Marcia Hultman

Cabinet Secretary

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Labor Market Information Center

Overview of statistical programs conducted in cooperation

with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

 

Current Employment Statistics (CES) Program

The CES program (which produces nonfarm wage and salaried worker statistics) is an important economic measure of the number of jobs in nonfarm industries. As the title implies, agricultural industry workers are not included. In addition, nonfarm self-employed and unpaid workers are also excluded from the nonfarm wage and salaried worker counts. Nonfarm worker data refer to persons on establishment payrolls who receive pay for any part of the pay period which includes the 12th of the month. Persons are counted at their places of work rather than at their places of residence; those appearing on more than one payroll are counted on each payroll. Establishments are classified in an industry on the basis of their principal products or activities in accordance with the most recent North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) Manual. (Learn more about the NAICS.)

The production of state and metropolitan Current Employment Statistics (CES) (the program which produces nonfarm wage and salaried worker statistics) transitioned from state workforce agencies to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) beginning with preliminary estimates for March 2011. Concurrent with this transition, the BLS implemented several methodological changes to standardize the estimation approach across states. While these changes will reduce the potential for statistical bias in state and metropolitan area estimates, they may increase the month-to-month variability of the estimates. For more detailed information on the changes to procedures for producing CES estimates, visit the BLS website. Employers participating in the CES survey may find the "Information for Respondents" on the BLS website helpful.

Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS) Program

The Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS) program produces monthly estimates of total employment and unemployment levels plus the unemployment rate for approximately 7,300 areas nationwide. The Labor Market Information Center oversees the program in South Dakota, in cooperation with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The LAUS program makes possible availability of labor force data for various geographic areas in South Dakota, as available from a menu on the LMIC website. For more general information on the LAUS program, see frequently asked questions about LAUS on the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics website. Or see technical notes on labor force data in South Dakota.

Occupational Employment Statistics and Wage (OEWS) Program

The Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics (OEWS) program produces employment and wage estimates for over 800 occupations. These are estimates of the number of people employed in certain occupations, and estimates of the wages paid to them. Self-employed persons are not included in the estimates. These estimates are available for the nation as a whole, for individual states, and for metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas; national occupational estimates for specific industries are also available. The Labor Market Information Center oversees the program in South Dakota, in cooperation with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The OEWS program makes possible the occupational wage data as available from a menu on the LMIC website. For more general information on the OEWS program, see frequently asked questions about OEWS on the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics website. Or see technical notes on occupational wage estimates in South Dakota. Employers completing the OEWS survey may find the Information for Respondents on the BLS website helpful. BLS also has a YouTube video about how OEWS participating employers' data is kept confidential. Learn more about the Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) system used in the OEWS Program.

Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) Program

The Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) program publishes a quarterly count of employment and wages reported by employers covering 98 percent of U.S. jobs, available at the county, Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), state and national levels by industry. The Labor Market Information Center oversees the program in South Dakota, in cooperation with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The source of the majority of QCEW microdata is the employment and wage data reported by employers to the South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation’s Reemployment Assistance (RA) program and to the Unemployment Compensation for Federal Employees (UCFE) program. South Dakota receives Quarterly Contributions Reports from all private sector employers as well as from state and local governments covered under the RA program. Federal government employers provide statistical reports via the Report of Federal Employment and Wages. Employment covered by these unemployment insurance programs represents about 96 percent of all wage and salary civilian employment in the state.

Employment data under the QCEW program represent the number of covered workers who worked during, or received pay for, the pay period including the 12th of the month. Excluded are members of the armed forces, the self-employed, proprietors, domestic workers, unpaid family workers and railroad workers covered by the railroad unemployment insurance system.

Wages represent total compensation paid during the calendar quarter, regardless of when services were performed. Included in wages are pay for vacation and other paid leave, bonuses, value of meals and lodging, and in some states, contributions to deferred stock options, tips and cash compensation plans (such as 401(k) plans). The QCEW program provides partial information on agricultural industries and employees in private households, providing they are liable for unemployment insurance tax.

The QCEW program makes possible availability of establishment, worker and pay data by industry for various geographic areas in South Dakota, as available from a menu on the LMIC website. For more general information on the QCEW program, see frequently asked questions about QCEW on the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics website. Or see technical notes on covered workers and pay data in South Dakota.

The Annual Refiling Survey (ARS) is an important component of the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages Program. Conducted in cooperation with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the ARS helps ensure businesses are appropriately categorized by industry, which in turn helps ensure the labor market statistics produced and published by industry are accurate and reflective of the economy. The QCEW program utilizes the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) for industry classification. (Learn more about the NAICS.) The ARS includes built-in processes for monitoring not only changes in employer business activity, but changes in ownership and physical location as well. The survey solicits covered employers with four or more employees every three to four years. Smaller employers with three or less employees are excluded for many of these firms have no changes or they may be classified in a low change industry. The QCEW program updates these employer’s information as the knowledge is made available.

Frequently asked questions about the ARS are answered on the BLS website. Employers asked to complete the ARS are encouraged to participate online as a cost-saving measure.

The QCEW program also utilizes the Multiple Worksite Report (MWR) for collection purposes. This helps ensure validity of the QCEW data by geographic area. Eligible multiple establishment employers are required to report quarterly employment and wage data using the MWR. The ARS and MWR surveys collect data from employers via paper forms and electronically.

Importance of Employer Cooperation

None of the programs mentioned above would be possible without the cooperation of South Dakota employers who complete the surveys we conduct, in cooperation with BLS. Their participation is critical to ensure accurate and complete data. Data shared by employers is combined with information provided by other employers and is used for statistical purposes only. To learn more about the pivotal role employer participation plays in these programs and the availability of valuable workforce data, please watch "Your Response is Vital," a YouTube video produced the BLS.

 

 

Additional Resources

North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) Overview

Standard Occupational Classification System (SOC) Overview

Table comparing the BLS programs (Adobe PDF format) mentioned above on factors such as data collection methods, reference periods, coverage inclusions and exclusions, etc.

Table comparing the concepts used (Adobe PDF format) in the Current Employment Statistics (CES) program, the Current Population Survey and the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages program.