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Bureau of Labor Statistics > Office of Survey Methods and Research > Publications > Browse Research Papers

Improving Annual Web Collection with Excel Workbooks

Jennifer M. Harris, Michele E. Walker, and R. Allan Emery

Abstract

The Current Employment Statistics (CES) Survey, conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), annually benchmarks its sample-based employment estimates to independent population controls. The principal source of benchmark data is the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages, which covers all employees subject to Unemployment Insurance (UI) tax laws. BLS uses several other sources to establish benchmarks for the remaining industries partially covered or exempt from mandatory UI coverage, which accounts for nearly 3 percent of the nonfarm employment total. These data are collected annually via a secure website, which in recent years features an Excel function for uploading and editing data. Collection is still challenging even as the site has evolved to include new features. The impact of the enhancements on data quality, quantity and end user burden will be discussed.