Electronic Data Reporting
Chapter 6 - Data Transmittal Procedures
The CES and MWR programs have established a central EDI Center to receive data from large multiple-establishment firms. As your firm's representative, you will create files of data in CES and/or MWR standardized formats. While electronic data reporting is preferred, the EDI Center can accept data files on magnetic media such as cartridge, tape, or diskette.
When your firm is ready to begin reporting data to the EDI Center, please notify the EDI Center in advance so that we can prepare for its receipt. If you wish to submit your data on magnetic medium, such as cartridge, tape, or diskette, the EDI Center will also assist in the creation of a test transmittal and provide additional instructions, if necessary. Once you are ready to submit your data, or if you need any additional information, please contact the EDI Center (see Section 1.4).
6.1 Electronic Transmission
The EDI Center offers several modes for file transfer including standard File Transfer Protocol (FTP) and secure Web file transfer. The BLS staff will work with your data processing staff to establish and maintain connectivity. To ensure data security and confidentiality BLS requests that all files be encrypted using standard 128 bite encryption technology.
The section below describes more fully the basic file transfer options available. If these options do not suit your needs we will work with your IT staff to explore other transmission options.
Web File Transfer:
- Prior to transmitting CES or MWR data to BLS, the data must be encrypted. This provides data security while files are in transit.
BLS currently supports two encryption software products: COMM-PRESS ver. 3.4.1 and PGP Personal Privacy ver. 6.5.1. COM-PRESS is more commonly used on mainframe systems, while PGP is more commonly used on PC-based systems.
If a firm is using a different encryption package, we will make every effort to work with the firm to accommodate that package.
For more information on COMM-PRESS: www.comm-press.com; telephone number is 972-550-7694.
For more information on PGP: www.pgp.com: telephone number is 1-888-747-3011 or 972-308-9960.
- Only authorized firms can report via FTP. Thus, the firms must provide BLS with their IP address. BLS will contact you and request your IP address.
- Once permission has been granted, BLS will provide the firm with a username and the initial password required for transmitting data via FTP. This information will be provided through the telephone or mail.
- Firms must name their files according to the following naming convention: XXXCES.TXT or XXXMWR.TXT, where XXX is a three-letter company abbreviation, CES denotes data for the Current Employment Statistics program, and MWR denotes data for the Multiple Worksite Report. If you are reporting both CES and MWR data on a single file, please use the CES name. The BLS FTP system will only accept files with this naming convention.
- Firms should transmit data files to the following BLS IP Address: 126.96.36.199 or www.ces.bls.gov
- You will be given a directory that you can drop the files in.
- To ensure that all transmission paths are operational, BLS recommends a successful test transmission of non-sensitive information prior to beginning actual data transmission.
- The firm can use any automated or manual process for FTP logon and transmission.
For Web file transfer, you create the data file per BLS specifications and then transmit it via the Internet. An account number and password will be provided to you. With this option, all you need is access to the Internet. The file is automatically encrypted and transmitted to a secure server.
BLS can also accept files via other media such as magnetic tape, cartridge, CD, or diskette. Section 6.2 provides additional information regarding magnetic media process.
6.2 Media Transmission
Data files submitted via magnetic tape should be in ASCII or EBCDIC format using standard IBM labels. Tapes are recommended to be 6250 BPI with a block size of 23450 (the block size for a 350-character record). The EDI Center can process only 3480 compatible cartridges.
Magnetic media should be mailed to:
BLS EDI Center
The EDI Center will not return cartridges, tapes, or diskettes unless specifically requested to do so.
230 S. Dearborn St.
Chicago, IL 60604
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Last Modified Date: September 29, 2005