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Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages

Establishment Size Data Available from QCEW

In addition to richly detailed employment and wage data, the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) program produces data on private-sector establishments, employment, and wages stratified by size of establishment for the first quarter of each year. The size class of each establishment is determined by the March employment level. These size class data are available at the national level by 6-digit NAICS industry, and at the State level by NAICS sector. The most complete versions of these data are available from the QCEW data files. A limited portion of the data are available from the publication database, and from Tables 3 and 4 of the bulletins of the Employment and Wages, Annual Averages Online. For more information on the QCEW data files, see our data guide.

It is important to note that each establishment of a multi-establishment firm is tabulated separately into the appropriate size category. The total employment level of the reporting multi-establishment company is not used in the size tabulation.

An alternate source of data by company or firm size is the BLS Business Employment Dynamics program which produces tabulations on employment levels as well as employment dynamics stratified by firm size. Two popular tables from that program are Distribution of private sector employment by firm size class and Distribution of private sector firms by size class. These tables are done for the first quarter of each year, beginning with data for 1993.

QCEW uses standard establishment size strata for related data tabulations. These size strata use codes and titles described in QCEW documentation for NAICS coded data and SIC coded data. For reference, the size code standards were established by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in a 1982 directive, The Comparability of Statistics on Business Size.

Please contact QCEWInfo at 202.691.6567 or through our Email Contact form with any related questions or concerns.

Last Modified Date: January 26, 2024