CES Text File Dataset Reorganization

NOTE: This document was corrected on April 10, 2017. In Section 2, in the description of the 4 parts of a file name, the original heading for 3.b incorrectly stated that codes listed were for employment. The heading now correctly identifies the codes as being for all employee hours and earnings.

Effective with the release of estimates on June 2, 2017, the Current Employment Statistics program will reorganize the CES datasets stored as text files at https://download.bls.gov/pub/time.series/ce/. The basic format of the files will not change, but the contents will. For example, there will no longer be separate files with historical data prior to 1990 and current files with data since 1990; the reorganized files will include all historical and current data for each series they cover.

The data contained in the text files are highly suited for statistical software packages that manipulate large datasets. The files will be arranged first on a broad industry base, followed by industry specific groupings. The series of mapping files, which define variables in the datasets will not change.

The following information identifies and describes the multi-series text files that will be available for download from https://download.bls.gov/pub/time.series/ce/.

See www.bls.gov/ces/cescetextcompare.htm for a table showing how the CE datasets stored as text files prior to June 2, 2017 will map to the reorganized files.

Current Employment Statistics: Employment, Hours, and Earnings--National (CE) ce.txt

Section Listing

  1. Survey Definition
  2. Text files listed in the survey directory
  3. Time series, series file, data file, & mapping file definitions and relationships
  4. Series file format and field definitions
  5. Data file format and field definitions
  6. Mapping file formats and field definitions
  7. Data Element Dictionary

Section 1

Definition of CURRENT EMPLOYMENT STATISTICS: EMPLOYMENT, HOURS, AND EARNINGS—NATIONAL (CE)

Survey Description:

The Current Employment Statistics (CES) program provides estimates of employment, hours, and earnings information on a national basis and in considerable industry detail. The Bureau of Labor Statistics collects payroll data each month from a sample of business and government establishments in all nonfarm activities.

Employment data include series for total employment, number of women employees, and number of production or nonsupervisory employees. Estimates of average hourly earnings, average weekly hours, average weekly earnings, and average weekly overtime hours are produced for both all employees and for production or nonsupervisory employees. Overtime hours are produced for manufacturing industries only.

A sample of approximately 147,000 businesses and government agencies representing approximately 634,000 worksites throughout the United States is utilized for this monthly survey. The sample contains about 300,000 employer units.

All employment, hours and earnings series are classified according to the 2012 North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). The industry code used in the survey corresponds to the NAICS code, except in those cases where multiple industries have been combined.

Summary of Data Available:

For all employees, women employees, and production or nonsupervisory employees, CES publishes about 4,300 monthly series. The series for all employees cover more than 900 industries on both a seasonally adjusted and not seasonally adjusted basis.

For private-sector industries, nearly 7,500 series are published each month for average weekly earnings, average hourly earnings, average weekly hours, and, in manufacturing, average weekly overtime hours. Hours and earnings data for all employees are available for about 620 industries and for production or nonsupervisory employees about 550 industries.

From the employment, hours, and earnings series, CES produces about 7,500 derivative series, such as indexes and real earnings series.

Most employment series begin in 1990, although some series, including industry supersectors, are available from 1939. Supersectors include: mining and logging; construction; manufacturing; trade, transportation, and utilities; information; financial activities; professional and business services, education and health services; leisure and hospitality, other services, and government.

Frequency of Observations:

Data series are monthly in most cases; quarterly averages are available for total employment, average weekly hours, and average overtime hours, seasonally adjusted (datatypes 19, 20, 25, 36, and 37).

Annual averages are available for all series that are not adjusted for seasonality (except for the 12-month diffusion index series).

Data Characteristics:

Earnings are measured in dollars and are published to the nearest cent (two decimal places). Average weekly and overtime hours are measured in hours and are published to the nearest tenth of an hour (one decimal place).

Employment is measured in thousands of workers and is stored with no decimal place for all supersectors and for both durable goods and nondurable goods in manufacturing. Employment for all other industries are stored to one decimal place.

Special characteristics of the data are footnoted where necessary. For example; I indicates that the seasonally adjusted series is independently seasonally adjusted and not used in aggregating to higher summary industries. For all employees, higher summary series, such as total nonfarm, are aggregated up from the 3-digit NAICS level.

Release Schedule: https://www.bls.gov/ces/ces_tabl.htm

Releases are usually available on the third Friday following the week containing the 12th of the reference month (the reference period is the pay period that includes the 12th of the month). Each release contains first preliminary estimates for the reference month, second preliminary estimates for the month preceding the reference month, and third final estimates for the month two months prior to the reference month.

Each year with the release of January estimates in February, CES data are re-anchored to universe counts of nonfarm employment or benchmarks for the most recent March. For example, CES introduced March 2016 benchmark counts with the release of January 2017 first preliminary estimates in February 2017. On a not seasonally adjusted basis, all series are subject to revision back to the prior year’s benchmarked data (21 months of data), while seasonally adjusted estimates may be revised back 5 years (or more).

References: BLS Handbook of Methods, Chapter 2, "Employment, hours, and earnings from the establishment survey", https://www.bls.gov/opub/hom/pdf/homch2.pdf

Section 2

Text files listed in the survey directory

Text files allow data users to retrieve large amounts of data with one selection. These datasets are highly suited for statistical software that manipulate large datasets. The files are arranged first on a broad industry base, followed by industry specific groups. In addition to data files, a series of mapping files are also available and provide a means for identifying all variables in the data files. This section identifies and describes the multi-series text files available for download from the LABSTAT database at https://download.bls.gov/pub/time.series/ce/.

The first four files contain data for most or all supersectors combined.

  • ce.data.0.ALLCESSeries - contains the entire history of all series currently published by the CES program.
    This file and its content has not changed, allowing past data users to continue using their existing programs to retrieve the data.

  • ce.data.01a.CurrentSeasAE - contains every seasonally adjusted all employee series and its complete history.

  • ce.data.02b.AllRealEarningsAE - contains the complete history of real earnings of all employees for every industry for which CES also publishes current dollar earnings series.
    The series in this file include (data type number in parenthesis):
    • Average Weekly Earnings of All Employees $82-84 (12)
    • Average Hourly Earnings of All Employees $82-84 (13)

  • ce.data.03c.AllRealEarningsPE - contains the complete history of real earnings of production or nonsupervisory employees for every industry for which CES also publishes current dollar earnings series.
    The series in this file include:
    • Average Weekly Earnings of Production Employees, $82-84 (31)
    • Average Hourly Earnings of Production Employees, $82-84 (32)

The remaining CES text files are categorized first by Supersector, then by groups of datatypes.

The list of CES supersectors in LABSTAT are shown in https://download.bls.gov/pub/time.series/ce/ce.supersector.

The list of CES datatypes in LABSTAT are shown in https://download.bls.gov/pub/time.series/ce/ce.datatype.

Each filename contains four parts separated by a period (.). For example: ce.data.05b.TotalPrivate.AllEmployeeHoursAndEarnings

The 4 parts to the filename are:
  1. ce - the data in the file pertain to the national estimates from the CES survey.
  2. data - the file contains data as opposed to mapping files (mentioned later).
  3. 2 numerical digits plus 1 alpha character - the digits identify a Supersector or other major industry grouping, and the alpha character Represents a data type package label, where,
    • a - Employment - includes all employment datatypes (Datatype codes shown in parentheses):
      • All employees (01)
      • Production or nonsupervisory employees (06)
      • Women employees (10)
      • 1-month diffusion index (21)
      • 3-month diffusion index (22)
      • 6-month diffusion index (23)
      • 12-month diffusion index (24)
      • All employee quarterly average (25)
      • 3-month moving average change (26)
    • b - Hours and earnings of all employees - includes all hours and earnings datatypes for all employee payroll (Data type numbers shown in parentheses):
      • Average weekly hours for all employees (02)
      • Average hourly earnings for all employees (03)
      • Average overtime hours of all employees (04)
      • Average weekly earnings of all employees (11)
      • Average weekly earnings of all employees $82-84 (12)
      • Average hourly earnings of all employees $82-84 (13)
      • Average hourly earnings of all employees excluding overtime (15)
      • Index of aggregate weekly hours of all employees, 2007=100 (16)
      • Index of aggregate weekly payrolls of all employees, 2007=100 (17)
      • Quarterly average weekly hours of all employees (19)
      • Quarterly average weekly overtime hours of all employees (20)
      • Aggregate weekly hours of all employees (56)
      • Aggregate weekly payrolls of all employees (57)
      • Aggregate weekly overtime hours of all employees (58)
    • c - Production employee hours and earnings - includes all hours and earnings data types for production or nonsupervisory employees: (Data type numbers shown in parentheses)
      • Average weekly hours for production employees (07)
      • Average hourly earnings for production employees (08)
      • Average weekly overtime hours of production employees (09)
      • Average weekly earnings of production employees (30)
      • Average weekly earnings of production employees, $82-84 (31)
      • Average hourly earnings of production employees, $82-84 (32)
      • Average hourly earnings of production employees excluding overtime (33)
      • Index of aggregate hours of production employees, 2002=100 (34)
      • Index of aggregate payrolls of production employees, 2002=100 (35)
      • Quarterly average weekly hours of production employees (36)
      • Quarterly average weekly overtime hours of production employees (37)
      • Aggregate weekly hours of production employees (81)
      • Aggregate weekly payrolls of production employees (82)
      • Aggregate weekly overtime hours of production employees (83)
  4. File Description - a two phase descriptive listing of data file contents. The first half is the supersector or industry name (list of supersectors and industries are in http://download.bls.gov/pub/time.series/ce/ce.supersector ). The second half is the data type grouping (employment, all employee hours and earnings, and production employee hours and earnings) described above.

The complete list of data files available for retrieval on the text file page follows.

  • ce.data.0.ALLCESSeries
  • ce.data.01a.CurrentSeasAE
  • ce.data.02b.AllRealEarningsAE
  • ce.data.03c.AllRealEarningsPE
  • ce.data.00a.TotalNonfarm.Employment
  • ce.data.05a.TotalPrivate.Employment
  • ce.data.05b.TotalPrivate.AllEmployeeHoursAndEarnings
  • ce.data.05c.TotalPrivate.ProductionEmployeeHoursAndEarnings
  • ce.data.10a.MiningAndLogging.Employment
  • ce.data.10b.MiningAndLogging.AllEmployeeHoursAndEarnings
  • ce.data.10c.MiningAndLogging.ProductionEmployeeHoursAndEarnings
  • ce.data.20a.Construction.Employment
  • ce.data.20b.Construction.AllEmployeeHoursAndEarnings
  • ce.data.20c.Construction.ProductionEmployeeHoursAndEarnings
  • ce.data.30a.Manufacturing.Employment
  • ce.data.30b.Manufacturing.AllEmployeeHoursAndEarnings
  • ce.data.30c.Manufacturing.ProductionEmployeeHoursAndEarnings
  • ce.data.31a.ManufacturingDurables.Employment
  • ce.data.31b.ManufacturingDurables.AllEmployeeHoursAndEarnings
  • ce.data.31c.ManufacturingDurables.ProductionEmployeeHoursAndEarnings
  • ce.data.32a.ManufacturingNondurables.Employment
  • ce.data.32b.ManufacturingNondurables.AllEmployeeHoursAndEarnings
  • ce.data.32c.ManufacturingNondurables.ProductionEmployeeHoursAndEarnings
  • ce.data.40a.TradeTransportationAndUtilities.Employment
  • ce.data.40b.TradeTransportationAndUtilities.AllEmployeeHoursAndEarnings
  • ce.data.40c.TradeTransportationAndUtilities.ProductionEmployeeHoursAndEarnings
  • ce.data.41a.WholesaleTrade.Employment
  • ce.data.41b.WholesaleTrade.AllEmployeeHoursAndEarnings
  • ce.data.41c.WholesaleTrade.AllEmployeeHoursAndEarnings
  • ce.data.42a.RetailTrade.Employment
  • ce.data.42b.RetailTrade.AllEmployeeHoursAndEarnings
  • ce.data.42c.RetailTrade.ProductionEmployeeHoursAndEarnings
  • ce.data.43a.TransportationAndWarehousingAndUtilities.Employment
  • ce.data.43b.TransportationAndWarehousingAndUtilities.AllEmployeeHoursAndEarnings
  • ce.data.43c.TransportationAndWarehousingAndUtilities.ProductionEmployeeHoursAndEarnings (Very long name-all continuous)
  • ce.data.50a.Information.Employment
  • ce.data.50b.Information.AllEmployeeHoursAndEarnings
  • ce.data.50c.Information.ProductionEmployeeHoursAndEarnings
  • ce.data.55a.FinancialActivities.Employment
  • ce.data.55b.FinancialActivities.AllEmployeeHoursAndEarnings
  • ce.data.55c.FinancialActivities.ProductionEmployeeHoursAndEarnings
  • ce.data.60a.ProfessionalBusinessServices.Employment
  • ce.data.60b.ProfessionalBusinessServices.AllEmployeeHoursAndEarnings
  • ce.data.60c.ProfessionalBusinessServices.ProductionEmployeeHoursAndEarnings
  • ce.data.65a.EducationandHealthCare.Employment
  • ce.data.65b.EducationandHealthCare.AllEmployeeHoursAndEarnings
  • ce.data.65c.EducationandHealthCare.ProductionEmployeeHoursAndEarnings
  • ce.data.70a.LeisureAndHospitality.Employment
  • ce.data.70b.LeisureAndHospitality.AllEmployeeHoursAndEarnings
  • ce.data.70c.LeisureAndHospitality.ProductionEmployeeHoursAndEarnings
  • ce.data.80a.OtherServices.Employment
  • ce.data.80b.OtherServices.AllEmployeeHoursAndEarnings
  • ce.data.80c.OtherServices.ProductionEmployeeHoursAndEarnings
  • ce.data.90a.Government.Employment

Additionally, the following files are available and will be described in later sections of this document.

  • ce.contacts - Contact information for the national CES program
  • ce.datatype - Data_type_code mapping file
  • ce.footnote - Footnote codes mapping file
  • ce.industry - Industry codes mapping file
  • ce.period - Period codes mapping file
  • ce.seasonal - Seasonal Adjustment codes mapping file
  • ce.series - All available series numbers with series titles
  • ce.supersector - Super sector codes mapping file
  • ce.txt - General information (this document)

Section 3

Time series, series file, data file, & mapping file definitions and relationships

A time series refers to a set of data observed over an extended period of time for a consistent time interval (i.e. monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, annually). BLS time series data are typically produced at monthly intervals and represent data ranging from a specific consumer item in a specific geographical area whose price is gathered monthly to a category of worker in a specific industry whose employment rate is being recorded monthly, etc.

The text files are organized to provide data users with the necessary information to interpret data files:

  1. a series file (only one series file per survey)
  2. mapping files
  3. data files

The series file contains a set of codes which, together, compose a series identification code that serves to uniquely identify a single time series. Additionally, the series file also contains the following series-level information:

  1. the period and year corresponding to the first data observation
  2. the period and year corresponding to the most recent data observation

The mapping files, or definition files, contain explanatory text descriptions that correspond to various codes contained within each series identification code

The data file contains one line of data for each observation period pertaining to a specific time series. Each line contains a reference to the following:

  1. a series identification code
  2. year in which data is observed
  3. period for which data is observed (M13 indicates annual averages)
  4. value
  5. footnote code (if necessary)

Section 4

Series file format and field definitions

The first line of the ce.series files shows several fields or data elements separated by tabs. Each of the remaining lines in ce.series represents one unique CES series. Note that the field numbers are for reference only and do not exist in the LABSTAT database. Data files are in ASCII text format. Each data element is listed below and shows the length of the data element field followed by a value (example). Each series record ends with a new line character.

Field # Data Element Length Value(Example)

1

Series_id 17 CEU0500000001

2

Supersector_code 2 05

3

NAICS tabcode 8 10113300 (industry code)

4

Datatype Code 2 01

5

Series title 104 3 parts to series title:
Datatype,
Industry name,
and seasonality (adjusted or unadjusted)

6

Footnote_codes 10 I (Independent Seasonally Adjusted)

7

Begin_year 4 1939

8

Begin_period 3 M01 (January)

9

End_year 4 2016

10

End_period 3 M12 (December)

The series_id (CEU0500000001) can be broken out further into four variables:

Variable Value

survey abbreviation

CE

seasonal (code)

U or S

CES industry_code

05000000, where 05 is the supersector, and 000000 represents the NAICS industry code

data_type_code

01

Section 5

Data file format and field definitions

The first line of the each data file shows several fields or data elements separated by tabs. Each of the remaining lines in the data file represents one unique CES series and data point and is divided into fields or data elements. Note that the field numbers are for reference only and do not exist in the LABSTAT database. Data files are in ASCII text format. Each data element is listed below and shows the name of the element, the length of the data element field, and a value example. Each data record ends with a new line character.

The ce.data file is partitioned into a number of separate files: See Section 2

The above-referenced data files have the following format:

Field #/Data Element Length Value(Example)

1. series_id

17 CEU0500000001

2. year

4 2003

3. period

3 M01

4. value

12 103623

5. footnote_codes

10 p (Preliminary)

Section 6

Mapping file formats and field definitions

The following represents file formats and field definitions for each mapping file. Note that the field numbers are for reference only; they do not exist in the LABSTAT database. Mapping files are in ASCII text format. Data elements are separated by tabs; the first record of each file contains the data elements stored in the file. Each record ends with a new line character.

File Name: ce.datatype https://download.bls.gov/pub/time.series/ce/ce.datatype
Field #/Data Element Length Value (Example)

1. data_type_code

2 30

2. data_type_text

100 Average Weekly Hours of All Employees

File Name: ce.footnote https://download.bls.gov/pub/time.series/ce/ce.footnote
Field #/Data Element Length Value (Example)

1. footnote_code

1 I

2. footnote_text

100 Text (Preliminary)

File Name: ce.industry https://download.bls.gov/pub/time.series/ce/ce.industry
Field #/Data Element Length Value(Example)

1. industry_code

8 05000000

2. naics_code

13 236

3. publishing_status

2 (AO) (A) Alpha characters displaying published datatypes for industry

4. industry_name

80 (Construction of buildings)

5. display_level

1 Character displaying where industry lies in hierarchy of industries

File Name: ce.period https://download.bls.gov/pub/time.series/ce/ce.period
Field #/Data Element Length Value (Example)

1. period

3 M02

2. period_abbr

5 FEB

3. period_name

20 February

File Name: ce.series https://download.bls.gov/pub/time.series/ce/ce.series
Field #/Data Element Length Value (Example)

1. series_id

13 CES0500000001

2. supersector_code

2 05

3. industry_code

8 05000000

4. data_type_code

2 01

5. seasonal

1 S or U

6. series_title

104 3 parts to series title:
datatype,
industry name,
and seasonality

7. begin_year

4 YYYY (2006)

8. begin_period

3 M01-M13

9. end_year

4 YYYY (2017)

10. end_period

3 M01-M13

File Name: ce.supersector https://download.bls.gov/pub/time.series/ce/ce.supersector
Field #/Data Element Length Value (Example)

1. supersector_code

2 05

2. supersector_name

60 Manufacturing

Section 7

Data Element Dictionary
EMPLOYMENT, HOURS, AND EARNINGS--NATIONAL (CE) DATABASE ELEMENTS
Data Element Length Value (Example) Description

begin_period

3 M01-M13
Ex: M06=June
M13=Annual Avg
Identifies first data observation within the first year for which data is available for a given time series.

begin_year

4 YYYY
Ex: 2006
Identifies first year for which data is available for a given time series

data_type_code

2 30 Code identifying the datatype of the observation.

data_type_text

100 Text
(All employees, thousands)
Datatype name of the observation.

end_period

3 M01-M13
Ex: M06=June
M=Monthly,
M13=Annual Avg)
Identifies last data observation within the last year for which data is available for a given time series.

end_year

4 YYYY
Ex: 2017
Identifies last year for which data is available for a given time series.

footnote_code

1 p Identifies footnote for the data series.

footnote_codes

10 p, I Identifies multiple footnotes for the data series.

footnote_text

100 preliminary Contains the text of the footnote.

industry_code

8 05000000 Code identifying industry.

industry_name

80 Text
(Grocery Stores)
Name of industry.

naics_code

6
Numeric text
(445110)
North American Industry Classification System NAICS) code

period_abbr

5 Period name
(JUN)
Abbreviation of period name. abbreviation

Period

3 M01-M13
M06=June
M13=Annual Average
M=Monthly
Identifies period for which data is observed.

period_name

20 Text (June) Full name of period to which the data observation refers.

publishing_status

2 Alpha characters One or two character(s) displaying the specific datatypes published for the industry.
(A) Employment, average weekly hours, and average hourly and weekly earnings of all employees; employment of women; employment, average weekly hours, and average hourly and weekly earnings of production or nonsupervisory employees.
(B) All employees and employment of women.
(C) All employees.
(D) Employment, average weekly hours, and average hourly and weekly earnings of all employees; employment, average weekly hours, and average hourly and weekly earnings of production or nonsupervisory employees.
(E) Employment, average weekly hours and average hourly and weekly earnings of all employees; employment of women.
(F) Employment and average weekly hours of all employees; and employment and average weekly hours of production or nonsupervisory employees.
(G) Employment, average weekly hours, and average hourly and weekly earnings of all employees.
(H) All employees; employment of women; and employment, average weekly hours, and average hourly and weekly earnings of production or nonsupervisory employees.
(O) Average weekly overtime of production employees and of all employees.
(P) Average weekly overtime of production employees.
(T) Average weekly overtime of all employees.

Seasonal

1 S=Seasonally Adjusted Code identifying whether the data are seasonally adjusted

series_id

17 CEU0500000001 Code identifying the specific series.

supersector_code

2 05 Code identifying the supersector.

supersector_name

60 Text Describes the supersector.

value

12 103623 Data value for series.

year

4 YYYY (1990) Identifies year of observation.

 

Last Modified Date: April 10, 2017