The data generated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and its State partners is vital to governmental and private decision makers at every level. Unemployment Insurance (UI) administrative data is the cornerstone of many BLS and State efforts for Economic data. Over the last few years, the Federal government has made grant monies available to States for the modernization of UI operating systems. While we applaud the efforts to modernize UI systems, steps need to be taken to ensure the integrity of BLS and State produced Economic data. Therefore, BLS has created a location for resources to aid in the highest quality of this UI-informed economic data.
The information on this page is meant for those states who are undertaking UI modernization efforts. It provides: governing legislation and policy materials mandating UI and BLS data sharing, technical information for developers, and information and checklists for Labor Market Information Directors and Staff. The content on this page is managed by the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) staff, using information from Federal and State government agencies involved with the management of UI systems, UI system support agencies and groups, and other publicly available resources related to UI modernization.
The UI extract pulls data from the Unemployment Insurance system and delivers it into the LMI shop where is edited and refined. Necessary data elements, data sources, and extract timing and frequency guidelines can be found in the QCEW UI Extract Guide. The QCEW extracts Wage Records to aide in editing employment and wages, and establishment linkages. Wage record extracts should be in the LEHD file format which is included below.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS) program is a federal-state cooperative effort in which monthly estimates of total employment and unemployment are prepared for approximately 7,000 areas. LAUS customers include private industry, researchers, media, and several federal programs. These programs use LAUS data to allocate federal funds to states and areas and to make eligibility determinations for assistance.
The development of accurate LAUS estimates depends on the availability of Unemployment Insurance (UI) extracts that meet BLS specifications. Maintaining the quality and timeliness of UI inputs ensures that accurate LAUS estimates remain available to the American public and to the various federal agencies that use LAUS data in their allocation formulas.
It is imperative that LMI Directors and QCEW Supervisors be aware of the changes made in the UI system that are relevant to the QCEW extract. It is also imperative that LMI Directors and QCEW Supervisors safeguard the QCEW extract to ensure the data are continuous and maintain their integrity. The documents below are meant to provide you guidelines as you navigate the UI modernization process.
Last Modified Date: August 23, 2023