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Wage Records Program

The Wage Records Program (WR) is an initiative of the Bureau of Labor Statistics that compiles state wage record data to form a multi-state longitudinally linked data set to be used to support national, regional, and local analyses.

States are required by the Unemployment Insurance (UI) program to collect information in the form of wage records for the purpose of providing unemployment benefits to eligible workers. Wage records are a rich source of data that can be utilized to better understand the labor market.

Through the Wage Records Program, these data—containing an individual’s employer and total wages—are collected to create a single, longitudinally linked, multi-state workforce data set. States already individually use wage record data such as this, within their geographic purview, to perform workforce analyses. A multi-state data set will expand economic research opportunities across state lines and enable the creation of additional data products to support public decision making for both the states and the federal government. Through this partnership, BLS can offer participating states dynamic information on workers, employers, and jobs with confidentiality protections at no additional data collection burden.