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State and Metro Area Employment, Hours, & Earnings

Current Employment Statistics (State and Area) Questions and Answers

Data Overview

  1. What is the CES survey?
  2. How do CES data compare to data from other programs?
  3. What distinguishes the CES-SA geographic data from other data? Are there potential problems with using the data?

Available Data

  1. What data are available from CES State and Area Employment (CES-SA)?
  2. How often are CES State and Area Employment (CES-SA) data released and when can I expect each monthly CES-SA news release?
  3. Are preliminary CES-SA estimates available?
  4. Are historical CES State and Area Employment (CES-SA) employment estimates available prior to 1939?
  5. Are historical CES State and Area Employment (CES-SA) hours and earnings estimates available prior to 1964?
  6. Why doesn't CES-SA include agricultural employment? Is agricultural employment available elsewhere?


  1. How are the CES estimates categorized?
  2. How are the CES respondents categorized?
  3. How did series change when CES switched from using the Standard Industry Classification (SIC) system to the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS)?
  4. How has NAICS changed since its implementation in the CES estimates?

Data Retrieval

  1. How can I get CES-SA estimates?
  2. How can I find a list of published series for each state?
  3. How can I get CES microdata or data about a certain company?
  4. How do I get government earnings data?

Survey Methods

The Sample

  1. How do I find information about the CES sample?
  2. How reliable are the CES estimates?
  3. Does the CES sample include small firms?
  4. How are government agencies different from other establishments in the CES sample?

Data Collection

  1. How are the CES data collected?
  2. Where can I find collection rates for the CES sample?

Estimation Methods

  1. How does CES-SA compute its monthly estimates?

Employment Concepts

  1. How does CES define employment?
  2. What employment does the CES survey exclude and how does this affect the estimates?
  3. How are production and nonsupervisory employees different from all employees in the CES survey?
  4. Are part-time employees counted in the CES survey?
  5. Are undocumented immigrants counted in the CES estimates?
  6. How do reservists impact the CES survey?
  7. How are persons with multiple jobs counted in the CES survey?
  8. Can severe weather, natural disasters, government shutdowns, or other catastrophic events affect the CES survey?
  9. Why does the total employment for the Nation not equal the sum of total employment for the States?

Hours and Earnings Concepts

  1. What is the difference between wages and earnings?
  2. Do the CES hours and earnings estimates include overtime?
  3. What data should I use for an escalation clause in a contract?


  1. How does the CES survey account for employment from new businesses? What is the CES net birth-death adjustment?

Seasonal Adjustment

  1. What is a seasonally adjusted estimate?
  2. What is the two-step seasonal adjustment process?
  3. When did seasonal adjustment of CES data begin?
  4. When was the 4/5 week seasonal adjustment first implemented and why?
  5. How is concurrent seasonal adjustment different from annual seasonal adjustment?
  6. What months are impacted by concurrent seasonal adjustment?

Other CES Estimation Concepts

  1. What is the small area model?


Monthly Revisions

  1. Why does the CES survey have revisions?
  2. When are CES estimates no longer subject to revisions?


  1. What is a benchmark in the CES-SA survey?
  2. What makes up the benchmark employment amount in the CES-SA survey?
  3. How do the benchmark revisions affect months during the benchmark period in the CES survey?
  4. How do the benchmark revisions affect months after the benchmark period in the CES survey?


  1. How can I report my data?
  2. Is the survey voluntary?

Last Modified Date: March 11, 2024