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Handbook of Methods Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages Overview

Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages: Overview

The Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) is a quarterly count of employment and wages reported by employers. The QCEW covers more than 95 percent of U.S. jobs available at the county, Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), state, and national level, by detailed industry. The primary source for the QCEW is administrative data from state unemployment insurance (UI) programs. These data are supplemented by data from two U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) surveys: the Annual Refiling Survey (ARS) and the Multiple Worksite Report (MWR). Before publication, BLS and state workforce agencies review and enhance the QCEW data, correcting errors, and confirming and annotating unusual movements.

Quick Facts: Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages
Subject areas Employment, Pay
Key measures
  • County employment
  • County wages
  • Employment
  • Number of establishments
How the data are obtained Administrative records
Classification Industry
Periodicity of data availability Annual, Monthly, Quarterly
Geographic detail County, Metro area, National, State
Scope Government, Private sector, State and local government
Key products
Program webpage
Last Modified Date: May 07, 2020