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Concurrent Seasonal Adjustment for Industry Employment Statistics

Jurgen Kropf, Christopher Manning, Kirk Mueller, and Stuart Scott


The Current Employment Statistics (CES) Survey, conducted monthly by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, obtains payroll employment, hours, and earnings from business establishments and produces industry-based estimates. Seasonally adjusted month-to-month changes in the CES national estimates are among the most widely watched economic indicators for both public and private sector policy makers. Accurate seasonal adjustment is an important component in the overall accuracy of these monthly data. The CES program will convert to NAICS industry coding in 2003. In the course of this conversion, concurrent seasonal adjustment is being considered to replace the traditional seasonal adjustment method which applies forecasted seasonal factors. This paper discusses data to be available under the NAICS system, compares results from the two adjustment methods and discusses the implications of concurrent adjustment for users.