and did not focus on employment counts.
Further examination of the data from the IHSS program led the state of California LMI agency and BLS to the conclusion that further refinement to the services for the elderly and persons with disabilities employment series was appropriate.
This reconstruction resulted in revisions to the not seasonally adjusted data from January 2000 to March 2015. Seasonally adjusted data for this series and its aggregates were subject to revision back to January 1990.
Education and health services and membership associations and organizations, March 2006 – February 2009
On November 24, 2015, BLS suppressed all employee hours and earnings data for CES series 65-000000 education and health services and 80-813000 membership associations and organizations and their aggregates due to an error introduced during the 2009 CES benchmark. All employee (AE) hours and earnings data became official BLS series with the release of the 2009 CES benchmark. This meant that, for the first time, these previously experimental data were subjected to the same benchmarking procedures as the production and nonsupervisory employee (PE) hours and earnings data. During the 2009 CES benchmark, the AE hours and earnings data for the two series noted above for the time period of the experimental data series (March 2006 – February 2009) were not subjected to the same benchmarking procedures for that time period as their PE hours and earnings data counterparts; this also impacted the aggregates of the two noted series.
To correct for errors for the entire experimental time period (March 2006 – February 2009), BLS applied benchmarking procedures to the AE hours and earnings data for the two noted series consistent with the benchmarking procedures for PE hours and earnings data. For the summary levels of the two noted series, the AE hours and earnings data were then re-aggregated to account for the updated AE hours and earnings data.
This reconstruction resulted in revisions to the not seasonally adjusted data from March 2006 to February 2009. The seasonally adjusted data for these series were subject to revision back to March 2006, which is the start of the time series.
All industries and data types impacted by this reconstruction are listed in the exhibits below:
Exhibit 10. Industries involved in the CES data suppression
Education and health services, March 2009 – February 2010
While reviewing the error that resulted in the suppression of CES all employee (AE) hours and earnings data on November 24, 2015, BLS discovered additional errors in the employment of production and nonsupervisory employees (PE) and in the hours and earnings for both AE and PE for CES series 65-000000 education and health services. These errors spanned March 2009 to February 2010. These additional errors were also the result of inconsistently applied benchmarking procedures in this series during the 2009 CES benchmark.
To correct for these errors, BLS applied consistent benchmarking procedures to these series.
This reconstruction resulted in revisions to the not seasonally adjusted data from March 2009 to February 2010. Seasonally adjusted data for this series and its aggregates were subject to revision back to January 1990 for the employment of PE and PE hours and earnings data and back to March 2006 for the AE hours and earnings data.
All industries and data types impacted by this reconstruction are available in the exhibits below:
Exhibit 12. Industries involved in this CES reconstruction
A benchmark revision is the difference between the benchmark employment level for a given March and its corresponding sample-based estimate. The overall accuracy of the establishment survey is usually gauged by the size of this difference. The benchmark revision often is regarded as a proxy for total survey error, but this does not take into account error in the universe data or infrequent events such as historical reconstructions. The employment counts obtained from quarterly UI tax forms are administrative data that reflect employer record-keeping practices and differing state laws and procedures. The benchmark revision can be more precisely interpreted as the difference between two independently derived employment counts, each subject to its own error sources.
Like all sample surveys, the establishment survey is susceptible to two sources of error: sampling error and nonsampling error. Sampling error is present any time a sample is used to make inferences about a population. The magnitude of the sampling error, or variance, relates directly to sample size and the percentage of the universe covered by that sample. The CES monthly survey captures slightly under one-third of the universe, exceptionally high by usual sampling standards. This coverage ensures a small sampling error at the total nonfarm employment level. More information on the reliability of CES estimates is available in the Reliability section of the CES Technical Notes available at www.bls.gov/web/empsit/cestn.htm#section1c.
Both the universe counts and the establishment survey estimates are subject to nonsampling errors common to all surveys – measurement, response, and processing errors. The error structures for both the CES monthly survey and the UI universe are complex. Still, the two programs generally produce consistent total employment figures, each validating the other.
The routine benchmarking process results in revisions to the series for employment of production and nonsupervisory employees (PE) and employment of women employees (WE). There are no benchmark employment levels for these series; they are revised by preserving ratios of employment for the particular data type to employment of all employees (AE) prior to benchmarking, and then applying these ratios to the revised employment of all employees. These figures are calculated at the basic cell level and then aggregated to produce the summary estimates.
Average weekly hours, average hourly earnings, and in manufacturing industries, average weekly overtime hours are not benchmarked; they are estimated solely from reports supplied by survey respondents at the basic estimating cell level.
The aggregate industry levels of the hours and earnings series are derived as a weighted average. The employment of all employees estimates or the employment of production and nonsupervisory employees estimates for the basic cells essentially act as weights for their respective hours and earnings estimates for broader industry groupings. Adjustments of the employment of all employees estimates to new benchmarks may alter the weights used for both AE and PE hours and earnings, which, in turn, may change the estimates for both AE and PE hours and earnings at higher levels of aggregation.
Generally, new employment benchmarks have little effect on hours and earnings estimates for major industry groupings. To influence the hours and earnings estimates of a broader industry group, employment revisions have to be relatively large and must affect industries that have hours or earnings averages that are substantially different from those of other industries in their broader group. Table 5 and Table 6 provide information on the levels of specific hours and earnings series resulting from the March 2015 benchmark. At the total private level, there was no change in average weekly hours estimates for both AE and PE from the previously published level. Total private average hourly earnings increased by two cents for AE and PE from the previously published level.
Table 5. Effect of March 2015 benchmark revisions to AE AWH and AE AHE estimates, selected industries
The CES estimates in this column contain reconstructions to series within CES supersectors. With the 2015 benchmark, CES reconstructed the national employment series for CES series 65-624120 services
for the elderly and persons with disabilities back to January 2000, which can impact education and health services. CES previously reconstructed this series with the 2013 benchmark; however,
between the 2013 and 2015 benchmark, a better source of information for the employment within NAICS 62412 for the state of California was found. The inclusion of the reconstructed series
resulted in total nonfarm and total private employment that was 27,000 less than the originally published March 2015 estimate level. The difference between the benchmarked and originally
published March 2015 estimate level is −199,000 or −0.1 percent. These changes to the employment data can lead to changes in hours and earnings data at higher level industries. This table
displays March 2015 data after accounting for the decrease of 27,000 from the reconstructed series. Similarly, for the education and health services supersector, this table displays March
2015 data after incorporating the reconstructed series.
(1) The CES estimates in this column contain reconstructions to series within CES supersectors. With the 2015 benchmark, CES reconstructed the national employment series for CES series 65-624120 services for the elderly and persons with disabilities back to January 2000, which can impact education and health services. CES previously reconstructed this series with the 2013 benchmark; however, between the 2013 and 2015 benchmark, a better source of information for the employment within NAICS 62412 for the state of California was found. The inclusion of the reconstructed series resulted in total nonfarm and total private employment that was 27,000 less than the originally published March 2015 estimate level. The difference between the benchmarked and originally published March 2015 estimate level is −199,000 or −0.1 percent. These changes to the employment data can lead to changes in hours and earnings data at higher level industries. This table displays March 2015 data after accounting for the decrease of 27,000 from the reconstructed series. Similarly, for the education and health services supersector, this table displays March 2015 data after incorporating the reconstructed series.
Establishment survey benchmarking is done on an annual basis to a population derived primarily from the administrative file of employees covered by UI. All employers covered by UI laws are required to report employment and wage information to the appropriate Labor Market Information (LMI) agency four times per year. Approximately 97 percent of total nonfarm employment within the scope of the establishment survey is covered by UI. A benchmark for the remaining 3 percent is constructed from alternate sources, primarily records from the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB), County Business Patterns (CBP), and Annual Survey of Public Employment and Payroll (ASPEP). This 3 percent is collectively referred to as noncovered employment. Noncovered employment data from these sources are available only on a lagged basis. More information on calculating noncovered employment in the CES program is available in the CES Technical Notes at www.bls.gov/web/empsit/cestn.htm#NCE.
The time required to complete the benchmark revision process—from the full collection of the UI population data to publication of the revised industry estimates—is about ten months. The benchmark adjustment procedure replaces the March sample-based employment estimates with UI-based population counts for March. The benchmark therefore determines the final employment levels, while sample movements capture month-to-month trends.
On a not seasonally adjusted basis, the sample-based estimates for the year preceding and the nine months following the benchmark month (March) are also subject to revision; seasonally adjusted data are subject to revision back five years. Employment estimates for the months between the most recent March benchmark and the previous year's benchmark are adjusted using a linear "wedge-back" procedure, which assumes that the total estimation error accumulated at a steady rate since the last benchmark. For the nine months following the March benchmark (also referred to as the postbenchmark period), CES applies previously derived over-the-month sample changes to the revised March level to get the revised estimates (see Revisions in the post benchmark period). New net birth/death model estimates also are calculated and applied during postbenchmark estimation. More information on benchmarks in the CES program is available in the Benchmarks section of the CES Technical Notes at www.bls.gov/web/empsit/cestn.htm#section6b.
The CES sample alone is not sufficient for estimating the total nonfarm employment level because each month new firms generate employment that cannot be captured through the sample. There is an unavoidable lag between a firm opening for business and its appearance on the CES sample frame. The sample frame is built from Unemployment Insurance (UI) quarterly tax records. These records cover virtually all U.S. employers and include business births, but they only become available for updating the CES sampling frame 7 to 9 months after the reference month. After the births appear on the frame, there is also time required for sampling, contacting, and soliciting cooperation from the firm, and verifying the initial data provided. In practice, BLS cannot sample and begin to collect data from new firms until they are at least a year old.
BLS has researched both sample-based and model-based approaches to measuring birth units that have not yet appeared on the UI universe frame. The research demonstrated that sampling for births was not feasible in the very short CES production timeframes, so the Bureau utilizes a model-based approach for this component. This model incorporates two components, the first component is an indirect imputation for business deaths and the second component is an Autoregressive Integrated Moving Average (ARIMA) time series model designed to estimate the net birth/death employment not accounted for by the imputation from the first component. More information on the CES birth/death model is available in the Birth/Death Model section of the CES Technical Notes at www.bls.gov/web/empsit/cestn.htm#section5c.
Only error from the second component is directly measurable. Error from this component is measured by comparing the actual net of births and deaths with the model-based adjustment that was used in the CES sample-based estimates. Most recently, the data from April 2014 to March 2015 can be measured. As Table 7 shows, the actual net birth/death for April 2014 to March 2015 was approximately 79,000 above the forecasted amount used in the CES monthly estimates for the same time period.
Table 7. Differences between forecasted and actual net birth/death, total private employment, April 2014 – March 2015 (in thousands)
Typically, five years’ worth of seasonally adjusted data are revised with each CES annual benchmark. As with the not seasonally adjusted data, if additional seasonally adjusted revisions to the seasonal adjustment data are made with a benchmark, those revisions will be noted in previous sections of this article.
For technical information on how seasonal adjustment is performed in the CES program, refer to the Seasonal Adjustment section of the CES Technical Notes, available at www.bls.gov/web/empsit/cestn.htm#section5e.
For more information on seasonal adjustment model specifications and special model adjustments, please see the Seasonal Adjustment Model Specification List section of the CES Seasonal Adjustment Files and Documentation page, available at www.bls.gov/web/empsit/cesseasadj.htm#samodel.
LABSTAT, the BLS public database, contains all historical employment, hours, and earnings data revised as a result of this benchmark, including both not seasonally adjusted and seasonally adjusted data. The data can be accessed at www.bls.gov/ces, the CES homepage.
Previously published data are available on both a not seasonally adjusted and seasonally adjusted basis for all CES industries down to the 3-digit level from the CES Vintage Data page, available at www.bls.gov/ces/cesvininfo.htm.
1CES estimates data in two ways: directly and indirectly. Directly estimated data types refer to data types for which estimates are calculated directly from the responding sample. Indirectly estimated data types refer to data types for which estimates are calculated from other directly estimated data types. Average weekly earnings of all employees and indexes of aggregate weekly hours of all employees are examples of indirectly estimated data types. For more information on indirectly estimated data types, see the CES Technical Notes available at www.bls.gov/web/empsit/cestn.htm.