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Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages

Employment and Wages, Annual Averages 2001

The annual bulletin Employment and Wages contains employment and wage data from the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) program aggregated by State and industry. The latest bulletin can be ordered from the U.S. Government Printing Office.


The data contained in this bulletin represent the complete count of employment and wages for workers covered by unemployment insurance programs during 2001 in the 50 States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. These data are the product of a Federal-State cooperative program known as the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) program. State Employment Security Agencies compile the data from reports filed by employers each quarter. The Bureau of Labor Statistics aggregates the data by industry and ownership. These aggregations are available at the county, Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), Consolidated Metropolitan Statistical Area (CMSA), State, and national levels. Only State- and national-level aggregates appear in the tables in this publication. A map showing change in employment in large counties appears as well.

This is the first year in which the QCEW data are produced based on the North American Industry Classification System, or NAICS. NAICS is the product of a cooperative effort on the part of the statistical agencies of the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Due to differences in structure between NAICS and the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) system that was previously used, industry data for 2001 will not be comparable with the SIC-based data for earlier years.

Material in this publication is in the public domain and, with appropriate credit, may be reproduced without permission. This information is available to sensory impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone: (202) 691-5200; Federal Relay Service: 1-800-877-8339.


Members of the Office of Employment and Unemployment Statistics prepared this bulletin. They are Michael B. Buso, Amanda Chadwick, Brett J. Creech, John Dickson, Amber Dodez, Teresa Drugac, James M. Grounds, David R. H. Hiles, William Kistler, Jay Miller, Michael Murphy, James Rice, Eli Stoltzfus, and Linda Wohlford of the Division of Administrative Statistics and Labor Turnover, Richard L. Clayton, Chief. Data were prepared and processed by Zipora Abzug, Barbara Athey, David Baggett, Noel Cox, Micah Earl, Patricia Felder, Angelo Figueroa, John Kennedy, Stephen Lashick, Larry Lie, Leslie Limmer, Sandra Logan, Reuel Paredes, William Plaskie, Carolyn Raines-Fein, Ana Reyes, Leonard Stockman, Jerry Trach, Pat Walker, Joan Wyant and William Yowler, in the Division of Business Establishment Systems, Robert Carlson, Chief.

The Bureau wishes to express its appreciation to employers for their continued cooperation in providing establishment-level data on the Multiple Worksite Report (MWR). The State Employment Security Agencies that collect the data from employers also play a major role in this ongoing program. Their efforts in verifying, editing, and supplying high quality data to the Bureau of Labor Statistics are essential to the accuracy of the data in this bulletin.


This publication presents 2001 annual employment and wages data as defined under the 2002 North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). These data pertain to workers covered by State unemployment insurance (UI) laws and Federal civilian workers covered by the Unemployment Compensation for Federal Employees (UCFE) program. The data for both private sector and public sector workers are reported to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) by the employment security agencies of the 50 States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands as part of the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages program.

In 2001, employers in private industry provided State Employment Security Agencies with quarterly tax reports on monthly employment, quarterly total and taxable wages, and contributions for an average of 109.3 million wage and salary employees in approximately 7.7 million business establishments. Similar reports of monthly employment and quarterly wages were submitted by the Federal Government for 2.8 million civilian employees, by State governments for 4.5 million employees, and by local governments for 13.1 million employees. Covered employment reported by these sources constituted a virtual census (97.1 percent) of employees on nonfarm payrolls. The principal exclusions from UI and UCFE coverage are cited in the appendix, "Characteristics and Uses of the Data," which follows the tables.

Data are presented by ownership, industry, and State and include the average number of establishments, annual average employment, total wages, and annual and average weekly wages per employee. National employment and wage totals are published for 11 supersectors, 20 sectors, and almost all of the 1,179 six-digit NAICS industries. Private sector data are presented, by State, from the total private ownership level to the six-digit industry level. State, local, and Federal Government data are detailed for selected industries.

Beginning with the release of data for 2001, publications presenting data from the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) program will use the 2002 version of the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) as the basis for the assignment and tabulation of economic data by industry. NAICS is the product of a cooperative effort on the part of the statistical agencies of the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Due to differences in structure between NAICS and the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) system that was previously used, industry data for 2001 will not be comparable with the SIC-based data for earlier years.

NAICS uses a production-oriented approach to categorize economic units. Units with similar production processes are classified in the same industry. NAICS focuses on how products and services are created, as opposed to the SIC focus on what is produced. This approach yields industry groupings that are significantly different from those produced using the SIC approach.

Data users will be able to work with new NAICS industrial groupings that better reflect the workings of the U.S. economy. For example, a new industry sector called Information brings together units which turn information into a commodity with units which distribute that commodity. Informations major components are publishing, broadcasting, telecommunications, information services, and data processing. Under the SIC system, these units were spread across the manufacturing, communications, business services, and amusement services groups. Another new sector of interest is Professional and Technical Services. This sector consists of establishments engaged in activities to which human capital is the major input.

Users interested in more information about NAICS can access the BLS Web page at and the U.S. Census Bureau Web page at The NAICS 2002 manual may be obtained by accessing the National Technical Information Service (NTIS) Web page at


Characteristics and uses of the data


The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) compiled the data in this publication as part of the operations of its Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) program. The data are derived from the quarterly tax reports submitted to State Employment Security Agencies by employers subject to State unemployment insurance (UI) laws and from Federal agencies subject to the Unemployment Compensation for Federal Employees (UCFE) program. Each quarter, State agencies edit and process the data and send the information to BLS in Washington, DC.

Unemployment insurance laws and coverage

Initially, the Federal Unemployment Insurance Tax Act (1938) applied only to firms employing at least 8 persons for a minimum of 20 weeks in a calendar year and excluded certain categories of workers. Amendments to Title XV of the Social Security Actthe program of Unemployment Compensation for Federal Employeesextended coverage to Federal civilian employees effective January 1, 1955, and to workers in firms employing from four to seven workers effective January 1, 1956.

Federal legislation, effective January 1, 1972, extended coverage of State unemployment insurance systems to firms employing 1 worker or more in 28 States and expanded some of the statutory coverage provisions. The remaining States had previously extended coverage to these small employers. The 1972 legislation also brought coverage to employees of State hospitals, colleges, and universities.

The Federal Unemployment Compensation Amendments of 1976 incorporated major changes in State unemployment insurance laws effective January 1, 1978. Under the Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA), States expanded coverage to include nearly all remaining State and local government employees, employees of nonprofit elementary and secondary schools, and certain domestic workers. Some States began implementing the amendments as early as 1976. The law also brought the Virgin Islands under the UI system.

The 1976 amendments covered agricultural labor if performed for an employer who, in any calendar quarter in the current or preceding calendar year, paid cash remuneration of $20,000 or more for individuals employed in agricultural labor. The 1976 amendments also apply to employers who, on each of some 20 days in 20 different weeks during the current or preceding calendar year, employed at least 10 individuals in agricultural labor.

Under a 1981 Supreme Court ruling, schools affiliated with religious organizations are not required to be covered under the UI system. Many of these schools, however, continue to cover their employees on a voluntary basis. Special provisions for railroad workers are made through the Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act. Data for workers covered under the Railroad Retirement Board and for those covered under Unemployment Compensation for Ex-servicemen (UCX) programs are excluded from the tables in this publication.

Comparisons of data from one State to another should take into consideration the differences in UI laws between States. In addition, when UI-covered private industry employment data are compared directly with other employment series, the coverage exclusions should be taken into account.

Excluded from private sector coverage in 2001 were approximately:


Number (in millions)

Wage and salary agricultural workers


Self-employed farmers


Self-employed nonagricultural workers


Domestic workers


Unpaid family workers


State and local government workers


Railroad workers


Certain types of nonprofit employers, such as religious organizations, are given a choice of coverage or exclusion in a number of States. Workers in these organizations are, therefore, reported to a limited degree. Details on coverage laws are provided in Comparison of State Unemployment Insurance Laws, available upon request from the Employment and Training Administration of the U.S. Department of Labor.

Industrial classification

Employment and wage data developed in the QCEW program have been classified by industry since 1938. An industrial code is assigned to each establishment by the State agency, based on a description provided by the employer on a questionnaire. If a private or government employer conducts different activities at various establishments or installations, separate industrial codes are assigned, to the extent possible, to each establishment.

The data presented in this bulletin are classified in accordance with the 2002 North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). The NAICS manual defines:

  • 20 sectors
  • 100 subsectors
  • 317 four-digit industry groups
  • 725 five-digit NAICS industries
  • 1,179 six-digit industries.

BLS has extended the NAICS coding upwards, into two domains and 11 supersectors. Additionally, BLS has extended NAICS downward in subsector 238, Specialty trade contractors, dividing the 19 industries into residential and nonresidential categories.

BLS files also include totals for unclassified records at each NAICS level of aggregation. Unclassified is its own supersector under the service-producing domain.

BLS publishes NAICS industry data under the principle that, so long as there is additional detail to be gained by publishing the next lower level, it will do so. This principle of "congruent data" means that BLS will publish all data to the six-digit industry level if there are two or more six-digit industries. If there is only one such industry, BLS publishes only the five-digit NAICS industry level. Likewise, if there is only one six-digit industry and one five-digit NAICS industry under a four-digit industry group, BLS will publish only the four-digit industry group. At this time, there are 7 four-digit industry groups that roll up to the three-digit subsector level, 68 five-digit NAICS industries that roll up to the four-digit industry group level, and 415 six-digit industries that roll up to the five-digit NAICS industry level.

Additionally, there are two six-digit industries that have a significant last digit of "0." These are Commercial lithographic printing, NAICS 323110; and Electromedical apparatus manufacturing, NAICS 334510. Both of the five-digit NAICS industries have 10 six-digit industries under them. Thus, NAICS codes should not be padded with zeroes.

To ensure the highest possible quality of data, State Employment Security Agencies verify and update, if necessary, the NAICS, location, and ownership classifications of all establishments on a 3-year cycle. Government units in the public administration sector, however, are verified less frequently. Each year, changes in establishment classification codes resulting from the verification process are introduced with the data reported for the first quarter.

Indian Tribal Data

Effective January 2001, the QCEW program began assigning Indian Tribal Councils and related establishments to local government ownership. This BLS action was in response to a change in Federal law dealing with the way Indian Tribes are treated under FUTA. This law requires federally recognized Indian Tribes to be treated similarly to State and local governments. In the past, the QCEW program coded Indian Tribal Councils and related establishments in the private sector.

As a result of the new law, QCEW data will reflect significant shifts in employment and wages between the private sector and local government from 2000 to 2001. BLS incorporated this change in first-quarter 2001 data because of the immediate effectiveness of the law, signed December 21, 2000. Data will also reflect industry changes. In addition to the change to local government, the industry codes of federally recognized Indian Tribal Councils were changed. Those accounts previously assigned to civic and social organizations were assigned to tribal governments. There were no required industry changes for related establishments owned by these Tribal Councils. These tribal business establishments continued to be coded according to the nature of their economic activity.


In general, QCEW monthly employment data represent the number of covered workers who worked during, or received pay for, the pay period that included the 12th day of the month. Virtually all workers are reported in the State in which their jobs are physically located.

Covered private industry employment includes most corporate officials, executives, supervisory personnel, professionals, clerical workers, wage earners, piece workers, and part-time workers. It excludes proprietors, the unincorporated self-employed, unpaid family members, and certain farm and domestic workers.

Persons on paid sick leave, paid holiday, paid vacation, and the like are included. Persons on the payroll of more than one firm during the period are counted by each UI-subject employer if they meet the employment definition noted above. Workers are counted even though, in the latter months of the year, their wages may not be subject to unemployment insurance tax. The employment count excludes workers who earned no wages during the entire applicable pay period because of work stoppages, temporary layoffs, illness, or unpaid vacations.

Employment data reported for Federal civilian employees are a byproduct of the operations of State Employment Security Agencies in administering the provisions of Title XV of the Social Security Actthe program of Unemployment Compensation for Federal Employees. Federal employment data are based on reports of monthly employment and quarterly wages submitted each quarter to State agencies for all Federal installations with employees covered by the Act, except for certain national security agencies, which are omitted for security reasons.

Employment of all Federal agencies for any given month is based on the number of persons who worked during or received pay for the pay period that included the 12th of the month.

Establishments and employment size

An establishment is an economic unit, such as a farm, mine, factory, or store, that produces goods or provides services. It is typically at a single physical location and engaged in one, or predominantly one, type of economic activity for which a single industrial classification may be applied. Occasionally, a single physical location encompasses two or more distinct and significant activities. Each activity is reported as a separate establishment if separate records are kept, and the various activities are classified under different NAICS industries.

Most employers have only one establishment; thus, the establishment is the predominant reporting unit or statistical entity for reporting employment and wages data. Most employers who operate more than one establishment in a State file a Multiple Worksite Report (MWR) each quarter, in addition to their quarterly UI report. The MWR form is used to collect separate employment and wage data for each of the employers establishments, which are not detailed on the UI report. Some very small multiestablishment employers do not file a MWR. When the total employment in an employers secondary establishments (all establishments other than the largest) is 10 or fewer, the employer generally will file a consolidated report for all establishments. Also, some employers either cannot or will not report at the establishment level and thus aggregate establishments into one consolidated unit, or possibly several units, though not at the establishment level.

Prior to 1991, employers provided covered employment and wages data on a "reporting unit" basis. Reporting unit data typically provided detail only for different county locations or industrial operations within a State. Nonstandard forms, similar in concept to the MWR and called the Statistical Supplement, were used by States to collect these county industry data. Although reporting units were, for the most part, individual establishments, employers could provide a summary of their employment and wages data for multiple establishments within a county that were conducting the same type of industrial activity. For example, a fast-food business might have submitted a single report that covered all its operations within a county prior to 1991; on the MWR, the employer reports employment and wages data for each individual location.

For government, the reporting unit is the installation: a single location at which a department, agency, or other government body has civilian employees. Federal agencies follow slightly different criteria than do private employers when breaking down their reports by installation. They are permitted to combine as a single statewide unit (1) all installations with 10 workers or fewer and (2) all installations that have a combined total in the State of fewer than 50 workers. Also, when there are fewer than 25 workers in all secondary installations in a State, the secondary installations may be combined and reported with the major installation. Lastly, if a Federal agency has fewer than five employees in a State, the agency headquarters office (regional office, district office) serving each State may consolidate the employment and wages data for that State with the data reported to the State in which the headquarters is located. As a result of these reporting rules, the number of reporting units is always larger than the number of employers (or government agencies) but smaller than the number of actual establishments (or installations).

Data reported for the first quarter of 2001 were tabulated into size categories ranging from worksites of very small size to those with 1,000 employees or more. The size category is determined by the establishments March employment level. It is important to note that data for each establishment of a multiestablishment firm are tabulated separately into the appropriate size category. The total employment level of the reporting multiestablishment firm is not used in the size tabulation.


Total wages

Covered employers in most States report total compensation paid during the calendar quarter, regardless of when the services were performed. A few State laws, however, specify that wages be reported for or based on the period during which services are performed rather than the period during which compensation is paid. Under most State laws or regulations, wages include bonuses, stock options, the cash value of meals and lodging, tips and other gratuities, and, in some States, employer contributions to certain deferred compensation plans such as 401(k) plans.

Covered employer contributions for old-age, survivors, and disability insurance (OASDI), health insurance, unemployment insurance, workers compensation, and private pension and welfare funds are not reported as wages. Employee contributions for the same purposes, however, as well as money withheld for income taxes, union dues, and so forth, are reported even though they are deducted from the workers gross pay.

Wages of covered Federal workers represent the gross amount of all payrolls for all pay periods ending within the quarter. This includes cash allowances, the cash equivalent of any type of remuneration, severance pay, withholding taxes, and retirement deductions. Federal employee remuneration generally covers the same types of services as does remuneration for workers in private industry. Depending on the method (cash or accrual basis) used by the Federal agency in preparing its quarterly summary balance, the gross amount of payrolls is either paid or payable.

Average wages

Average annual wages per employee for any given industry are computed by dividing total annual wages by annual average employment. A further division by 52 yields average weekly wages per employee. Annual pay data only approximate annual earnings because an individual may not be employed by the same employer all year or may work for more than one employer at a time.

Average weekly or annual pay is affected by the ratio of full-time to part-time workers, as well as by the numbers of individuals in high-paying and low-paying occupations. When comparing average pay levels between States and industries, data users should take these factors into consideration. For example, industries characterized by high proportions of part-time workers will show average wage levels appreciably less than the weekly pay levels of regular full-time employees in these industries. The opposite is true of industries with low proportions of part-time workers, or industries that typically schedule heavy weekend and overtime work. Average wage data also may be influenced by work stoppages, labor turnover, retroactive payments, seasonal factors, and bonus payments.

Disclosure restrictions

In accordance with BLS policy, data reported to the agency in confidence are not published and are used only for specified statistical purposes. BLS withholds publication of UI-covered employment and wage data for any industry level when necessary to protect the identity of cooperating employers. Totals at the industry level for the States and the Nation include the nondisclosable data suppressed within the detailed tables. However, these totals cannot be used to reveal the suppressed data.

Imputed data

To reduce the effect of data excluded because of late reporting by covered private and government employers, State agencies impute employment and wages for such employers and include them in each quarterly report. Corrections to data that may be entered after a report is filed will include replacement of imputations with reported data to the extent possible. Imputations are calculated at the individual establishment level, normally using historical data reported by the employer. Sometimes, trends reported by employers in the same industry or information obtained from other sources also are used. If a report remains delinquent for more than one quarter and research shows that it is still active, the data for the establishment will again be imputed.

Comparison of ES-202 covered employment data with other series

Current Employment Statistics program. BLS and the State Employment Security Agencies cooperate in the operation of the Current Employment Statistics (CES) program. In this program, the State agencies are responsible for preparing current employment estimates for the States and for many metropolitan labor market areas, while BLS is responsible for monthly employment estimates for the Nation. CES estimates of employment, average weekly and hourly earnings, and average weekly hours are derived from an employer survey of approximately 300,000 nonfarm establishments, selected primarily from the QCEW administrative records of UI-covered employers. The national and State industry CES estimates are then benchmarked annually to the QCEW employment data. Supplemental sources are used in benchmarking industries that have noncovered workers.

Current Population Survey. The Current Population Survey (CPS) is conducted monthly for BLS by the U.S. Census Bureau. CPS employment data are estimated from a survey of about 60,000 U.S. households, while QCEW employment data are based on a universe of 8.0 million U.S. covered employer establishments. The CPS counts employed persons, whereas the QCEW program counts encumbered jobs during the reporting period. Consequently, the CPS includes those persons "with a job but not at work" who earn no wagesfor example, workers on extended unpaid leaves of absence. The QCEW data, on the other hand, exclude unpaid workers. The QCEW data count separately each job held by multiple jobholders. The CPS counts such workers once, in the job at which they worked the greatest number of hours. The CPS counts employed persons at their place of residence; the QCEW program counts jobs at the place of work. The CPS also differs from the QCEW program in that it includes self-employed persons, unpaid family workers employed 15 hours or more during the survey period, and a greater proportion of agricultural and domestic workers. The CPS data exclude persons under age 16, while the QCEW program counts all covered workers regardless of age.

Office of Personnel Management data.  The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) publishes a statistical series on Federal employment and payrolls with information on employing agencies, types of positions and appointments, and characteristics of employees. Data on Federal employment covered by the UCFE series provide industry, local area, and monthly employment detail not available in the OPM series. These detailed UCFE data are not published, but are available from BLS upon request.

Both the UCFE and the OPM data exclude members of the Armed Forces, temporary emergency workers employed to cope with catastrophes, and officers and crew members of some U.S. vessels. The UCFE and the OPM data differ in coverage of workers. For example, the UCFE, but not the OPM, includes Department of Defense workers paid from nonappropriated funds, employees of county agricultural stabilization and conservation committees, State and area marketing committees, and the Agricultural Extension Service. The OPM, but not the UCFE, includes workers who are not U.S. citizens and who are employed outside the United States and its territories; workers paid on a contract or fee basis; paid patients or inmates of Federal homes, hospitals, or institutions; and student employees of Federal hospitals, clinics, and laboratories.

The two programs also differ in the payroll reference period. UCFE employment data relate to the payroll period that includes the 12th day of the month. OPM data, however, relate to persons employed on the last workday of the month, plus all intermittent employees.

County Business Patterns

Covered employment data collected through the QCEW program differ from employment data published in the Census Bureaus County Business Patterns (CBP) in the following major areas:

  • CBP data are tabulated based on the 1997 NAICS, with some exceptions; QCEW data are tabulated based on the 2002 NAICS.

  • CBP data exclude auxiliary establishments (except corporate, subsidiary, and regional managing offices) from "operating" establishment data and include data for auxiliary establishments in a separate NAICS sector. QCEW employment, on the other hand, includes data for these establishments at the six-digit industry level.

  • CBP excludes crop and animal production; U.S. Postal Service; pension, health, welfare, and vacation funds; trusts, estates, and agency accounts; private households; and public administration. These are included in QCEW data.

  • CBP excludes most government employees. Most of these workers are included in QCEW employment.

Uses of the data

The QCEW employment and wages data constitute the most complete set of monthly employment and quarterly wage information by six-digit industry at the national, State, CMSA, MSA, and county levels. They have broad economic significance for the evaluation of labor market trends and major industry developments, for time series analyses, and for interindustry comparisons.

The Bureau of Economic Analysis of the U.S. Department of Commerce uses QCEW data as a base for developing the wage and salary component of personal income. QCEW data accounted for approximately 57 percent of personal income in 2001.

QCEW data are used by businesses and by public and private research organizations as one of the best sources of detailed employment and wage statistics for economic forecasting, transportation planning, industry and regional analysis, impact studies, and other uses.

The QCEW program provides data necessary to both the Employment and Training Administration of the U.S. Department of Labor and the State Employment Security Agencies for use in administering the employment security program. The data accurately reflect the extent of coverage of the State unemployment insurance laws and are used to measure UI revenues; national, State, and local area employment; and total and UI-taxable wage trends. The information is used as an input for actuarial studies, determination of employer UI tax experience ratings, and UI benefit levels. Research using QCEW data helps ensure the solvency of the unemployment insurance trust funds. The QCEW data also are used to compute State and national insured unemployment rates for workers covered by UI programs.

The QCEW data also are important for a variety of other BLS programs. A quarterly file containing employer name and address information is created from QCEW administrative records of UI-covered employers, and serves as a sampling frame for BLS establishment-based surveys such as the National Compensation Survey, the Current Employment Statistics program, and the Occupational Employment Statistics survey. The data also serve, for example, as the basic source of benchmark information for employment by industry and by size of establishment in the Current Employment Statistics program, the Occupational Safety and Health Statistics survey, and the Occupational Employment Statistics survey.


How to obtain publications and data

Prior editions of Employment and Wages are out of print, but file copies may be examined at the BLS Washington office and at Federal Depository Libraries. County-level and historical machine-readable data are available from the BLS Washington office. The charge for this service varies according to the complexity and volume of the request. Please request data by mail from the Office of Employment and Unemployment Statistics, Division of Administrative Statistics and Labor Turnover, Room 4840, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Washington, DC 20212. You may also contact us by email; the telephone number is (202) 691-6567. The request should include the name and telephone number of an individual whom BLS may contact if necessary.

Most State Employment Security Agencies have QCEW employment and wage data for both the private and government sectors by county and for major labor market areas. Requests for these detailed data should be made directly to State agencies (listed on the inside back cover of this publication). Data for Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands also are available and may be obtained from the employment security agencies in those jurisdictions.


Last Modified Date: December 18, 2018