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Current Employment Statistics - CES (National)

Experimental Quarterly Benchmarking from the Current Employment Statistics Survey

The Current Employment Statistics (CES) program has been examining the feasibility of publishing quarterly employment benchmarks.  Prior research indicated that realigning the monthly sample based employment estimates quarterly instead of annually may improve the overall quality of monthly estimates since estimation error would be corrected more frequently.  Additionally, this method could more closely align CES national and state and area benchmarking methodologies. While several different quarterly benchmark methods displayed some potentially viable results at both a national and statewide level, additional research revealed that all of the proposed methods produced numerous critical issues.  These problems included quarterly benchmark revisions larger than one annual benchmark revision, diminished times series quality, and concerns over whether the new methodology would appropriately account for the seasonal differences between CES and the UI-based population counts (QCEW).  Therefore, BLS has decided to halt this research and redirect resources to other program initiatives.