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Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages

Employment and Wages, Annual Averages 2003

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 2003 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 (ES-202). State Workforce 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, consolidated metropolitan statistical area, State, and national levels. Only State- and national-level aggregates appear in the tables in this publication. All of the data, at each level of geography, can be found at In addition, all tables and charts in this publication—including chart 4, a map showing changes in employment in large counties—are available in Portable Document Format (PDF) on this Web site. Questions regarding these data can be addressed by calling the information line at 202-691-6567 or sending email

The QCEW program also provides two quarterly press releases. One presents employment and wages by county and is released approximately 7 months after the reference quarter. The second quarterly release presents gross job gains and losses and is released approximately 8 months after the reference quarter. Known as Business Employment Dynamics (BED), these data were first released in September 2003. Questions about BED data can be directed to the information line at 202-691-6467 or sent by email

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 on request. Voice phone: 202-691-5200; Federal Relay Service: 1-800-877-8339.


Members of the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Office of Employment and Unemployment Statistics prepared this bulletin. They are Michael B. Buso, Joshua Byrge, Amanda Chadwick, Brett J. Creech, John Dickson, Italina DiFulvio, Teresa Drugac, James M. Grounds, David R. H. Hiles, David A. Ivory, William Kistler, Jay Miller, James Rice, Eli Stoltzfus, Erin Thomas, Linda Wohlford, and Rose A. Woods 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, Patricia Felder, John Kennedy, Stephen Kim, Kern Kimbleton, Stephen Lashick, Larry Lie, Sandra Logan, Reuel Paredes, William Plaskie, Carolyn Raines-Fein, Ana Reyes, Leonard Stockmann, Jerry Trach, Pat Walker, Joan Wyant, and William Yowler of the Division of Business Establishment Systems, Robert Carlson, Chief. Cover art was provided by Keith Tapscott, while typesetting and layout were provided by Dorothy Williams and editorial services were provided by Allison Tarmann of the Office of Publications and Special Studies. 

BLS wishes to express its appreciation to U.S. employers for their continued cooperation in providing establishment-level data on the Multiple Worksite Report. This information for each business location is critical to the accurate distribution of employment and wages to the appropriate geographical area and specific industry. To the extent that businesses do not provide such detail, the data are affected.

State Workforce 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 BLS are essential to the accuracy of this bulletin and are appreciated. We also would like to express appreciation for the dedicated work of the BLS staff in the Electronic Data Interchange Center and in regional offices for their continuous efforts to improve the quality of data provided in this bulletin.


This publication presents final annual employment and wage data for 2003, as defined under the 2002 North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). These data pertain to workers covered by State Unemployment Insurance (UI) laws and to 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 State Workforce 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 (QCEW) program. The QCEW, also called ES-202, was formerly known as the Covered Employment and Wages program. The name was changed in September 2003 to better identify the data produced by this section of the U.S. economic statistics system.

In 2003, totals of 8.2 million establishments, 127.8 million in employment, and $4.8 trillion in wages were derived from reports submitted to State Workforce Agencies by every employer covered by UI or by UCFE. Of these, employers in private industry provided State Workforce Agencies with quarterly tax reports on monthly employment, quarterly total and taxable wages, and contributions for an average of 107.1 million wage and salary employees in approximately 8.0 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 13.5 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 "Characteristics and Uses of the Data," which follows this introduction. Data are presented by ownership, industry, and State and include the average number of establishments, average annual employment, total wages, and annual and average weekly wages per employee. National employment and wage totals are published for 11 supersectors, 20 sectors, and all of the 1,197 6-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.

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 and clicking on "Best Sellers".

Characteristics and uses of the data


The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS; the Bureau) 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 Workforce Agencies by employers subject to State 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, D.C.

Uses of the data

The QCEW program provides the most complete set of monthly employment and quarterly wage data by six-digit industry at the national, State, consolidated metropolitan statistical area, metropolitan statistical area, and county levels. The data 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, part of the National Income and Product Accounts. QCEW wages accounted for 52.7 percent of total personal income and 94.6 percent of the wage and salary component of personal income in 2003. 

QCEW data are used by businesses and by public and private research organizations for economic forecasting, transportation planning, industry and regional analysis, impact studies, and other tasks.

The QCEW program provides data necessary to both the Employment and Training Administration of the U.S. Department of Labor and State Workforce Agencies for use in administering the workforce security program. The data accurately reflect the extent of coverage of State UI 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 maximum weekly benefit levels. Research using QCEW data helps ensure the solvency of UI trust funds. QCEW data also are used to compute State and national insured unemployment rates for workers covered by UI programs.

QCEW data also are important for a variety of other BLS programs. A quarterly file containing employer name and address information serves as a sampling frame for BLS establishment-based surveys such as the National Compensation Survey, the Current Employment Statistics (CES) program, and the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) 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 CES program, the Occupational Safety and Health Statistics Survey, and the OES Survey.

How to obtain publications and data

Recent and historical data may be obtained from the BLS Web site at Previous editions of Employment and Wages Annual Averages are out of print, but file copies may be examined at the BLS Washington office and at Federal Depository Libraries.  For assistance, a QCEW analyst can be reached by telephone at 202-691-6567, or by email. You also may send requests by mail to 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. The request should include the name and telephone number of an individual whom BLS staff may contact if necessary.  

Most State Workforce 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 State Workforce Agencies in those jurisdictions. 

Unemployment insurance laws and coverage

Initially, the Federal Unemployment Insurance Tax Act (1938) applied only to firms employing at least eight 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 Act established the UCFE program, which extended 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 UI 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 UI 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 programs are excluded from the tables in this publication.

While coverage is largely consistent, comparisons of data from one State to another should take into consideration the differences in UI laws among 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. The tabulation below quantifies some of the exclusions in 2003.



Number Excluded
(in millions)

 Number Included
(in millions)

Wage and salary agricultural workers



*Self-employed farmers


Not covered

*Self-employed nonagricultural workers


Not covered

Domestic workers



*Unpaid family workers


Not covered

State and local government workers



Railroad workers


Not covered

*These are out-of-scope according to QCEW criteria.

Certain types of nonprofit employers, such as religious organizations, are given a choice of coverage or exclusion in a number of States. Under FUTA, all States must cover nonprofits that employ four or more workers. Some States have extended coverage to nonprofits employing one or more workers. Details on coverage laws are provided in Comparison of State Unemployment Insurance Laws, available on 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). Beginning with the release of data for 2001, publications presenting data from the QCEW program used the 2002 version of 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 forward are not 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 that turn information into a commodity with units that 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. 

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 2 domains and 11 supersectors.

BLS also 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, NAICS 999999, is its own supersector under the service-producing domain.The industry categories under subsector 238 and the inclusion of Unclassified bring the number of 6-digit industries to 1,199. Yet there are two six-digit industries not used in the United States. These are Dual purpose cattle ranching and farming, NAICS 112130, and Offices of notaries, NAICS 541120. Thus, the total number of 6-digit industries for which BLS publishes data is 1,197. 

BLS publishes NAICS industry data under the principle that, as long as there is additional detail to be gained by publishing the next lower level, the Bureau 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 below a five-digit NAICS industry level. If there is only one such industry, BLS publishes data for only the five-digit 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 data for only the four-digit industry group. At this time, there are seven 4-digit industry groups that roll up to the 3-digit subsector level, sixty-eight 5-digit NAICS industries that roll up to the 4-digit industry group level, and 415 6-digit industries that roll up to the 5-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 ten six-digit industries under them. Thus, NAICS codes should not be padded with zeroes.

To ensure the highest possible quality of data, State Workforce Agencies verify and update, if necessary, the NAICS, location, and ownership classifications of all establishments on a 3-year cycle. Information for government units in the public administration sector, however, is 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.

NAICS history

As of September 2004, BLS had released data from the QCEW program that were reconstructed to conform to NAICS for the period 1990 to 2000. The reconstruction technique used was only applicable to this period; therefore, reconstruction prior to 1990 should not be anticipated. The reconstructed data include annual averages of establishments, employment, weekly wages, and average annual wages and total annual wages. Also included are monthly employment, quarterly establishment counts, quarterly wage totals, and quarterly average weekly wages. Data on UI taxable wages and UI contributions are not available. Reconstructed data are available only in electronic form. More information about reconstructed NAICS data from the QCEW program and how they can be accessed can be obtained from the BLS Web page at

Department of Homeland Security

As a result of the Homeland Security Act (HSA), in February 2003, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms was reorganized, and in March 2003, selected Federal agencies were transferred to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). This major Federal reorganization had a significant impact on Federal data. As a result of these changes, there were large movements of employment and wages between selected industries. The QCEW program publishes all data, including Federal, by industry—not by Federal agency. The industry that gained the most employment from the reorganization was Police protection, NAICS 922120, which gained 43,600 workers in 2003. The industry that showed the largest decline in employment with these reorganizations was Public finance activities, NAICS 921130, which lost 20,300 workers in 2003. Private ownership also was affected by the HSA. In November 2002, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) assumed responsibility for airport security. Consequently, employment in private security firms previously providing these services at airports declined, decreasing employment in Security guards and patrol services, NAICS 561612. The TSA, in Transportation program administration, NAICS 926120, became part of the DHS in the first quarter of 2003. 


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 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 UI 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 Workforce Agencies in administering the provisions of Title XV of the Social Security Actthe UCFE program. 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 at 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 wage 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 employers with two or more very small establishments do not file an MWR. If the total employment in an employers secondary establishments (all establishments other than the largest) is 10 or less, the employer generally files 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.

Before 1991, employers provided covered employment and wage data on a reporting unit basis. Reporting unit data typically provided detail only for different county locations or industrial operations within a State. A nonstandard form, similar in concept to the MWR and called the Statistical Supplement, was 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 wage 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 of its operations within a county prior to 1991; on the MWR, the employer reports employment and wage data for each 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 all installations with 10 or fewer workers if those installations all belong to the same subdepartmental unit. Reports from Cabinet-level departments are not aggregated to a department-wide level. Departments submit separate reports for each bureau or agency (terminology for subdepartmental units may differ) within a given department. Independent agencies report on an agency-wide basis. 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 2003 were tabulated into size categories ranging from worksites with few employees 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 wagesCovered 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 be based on the period during which services are performed, rather than for the period during which compensation is paid. Under most State laws or regulations, wages include bonuses, stock options, severance pay, 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; health insurance; UI; 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.

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 among 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 and of 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 under a promise of confidentiality 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 undisclosable data suppressed within the detailed tables. However, these totals cannot be used to reveal the suppressed data.

Imputed data

To reduce the effect of the exclusion of data that occurs 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 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 and 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 QCEW employment data with other series

The BLS publishes three different establishment-based employment measures for any given quarter. Each of these measures—QCEW, BED, and CES—makes use of the quarterlyUI employment reports in producing data. Each measure, however, has a somewhat different universe coverage and estimation procedure, and each produces a different publication. Other data series are briefly covered here. 

Business Employment Dynamics. Business Employment Dynamics (BED) data are a product of the QCEW program. BED data are compiled by BLS from existing quarterly State UI records. Most employers in the United States are required to file quarterly reports on the employment and wages of workers covered by UI laws and to pay quarterly UI taxes. The quarterly UI reports are sent by State Workforce Agencies to BLS and form the basis of the Bureaus establishment sampling frame. These reports also are used to produce quarterly QCEW data on total employment and wages and the longitudinal BED data on gross job gains and losses. Other important BLS uses of the UI reports are in the CES program. 

In the BED program, the quarterly UI records are linked across quarters to provide a longitudinal history for each establishment. The linkage process allows the tracking of net employment changes at the establishment level, in turn allowing the estimation of jobs gained at opening and expanding establishments and of jobs lost at closing and contracting establishments.

Current Employment Statistics program. BLS and State Workforce Agencies cooperate in the CES program. In this program, State agencies are responsible for preparing current employment estimates for the States and for many metropolitan labor market areas, while BLS is responsible for producing 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 QCEW employment data. Supplemental sources are used in benchmarking industries that have noncovered workers.

Current Population Survey. The Current Population Survey (CPS) is published monthly by BLS. CPS employment data are estimated from a survey of about 60,000 U.S. households, while QCEW employment data are summarized from quarterly reports submitted by 8.2 million U.S. establishments. The CPS counts employed persons, whereas the QCEW program counts encumbered jobs during the reporting period. Consequently, the CPS includes persons "with a job but not at work" who earn no wages—for example, workers on extended unpaid leaves of absence. QCEW data, on the other hand, exclude unpaid workers. QCEW data count separately each job held by multiple jobholders. The CPS counts such workers once, in the job at which they worked the most 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. 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. 

Both UCFE and 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. UCFE and OPM data differ in coverage of workers. For example, UCFE, but not OPM, includes Department of Defense workers paid from nonappropriated funds and employees of county agricultural stabilization and conservation committees, State and area marketing committees, and the Agricultural Extension Service. OPM, but not UCFE, includes workers who are not U.S. citizens andwho 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.  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: 
  • QCEW data are published each quarter with a 7-month lag. CBP data are published annually with approximately an 18-month lag.
  • QCEW data before 2001 are tabulated based on the 1987 SIC system; data for 2001 and afterare tabulated based on the 2002 NAICS. Data for 1990-2000 have been made available through the QCEW NAICS history project. CBP data for 1997 and earlier years are tabulated based on the SIC system; data for 1998 and after are tabulated based on the 1997 NAICS, with some exceptions. 
  • The QCEW program tabulates data for auxiliary establishments into the six-digit industry level that best describes the primary economic activity of the auxiliary establishment. For example, auxiliary establishments in a manufacturing company that are engaged in accounting are classified by QCEW under the six-digit NAICS for accounting (Offices of certified public accountants, NAICS 541211), not under a manufacturing category. CBP data, on the other hand, tabulate most auxiliary establishments under Auxiliaries (except corporate, subsidiary, and regional management), sector 95. Auxiliary establishments in corporate, subsidiary, and regional managing offices are not included by QCEW under sector 95but are included under Managing offices, NAICS 551114. In the CBP data, the accounting establishments discussed above would go into sector 95.
  • QCEW data include 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 excluded from CBP data. 
  • QCEW data include most government employees. Most of these workers are excluded from CBP employment. 




Last Modified Date: March 31, 2008