Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is the Current Employment Statistics Program (CES)?
The Current Employment Statistics (CES) survey is based on a sample of 390,000 business establishments nationwide. The survey produces monthly estimates of employment, hours, and earnings for the Nation, States, and major metropolitan areas. Preliminary national estimates for a given reference month are typically published on the first Friday of the following month, in conjunction with data derived from a separate survey of households, the Current Population Survey (CPS). Please see http://www.bls.gov/ces/home.htm for more information.
Is the CES report mandatory?
The CES report is voluntary under federal law and is mandatory under state law in Oregon, Washington, North Carolina, and South Carolina. The South Carolina requirement applies to firms with more than 20 employees. The legal citations for the state requirements are listed on the CES form.
What do you mean by the pay period that includes the 12th of the month?
It is the pay period that contains the 12th of the month, no matter what the length of the pay period. For example, if you have a weekly payroll, then it’s the week that contain the 12th of the month. Or if you have a bi-weekly payroll, it’s the two weeks that include the 12th of the month.
What do you mean by two payrolls or pay groups?
If your firm maintains more than one payroll frequency, a weekly and a monthly for example, then you have more than one payroll or pay group. If all your employees are paid at the same frequency, for example if all employees are paid semi-monthly, then you have only one payroll or pay group.
What if my payroll data are not available until after the deadline?
Report your data when they become available. While we would like to have your information for the preliminary estimates, we can still use your data in the revised estimates. It is never too late to report!
How long do I need to participate in the CES survey?
Depending on the industry and size of firm, you will be in the sample for 2 to 4 years. Larger firms tend to be in the sample longer than smaller firms. The probability of being included in the sample also depends on the size of the firm and the industry. Selecting a new sample allows our estimates to accurately reflect changes in the structure of the Nation's economy. Many firms continue to be eligible for inclusion in the sample each year; however, others are replaced by newly selected firms.
How do I update my contact information?
You have three options. If you are logged onto the CES reporting website, you can select the “Update Respondent Information” link at the top of the page. Or you can submit the changes to the CES HelpDesk with your report number in the message. The third option is to call the help desk at 1-800-827-2005.
How do I obtain a new CES form?
New forms are mailed to reporters annually. If you need a blank form, one can be immediately obtained at http://www.bls.gov/ces/idcfcesforms.htm. If you would like to receive a form showing your updated contact information, send a request to the CES HelpDesk and include your report number. Or call the help desk at 1-800-827-2005.
How do I start reporting data over the Internet?
Please submit a request to the CES HelpDesk or call 1-800-827-2005 and include your CES report number(s) in your request.
What do I do if my company was sold, was merged with another company, or went out of business?
Please contact the CES HelpDesk or call 1-800-827-2005 and include your CES report number(s) in your notification. Please provide the contact information for the new owners of the company if you have it.
Is there an easy way to report data for multiple locations?
We accept electronic spreadsheets. If you are interested, submit a request to the CES HelpDesk or call 1-800-827-2005 and include your CES report number(s) in your notification.
Should I report if I am leasing all of my employees?
It depends on your leasing arrangement. Please contact the CES HelpDesk or call 1-800-827-2005 and we will help determine if you need to report or not.
How do I report data for a new company location?
Not every worksite is selected to participate in the CES program. To determine the status of the new worksite contact the CES HelpDesk or call 1-800-827-2005 and we will help determine if you need to report or not.
Why is email not an option to submit my data?
Email at this time does not meet all of the Bureau of Labor Statistics security requirements. If you are interested in electronic reporting, contact the CES HelpDesk or call 1-800-827-2005 and we will set up an account on the CES reporting website.
Reporting Your Data
Why is your reporting website not accepting my data?
Make sure you have selected the correct pay frequency at the top of the page in the box labeled "Pay". For example, if you selected “Each Week” make sure you report only for the week that includes the 12th of the month. Or if you selected “Every Two Weeks”, then report only for the two weeks that include the 12th of the month. Also, be sure to round your pay and hours figures and not include any commas and decimals. If you still have questions contact the CES HelpDesk or 1-800-827-2005.
How do I report if I have more than two payrolls?
If you have more than two payrolls, contact the CES HelpDesk or 1-800-827-2005.
What is my CES report number?
Your CES report number is the 9-digit report number printed on the top of the form mailed to you in January. It can also be found on the top of each email “CES Report:” followed by your CES report number.
Can I report data for other surveys on the CES reporting website?
Only CES data can be reported on the CES reporting website. If you report for another BLS survey, please contact your BLS survey representative to see if web reporting is available. Data for other government agencies cannot be submitted using the BLS website.
How can I change the frequency of the email reminders?
Contact the CES HelpDesk with your report number explaining when your data will be ready. We will update our files to send you the reminder message closer to when your data are actually available.
Why are you asking for data I already submitted?
The reminder emails are automatically generated based on whether we have received data for a particular reference month. If you submitted your data by a method other than web, it is possible your report has not been processed yet. If you submitted your data through the CES reporting website, please verify that you submitted data for the desired reference month.
How can I find the CES reporting website through my search engine?
Please access the site by typing the address into the address line of your browser. The site is hidden from search engines.
Why are you requesting more items than I provided over the telephone?
While we would like to obtain all of the information asked for, we realize that some payroll systems may not have every data item. Please continue to report the items that you previously provided. Leave the other fields blank.
How do I add a backup email contact in the event I am out of the office?
Contact the CES HelpDesk or 1-800-827-2005 and let us know the name and email/phone number of the new or backup contact and we will send the email prompts directly to him/her.
How can I receive email reminder messages?
Contact the CES HelpDesk or call 1-800-827-2005 and include your CES report number(s) in your request.
Last Modified Date: January 4, 2013