CES National Benchmark Article (PDF)

BLS Establishment Survey National Estimates Revised to Incorporate March 2013 Benchmarks

Authored by Wade Petty and Patrick Hu.

Wade Petty and Patrick Hu are economists in the Division of Current Employment Statistics – National, Office of Employment and Unemployment Statistics, Bureau of Labor Statistics. Telephone: (202) 691-6555; e-mail:CESInfo@bls.gov

Introduction

With the release of January 2014 data on February 7, 2014, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) introduced its annual revision of National estimates of employment, hours, and earnings from the Current Employment Statistics (CES) monthly survey of nonfarm establishments. Each year, the CES survey realigns its sample-based estimates to incorporate universe counts of employment—a process known as benchmarking. Comprehensive counts of employment, or benchmarks, are derived primarily from unemployment insurance (UI) tax reports that nearly all employers are required to file with State Workforce Agencies.

The benchmark this year, and its analysis, was substantially impacted by the inclusion of employment that was previously in Private households and considered out-of-scope. The relevant CES time series have been reconstructed to accurately account for this additional employment.

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IMPORTANT Special notice regarding reconstructed data

Historical reconstructions for Services for the elderly and disabled and Funds, trusts, and other financial vehicles

The Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) program determined that UI records from a number of state programs that provide funding for Services for the elderly and disabled, North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) 624120, were incorrectly coded as being in Private households, NAICS 814. With the first quarter of 2013, QCEW began coding this employment under NAICS 624120. This change moved the employment from a previously out-of-scope industry to in-scope for the CES program, prompting a historical reconstruction to account for the employment in these state administered programs.

Six states were identified as having employment associated with their programs moved from out-of-scope to in-scope for CES purposes. Those states are California, Massachusetts, Missouri, Nebraska, Texas, and Washington. Working with QCEW microdata and information from the individual states, a historical time series of employment associated with the six programs was developed and added to the original published data to create a consistent time series. As there was no additional information that was available with regard to production employees, women employees, or any hours and earnings, the existing sample based ratios were maintained at the detailed industry levels and applied to the new All Employees level to reconstruct the higher level series.

Another QCEW recoding effort with first quarter 2013 moved a majority of employment out of Funds, trusts, and other financial vehicles (NAICS 525). Similar to reconstructions completed with each new version of NAICS every five years, ratios relating to the industries that the employment moved to were applied to historical data to develop the reconstructed employment, hours, and earnings series. For CES purposes, the employment that remained in Funds, trusts, and other financial vehicles (CES Industry Code 55-525000) was a small enough amount that it was necessary to collapse the industry with another, specifically, All other financial investment activities (CES Industry Code 55-5239901). Exhibit 1 below displays all detailed series affected by reconstructions.

Exhibit 1. Summary of CES detailed series impacted by reconstructions
NAICS Code CES Industry Code CES Industry Title Description

52312

55-523120(1) Securities brokerage Received employment from NAICS 525 reconstruction.

5232

55-523200(1) Securities and commodity contracts brokerage and exchanges Received employment from NAICS 525 reconstruction.

52392

55-523920(1) Portfolio management Received employment from NAICS 525 reconstruction.

52393

55-523930(1) Investment advice Received employment from NAICS 525 reconstruction.

52399

55-523990(1) All other financial investment activities, including funds and trusts Received employment from NAICS 525 reconstruction.

524114

55-524114(1) Direct health and medical insurance carriers Received employment from NAICS 525 reconstruction.

524126

55-524126(1) Direct property and casualty insurers Received employment from NAICS 525 reconstruction.

52421

55-524210(1) Insurance agencies and brokerages Received employment from NAICS 525 reconstruction.

524292

55-524292(1) Third-party administration of insurance funds Received employment from NAICS 525 reconstruction.

525

55-525000 Funds, trusts, and other financial vehicles As noted in the rows above, NAICS 525 employment was distributed into 52312, 5232, 52392, 52393, 52399, 524114, 524126, 52421, and 524292. CES series 55-525000 was then collapsed into 55-523990.

  5251

  55-525100 Insurance and employee benefit funds CES series 55-525100 was collapsed into 55-523990.

  5259

  55-525900 Other investment pools and funds CES series 55-525900 was collapsed into 55-523990.

62412

65-624120(1) Services for the elderly and disabled Employment related to state run programs for Services for the elderly and disabled reclassified from NAICS 814 into 62412.

Footnotes
(1) Published at second preliminary.

To Table of Figures

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Summary of the benchmark revisions

Impact of employment moving from Private households into CES scope

In most years, a discussion of revisions to the not seasonally adjusted employment level for the March benchmark also describes the revisions to the over-the-year change from the previous March benchmark level. This year, with the implementation of the March 2013 benchmark, historical data have been reconstructed back to April 1979 to include the employment that was previously out-of-scope. As a result of this reconstruction, the March 2012 not seasonally adjusted employment level has also been revised and the revisions associated with this benchmark can be looked at in several ways.

To eliminate the nonstandard impact on the benchmark from the additional employment coming from Private households, the reconstructed employment associated with the state programs was added to the originally estimated CES employment prior to calculating the benchmark error and performing the wedge (for more information on the CES wedging process, refer to the Methods section of this article). This approach better reflects the performance of the estimates for the benchmark time period. With the exception of Exhibit 2, the tables in this article reflect that process.

Considering only the change to the employment level due to error, the reconstructed Total nonfarm employment estimate for March 2013 was revised downward by 119,000, or 0.1 percent, to 134,917,000. Since the March 2012 employment level now reflects changes due to the reconstruction, another measure of the impact of the benchmark is to consider the over-the-year change revision from March 2012 to March 2013. Prior to the implementation of the benchmark, the level change for Total nonfarm over that time period was 2,065,000. After the benchmark, the change is 2,036,000 which is 29,000 less than previously published.

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Analysis of benchmark revisions

Table 1 below shows the recent history of Total nonfarm percentage benchmark errors. Over the prior ten years, the annual benchmark error at the Total nonfarm level has averaged 0.3 percent (in absolute terms), with an absolute range of 0.1 percent to 0.7 percent.

Table 1. Percent differences between nonfarm employment benchmarks and estimates by industry supersector, March 2003 – 2013(1)
CES Industry Code CES Industry Title 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011(2) 2012 2013(3)

00-000000

Total nonfarm -0.1 0.2 -0.1 0.6 -0.2 -0.1 -0.7 -0.3 0.1 0.3 -0.1

(Level difference in thousands)

(-122) (203) (-158) (752) (-293) (-89) (-902) (-378) (67) (424) (-119)

05-000000

Total private -.2 .2 -.2 .7 -.2 -.1 -.9 -.4 (4) .4 -.1

10-000000

Mining and logging .9 .7 -.3 1.2 (4) .4 -3.5 -3.0 -.4 1.6 -1.2

20-000000

Construction -.8 .6 .5 2.6 .1 .7 -2.9 -1.3 -.5 1.8 .3

30-000000

Manufacturing -1.1 -.4 -.3 -.1 -1.0 -.1 -.7 -1.0 .1 -.2 .2

40-000000

Trade, transportation, and utilities (4) .2 .3 .6 .5 .2 -1.2 -.6 .4 .6 -.5

50-000000

Information -2.6 -1.0 -2.1 -.5 -1.8 .3 -1.5 -.4 -.4 1.8 -.2

55-000000

Financial activities .2 .1 -.8 .4 -1.3 -.3 -.1 .4 -.3 .6 -.1

60-000000

Professional and business services -.7 -.2 -.4 1.3 .2 -.4 -.8 (4) .7 (4) (4)

65-000000

Education and health services .3 .2 (4) .5 -.2 -.1 -.3 (4) -.6 (4) -.3

70-000000

Leisure and hospitality .5 1.2 .4 .3 -.8 -1.1 -.6 -.6 .7 .8 .5

80-000000

Other services 1.4 .5 -1.3 .5 .3 .2 -.8 .2 -2.0 1.1 -.4

90-000000

Government .3 .1 (4) (4) -.2 .2 .1 .1 .1 -.3 (4)

Footnotes
(1) The differences listed in this table reflect the error due to normal benchmarking procedures. Typically this error is equal to the March benchmarked level minus the published March estimated level. However in some years, other factors beyond normal benchmarking procedures influence the difference between the benchmarked and published March estimate levels. Those years are footnoted.
(2) A review of industries for the possible presence of noncovered employment in benchmark 2011 yielded 13 additional industries. As a result of including these industries, employment in the amount of 95,000 was added to the Total nonfarm benchmark level. The difference between the benchmarked and published March 2011 estimate level was 162,000. For this table, the 95,000 amount was added to the original published Total nonfarm and Total private March 2011 estimates before calculating the percent and level differences. Portions of the 95,000 amount were also added as appropriate to the original published March 2011 estimates of supersectors Financial activities and Education and health services before calculating the percent differences.
(3) The percent and level differences in this column reflect reconstructions to series within CES supersectors Financial activities and Education and healthcare services. Each first quarter, the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) program, whose data account for approximately 97 percent of the CES universe scope (see www.bls.gov/web/empsit/cestn.htm#section1), incorporates updated industry assignments. In 2013, these updates included two substantial groups of nonrandom, noneconomic code changes, one to Funds, trusts, and other financial vehicles (NAICS 525), and the other, a reclassification of approximately 466,000 in employment from Private households (NAICS 814), which is out of scope for CES, to Services for the elderly and persons with disabilities (NAICS 62412), which is in scope. These changes also had an impact, beyond what would be considered typical for a given benchmark year, on corresponding CES series. For more information about the changes to these industries, see the QCEW First Quarter 2013 News Release available at www.bls.gov/news.release/archives/cewqtr_09262013.htm or the reconstruction section of the CES Benchmark Article at Special notice regarding reconstructed data.
(4) Less than 0.05 percent.

To Table of Figures


Table 2 shows the nonfarm employment benchmarks for March 2013, not seasonally adjusted, by industry. Please note that the value presented in the column titled Estimate in Table 2 represents the original published estimate plus applicable reconstructions. The revision to the reconstructed Total nonfarm employment is -119,000.

Five supersectors had upward revisions. The largest upward revision occurred in Leisure and hospitality by an amount of 72,000, or 0.5 percent. Within this supersector, the revision was concentrated in Accommodation and food services, which was revised upward by 62,100, or 0.5 percent. Manufacturing was revised upward by 23,000, or 0.2 percent, with the vast majority of the increase attributed to Durable goods, which experienced an upward revision of 21,000, or 0.3 percent. Construction and Government were also revised upward by 14,000, or 0.3 percent, and 7,000 (less than 0.05 percent), respectively. The smallest upward revision of 4,000 (less than 0.05 percent) occurred in Professional and business services.

The remaining six supersectors saw negative revisions. The largest downward revision occurred in Trade, transportation, and utilities, which decreased by ‑131,000, or ‑0.5 percent. Within this supersector, the largest share of the revision was due to Retail trade with a revision of ‑110,300, or ‑0.8 percent. Retail trade was largely affected by a downward revision of ‑147,600, or ‑11.3 percent, in Department stores. The next largest negative revision occurred in the reconstructed Education and health services estimate, which experienced a drop of ‑61,000, or ‑0.3 percent, with most of the decrease occurring in Health care and social assistance (‑41,500, or ‑0.2 percent). Other services was also revised downward by ‑22,000, or ‑0.4 percent, and Mining and logging and Financial activities exhibited identical level decreases of ‑10,000 (‑1.2 percent and ‑0.1 percent, respectively). The smallest negative revision of ‑5,000, or ‑0.2 percent, occurred in Information.

Table 2. Nonfarm employment benchmarks by industry, March 2013 (in thousands)
CES Industry Code CES Industry Title Benchmark Estimate(1) Differences
Amount Percent

00-000000

Total nonfarm 134,917 135,036 -119 -0.1

05-000000

Total private 112,644 112,770 -126 -.1

06-000000

Goods-producing 18,283 18,256 27 .1

07-000000

Service-providing 116,634 116,780 -146 -.1

08-000000

Private service-providing 94,361 94,514 -153 -.2

10-000000

Mining and logging 847 857 -10 -1.2

10-113300

Logging 49.0 47.7 1.3 2.7

10-210000

Mining 798.4 808.8 -10.4 -1.3

10-211000

Oil and gas extraction 193.0 191.0 2.0 1.0

10-212000

Mining, except oil and gas 207.6 220.1 -12.5 -6.0

10-212100

Coal mining 79.7 85.8 -6.1 -7.7

10-213000

Support activities for mining 397.8 397.7 .1 (2)

20-000000

Construction 5,501 5,487 14 .3

20-236000

Construction of buildings 1,226.1 1,212.2 13.9 1.1

20-236100

Residential building 574.7 551.7 23.0 4.0

20-236200

Nonresidential building 651.4 660.5 -9.1 -1.4

20-237000

Heavy and civil engineering construction 801.7 809.8 -8.1 -1.0

20-238000

Specialty trade contractors 3,473.1 3,464.7 8.4 .2

30-000000

Manufacturing 11,935 11,912 23 .2

31-000000

Durable goods 7,507 7,486 21 .3

31-321000

Wood products 344.2 340.4 3.8 1.1

31-327000

Nonmetallic mineral products 363.1 358.5 4.6 1.3

31-331000

Primary metals 397.7 397.4 .3 .1

31-332000

Fabricated metal products 1,419.8 1,425.1 -5.3 -.4

31-333000

Machinery 1,105.0 1,104.3 .7 .1

31-334000

Computer and electronic products 1,067.1 1,082.3 -15.2 -1.4

31-334100

Computer and peripheral equipment 155.5 159.4 -3.9 -2.5

31-334200

Communications equipment 103.8 107.8 -4.0 -3.9

31-334400

Semiconductors and electronic components 375.2 379.4 -4.2 -1.1

31-334500

Electronic instruments 394.1 396.5 -2.4 -.6

31-335000

Electrical equipment and appliances 373.1 363.6 9.5 2.5

31-336000

Transportation equipment 1,506.0 1,489.8 16.2 1.1

31-337000

Furniture and related products 354.9 350.7 4.2 1.2

31-339000

Miscellaneous durable goods manufacturing 575.8 573.9 1.9 .3

32-000000

Nondurable goods 4,428 4,426 2 (2)

32-311000

Food manufacturing 1,445.1 1,445.0 .1 (2)

32-313000

Textile mills 116.8 114.4 2.4 2.1

32-314000

Textile product mills 114.2 115.2 -1.0 -.9

32-315000

Apparel 145.3 145.7 -.4 -.3

32-322000

Paper and paper products 377.7 375.3 2.4 .6

32-323000

Printing and related support activities 453.3 454.5 -1.2 -.3

32-324000

Petroleum and coal products 109.1 112.8 -3.7 -3.4

32-325000

Chemicals 792.1 793.3 -1.2 -.2

32-326000

Plastics and rubber products 654.1 654.2 -.1 (2)

32-329000

Miscellaneous nondurable goods manufacturing 220.1 215.3 4.8 2.2

40-000000

Trade, transportation, and utilities 25,366 25,497 -131 -.5

41-420000

Wholesale trade 5,684.5 5,704.7 -20.2 -.4

41-423000

Durable goods 2,849.3 2,843.2 6.1 .2

41-424000

Nondurable goods 1,958.7 1,980.1 -21.4 -1.1

41-425000

Electronic markets and agents and brokers 876.5 881.4 -4.9 -.6

42-000000

Retail trade 14,705.4 14,815.7 -110.3 -.8

42-441000

Motor vehicle and parts dealers 1,763.6 1,748.4 15.2 .9

42-441100

Automobile dealers 1,119.5 1,106.4 13.1 1.2

42-442000

Furniture and home furnishings stores 436.4 443.8 -7.4 -1.7

42-443000

Electronics and appliance stores 485.3 498.8 -13.5 -2.8

42-444000

Building material and garden supply stores 1,181.2 1,167.5 13.7 1.2

42-445000

Food and beverage stores 2,870.8 2,864.0 6.8 .2

42-446000

Health and personal care stores 1,003.9 1,019.5 -15.6 -1.6

42-447000

Gasoline stations 845.3 837.7 7.6 .9

42-448000

Clothing and clothing accessories stores 1,338.4 1,391.3 -52.9 -4.0

42-451000

Sporting goods, hobby, book, and music stores 570.8 561.7 9.1 1.6

42-452000

General merchandise stores 2,987.7 3,061.3 -73.6 -2.5

42-452100

Department stores 1,303.4 1,451.0 -147.6 -11.3

42-453000

Miscellaneous store retailers 773.6 785.2 -11.6 -1.5

42-454000

Nonstore retailers 448.4 436.5 11.9 2.7

43-000000

Transportation and warehousing 4,426.3 4,422.7 3.6 .1

43-481000

Air transportation 447.1 444.4 2.7 .6

43-482000

Rail transportation 231.8 230.5 1.3 .6

43-483000

Water transportation 64.2 61.5 2.7 4.2

43-484000

Truck transportation 1,342.9 1,348.2 -5.3 -.4

43-485000

Transit and ground passenger transportation 460.3 483.8 -23.5 -5.1

43-486000

Pipeline transportation 43.4 44.5 -1.1 -2.5

43-487000

Scenic and sightseeing transportation 23.6 21.4 2.2 9.3

43-488000

Support activities for transportation 589.1 584.2 4.9 .8

43-492000

Couriers and messengers 526.2 522.0 4.2 .8

43-493000

Warehousing and storage 697.7 682.2 15.5 2.2

44-220000

Utilities 549.3 553.9 -4.6 -.8

50-000000

Information 2,694 2,699 -5 -.2

50-511000

Publishing industries, except Internet 733.1 727.5 5.6 .8

50-512000

Motion picture and sound recording industries 369.5 401.5 -32.0 -8.7

50-515000

Broadcasting, except Internet 285.1 286.0 -.9 -.3

50-517000

Telecommunications 851.9 856.0 -4.1 -.5

50-518000

Data processing, hosting and related services 265.0 250.6 14.4 5.4

50-519000

Other information services 188.9 177.6 11.3 6.0

55-000000

Financial activities 7,813 7,823 -10 -.1

55-520000

Finance and insurance 5,856.8 5,876.4 -19.6 -.3

55-521000

Monetary authorities - central bank 17.6 16.5 1.1 6.3

55-522000

Credit intermediation and related activities 2,615.8 2,601.9 13.9 .5

55-522100

Depository credit intermediation 1,737.1 1,735.2 1.9 .1

55-522110

Commercial banking 1,316.6 1,308.8 7.8 .6

55-523000

Securities, commodity contracts, investments, and funds and trusts 859.2 875.6 -16.4 -1.9

55-524000

Insurance carriers and related activities 2,364.2 2,382.4 -18.2 -.8

55-530000

Real estate and rental and leasing 1,956.5 1,946.7 9.8 .5

55-531000

Real estate 1,427.8 1,416.7 11.1 .8

55-532000

Rental and leasing services 505.2 506.7 -1.5 -.3

55-533000

Lessors of nonfinancial intangible assets 23.5 23.3 .2 .9

60-000000

Professional and business services 18,173 18,169 4 (2)

60-540000

Professional and technical services 8,126.1 8,127.7 -1.6 (2)

60-541100

Legal services 1,129.0 1,123.1 5.9 .5

60-541200

Accounting and bookkeeping services 1,041.4 1,053.8 -12.4 -1.2

60-541300

Architectural and engineering services 1,323.0 1,325.8 -2.8 -.2

60-541500

Computer systems design and related services 1,670.8 1,667.3 3.5 .2

60-541600

Management and technical consulting services 1,150.5 1,160.3 -9.8 -.9

60-550000

Management of companies and enterprises 2,072.5 2,024.3 48.2 2.3

60-560000

Administrative and waste services 7,973.9 8,016.7 -42.8 -.5

60-561000

Administrative and support services 7,606.0 7,646.2 -40.2 -.5

60-561300

Employment services 3,139.5 3,183.9 -44.4 -1.4

60-561320

Temporary help services 2,495.2 2,535.0 -39.8 -1.6

60-561400

Business support services 836.3 834.5 1.8 .2

60-561700

Services to buildings and dwellings 1,745.1 1,743.5 1.6 .1

60-562000

Waste management and remediation services 367.9 370.5 -2.6 -.7

65-000000

Education and health services 21,153 21,214 -61 -.3

65-610000

Educational services 3,497.6 3,516.8 -19.2 -.5

65-620000

Health care and social assistance 17,655.3 17,696.8 -41.5 -.2

65-621000

Ambulatory health care services 6,417.7 6,454.5 -36.8 -.6

65-621100

Offices of physicians 2,416.0 2,418.7 -2.7 -.1

65-621400

Outpatient care centers 670.1 679.8 -9.7 -1.4

65-621600

Home health care services 1,213.0 1,256.4 -43.4 -3.6

65-622000

Hospitals 4,792.2 4,830.6 -38.4 -.8

65-623000

Nursing and residential care facilities 3,210.5 3,202.3 8.2 .3

65-623100

Nursing care facilities 1,652.9 1,659.3 -6.4 -.4

65-624000

Social assistance 3,234.9 3,209.4 25.5 .8

65-624400

Child day care services 866.6 879.8 -13.2 -1.5

70-000000

Leisure and hospitality 13,740 13,668 72 .5

70-710000

Arts, entertainment, and recreation 1,875.1 1,865.2 9.9 .5

70-711000

Performing arts and spectator sports 402.1 408.6 -6.5 -1.6

70-712000

Museums, historical sites, and similar institutions 133.3 131.6 1.7 1.3

70-713000

Amusements, gambling, and recreation 1,339.7 1,325.0 14.7 1.1

70-720000

Accommodation and food services 11,864.9 11,802.8 62.1 .5

70-721000

Accommodation 1,788.3 1,762.5 25.8 1.4

70-722000

Food services and drinking places 10,076.6 10,040.3 36.3 .4

80-000000

Other services 5,422 5,444 -22 -.4

80-811000

Repair and maintenance 1,205.3 1,194.4 10.9 .9

80-812000

Personal and laundry services 1,325.0 1,322.4 2.6 .2

80-813000

Membership associations and organizations 2,891.8 2,927.3 -35.5 -1.2

90-000000

Government 22,273 22,266 7 (2)

90-910000

Federal 2,781.0 2,762.0 19.0 .7

90-911000

Federal, except U.S. Postal Service 2,191.9 2,173.4 18.5 .8

90-919120

U.S. Postal Service 588.7 588.8 -.1 (2)

90-920000

State government 5,205.0 5,197.0 8.0 .2

90-921611

State government education 2,555.7 2,546.1 9.6 .4

90-922000

State government, excluding education 2,649.6 2,650.5 -.9 (2)

90-930000

Local government 14,287.0 14,307.0 -20.0 -.1

90-931611

Local government education 8,137.9 8,142.3 -4.4 -.1

90-932000

Local government, excluding education 6,148.9 6,165.1 -16.2 -.3

Footnotes
(1) The CES estimates in this column contain reconstructions to series within CES supersectors Financial activities and Education and healthcare services. Each first quarter, the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) program, whose data account for approximately 97 percent of the CES universe scope (see www.bls.gov/web/empsit/cestn.htm#section1), incorporates updated industry assignments. In 2013, these updates included two substantial groups of nonrandom, noneconomic code changes, one to Funds, trusts, and other financial vehicles (NAICS 525), and the other, a reclassification of approximately 466,000 in employment from Private households (NAICS 814), which is out of scope for CES, to Services for the elderly and persons with disabilities (NAICS 62412), which is in scope. These changes also had an impact, beyond what would be considered typical for a given benchmark year, on corresponding CES series. For more information about the changes to these industries, see the QCEW First Quarter 2013 News Release available at www.bls.gov/news.release/archives/cewqtr_09262013.htm or the reconstruction section of the CES Benchmark Article at Special notice regarding reconstructed data.
(2) Less than 0.05 percent.

To Table of Figures


Exhibit 2 displays a comparison between the previously published estimates and the benchmarks for those CES series published at first preliminary release affected by reconstructions or collapses. The Benchmark column in Exhibit 2 reflects benchmarked values as presented in Table 2 above, and the column titled As Previously Published represents the previously published estimates before the reconstructions were performed. The difference between the March 2013 published estimate and the final benchmarked employment level for Total nonfarm is 347,000, or 0.3 percent.

Exhibit 2. Nonfarm employment change from published estimates to benchmarks for industries affected by reconstructions or collapses, March 2013 (in thousands)
CES Industry Code CES Industry Title Benchmark As Previously Published(1) Differences
Amount Percent

00-000000

Total nonfarm 134,917 134,570 347 0.3

05-000000

Total private 112,644 112,304 340 .3

07-000000

Service-providing 116,634 116,314 320 .3

08-000000

Private service-providing 94,361 94,048 313 .3

55-523000

Securities, commodity contracts, investments, and funds and trusts 859.2 826.0 33.2 3.9

55-524000

Insurance carriers and related activities 2,364.2 2,345.7 18.5 .8

65-000000

Education and health services 21,153 20,748 405 1.9

65-620000

Health care and social assistance 17,655.3 17,231.0 424.3 2.4

65-624000

Social assistance 3,234.9 2,743.6 491.3 15.2

Footnotes
(1) Estimates as previously published before any reconstructions or collapses are performed.

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Revisions in the post benchmark period

Post benchmark period estimates from April 2013 to December 2013 were calculated for each month based on new benchmark levels and new net birth/death factors. Net birth/death factors were revised to incorporate information from the most recent year of universe employment counts. Table 3 shows the net birth/death model figures for the supersectors over the post benchmark period. From April 2013 to December 2013, the cumulative net birth/death model added 877,000, compared with 755,000 in the previously published April to December estimates.

Table 3. Net birth/death estimates by industry supersector, April – December 2013 (in thousands)
CES Industry Code CES Industry Title Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Cumulative
Total

10-000000

Mining and logging 1 2 3 2 2 1 2 0 0 13

20-000000

Construction 33 35 23 6 8 7 9 -13 -18 90

30-000000

Manufacturing -2 6 3 -5 4 0 2 1 -1 8

40-000000

Trade, transportation, and utilities 18 24 13 3 18 13 35 4 4 132

50-000000

Information 0 4 0 0 3 -2 5 4 0 14

55-000000

Financial activities 4 8 4 1 6 -1 16 1 10 49

60-000000

Professional and business services 74 27 10 27 18 -15 70 7 -10 208

65-000000

Education and health services 20 18 -12 7 19 13 46 7 -4 114

70-000000

Leisure and hospitality 78 79 90 48 20 -44 -30 -21 6 226

80-000000

Other services 10 7 6 -3 1 -2 4 -1 1 23

Total nonfarm birth/death adjustment

236 210 140 86 99 -30 159 -11 -12 877

To Table of Figures


Table 4 presents revised Total nonfarm employment data on a seasonally adjusted basis for January 2013 through December 2013. The revised data for April 2013 forward incorporate the effect of applying the rate of change measured by the sample to the new benchmark level, as well as updated net birth/death model adjustments and new seasonal adjustment factors. Revisions to November and December also reflect incorporation of the annual CES sample update.

Table 4. Differences in seasonally adjusted levels and over-the-month changes, Total nonfarm employment, January – December 2013 (in thousands)
2013 Levels Over-the-month changes
As Previously Published As Revised Difference As Previously Published As Revised Difference

January

134,839 135,261 422 148 197 49

February

135,171 135,541 370 332 280 -52

March

135,313 135,682 369 142 141 -1

April

135,512 135,885 373 199 203 4

May

135,688 136,084 396 176 199 23

June

135,860 136,285 425 172 201 29

July

135,949 136,434 485 89 149 60

August

136,187 136,636 449 238 202 -36

September

136,362 136,800 438 175 164 -11

October

136,562 137,037 475 200 237 37

November

136,803 137,311 508 241 274 33

December(p)

136,877 137,386 509 74 75 1

Footnotes
(p) Preliminary.

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Changes to the CES published series

With the release of the January 2014 first preliminary estimates, CES incorporated series changes related to annual sample adequacy and disclosure review and reconstructed the history of series impacted by the noneconomic code changes involving NAICS 525 (Funds, trusts, and other financial vehicles) and 62412 (Services for the elderly and persons with disabilities).

Series changes

All CES series are evaluated annually for sample size, coverage, and response rates. The following series changes result from a reevaluation of the sample and universe coverage for NAICS industries.

Some series have new CES industry codes or titles as a result of the series changes (Exhibit 3). These CES industry code or title changes have been applied to all data types published for the designated series. Historical data for those series with new CES industry codes or CES industry titles were impacted as noted on the remainder of this page; historical data are available under the new CES industry codes or CES industry titles.

Exhibit 3. Series with CES industry code or title changes
NAICS Code Previous New
CES Industry Code CES Industry Title CES Industry Code CES Industry Title

336212,3,4

31-336214 Motor homes, travel trailers, and campers 31-336214 Truck trailers, motor homes, travel trailers, and campers

523,52

55-523000 Securities, commodity contracts, investments 55-523000 Securities, commodity contracts, investments, and funds and trusts

5239,51,592

55-523900 Other financial investment activities 55-523900 Other financial investment activities, including funds and trusts

52399,510,5902

55-523990 All other financial investment activities 55-523990 All other financial investment activities, including funds and trusts

To Table of Figures


The remaining series changes exhibits (Exhibit 4 through Exhibit 9) reference the new CES industry codes and titles, not the previous CES industry codes and titles, as noted in Exhibit 3.

Only directly estimated data types3 are included in the series changes exhibits:

  • All Employees (AE)
  • AE Average Weekly Hours (AE AWH)
  • AE Average Hourly Earnings (AE AHE)
  • AE Average Weekly Overtime Hours (AE AWOH)
  • Women Employees (WE)
  • Production Employees (PE)
  • PE Average Weekly Hours (PE AWH)
  • PE Average Hourly Earnings (PE AHE)
  • PE Average Weekly Overtime Hours (PE AWOH)

The directly estimated data types listed except for AE are collectively called non-AE data types. In order to more easily identify affected series, since AE series are published at a more detailed industry level than non-AE series, series changes exhibits are provided split by AE and non-AE data types. The non-AE tables cover all directly estimated non-AE data types.

The first group of series changes exhibits contains three exhibits referencing the AE data type and the second group contains three exhibits referencing all non-AE data types. The three exhibits in each group display the discontinued, collapsed, and new series. Discontinued series exhibits (Exhibit 4 and Exhibit 7) display series for which the data types noted are no longer published. Collapsed series exhibits (Exhibit 5 and Exhibit 8) display series for which the data types noted are no longer published because the industry no longer has sufficient sample to be estimated and published separately. Affected industries have been combined with other similar industries for estimation and publication purposes. Historical data for these series were reconstructed to provide consistent time series. New series exhibits (Exhibit 6 and Exhibit 9) display series for which the data types noted are now published.

AE exhibits

Exhibit 4. Discontinued AE series
NAICS Code CES Industry Code CES Industry Title Next Highest Published Industry

321991

31-321991 Manufactured and mobile homes All other wood products (31-321990)

33142

31-331420 Rolled, drawn, extruded, and alloyed copper Other nonferrous metal production (31-331400)

42442

41-424420 Packaged frozen food Grocery and related products (41-424400)

To Table of Figures


Exhibit 5. Collapsed AE series
NAICS Code CES Industry Code CES Industry Title Collapsed into CES Industry

336212

31-336212 Truck trailers Collapsed into Truck trailers, motor homes, travel trailers, and campers (31-336214)

52512

55-525100 Insurance and employee benefit funds Collapsed into All other financial investment activities, including funds and trusts (55-523990)

52592

55-525900 Other investment pools and funds Collapsed into All other financial investment activities, including funds and trusts (55-523990)

To Table of Figures


Exhibit 6. New AE series
There are no new AE series published.

To Table of Figures


Non-AE exhibits

Exhibit 7. Discontinued Non-AE series
NAICS Code CES Industry Code CES Industry Title Discontinued From Publication Next Highest Published Industry(1)

3271

31-327100 Clay products and refractories AE AWOH Nonmetallic mineral products (31-327000)

3272

31-327200 Glass and glass products AE AWOH, PE, PE AWH, PE AHE, PE AWOH Nonmetallic mineral products (31-327000)

3314

31-331400 Other nonferrous metal production PE, PE AWH, PE AHE, PE AWOH Primary metals (31-331000)

33151

31-331510 Ferrous metal foundries PE, PE AWH, PE AHE Foundries (31-331500)

33152

31-331520 Nonferrous metal foundries PE, PE AWH, PE AHE Foundries (31-331500)

3325

31-332500 Hardware WE Fabricated metal products (31-332000)

3326

31-332600 Spring and wire products WE Fabricated metal products (31-332000)

332721

31-332721 Precision turned products WE Turned products and screws, nuts, and bolts (31-332720)

332722

31-332722 Bolts, nuts, screws, rivets, and washers WE Turned products and screws, nuts, and bolts (31-332720)

3333

31-333300 Commercial and service industry machinery PE AWOH Machinery (31-333000)

333511

31-333511 Industrial molds AE AWH, AE AHE, AE AWOH, WE Metalworking machinery (31-333500)

333515,9

31-333519 Miscellaneous metalworking machinery AE AWH, AE AHE, AE AWOH, WE Metalworking machinery (31-333500)

3339

31-333900 Other general purpose machinery PE AWOH Machinery (31-333000)

3342

31-334200 Communications equipment AE AWOH Computer and electronic products (31-334000)

33637

31-336370 Motor vehicle metal stamping AE AWOH Motor vehicle parts (31-336300)

336411

31-336411 Aircraft WE Aerospace products and parts (31-336400)

337122

31-337122 Nonupholstered wood household furniture PE AWOH Other household and institutional furniture (31-337120)

3111

32-311100 Animal food AE AWH, AE AHE, AE AWOH, PE, PE AWH, PE AHE, PE AWOH, WE Food manufacturing (32-311000)

3112

32-311200 Grain and oilseed milling AE AWH, AE AHE, AE AWOH, WE Food manufacturing (32-311000)

3141

32-314100 Textile furnishings mills PE, PE AWH, PE AHE Textile product mills (32-314000)

3149

32-314900 Other textile product mills PE, PE AWH, PE AHE Textile product mills (32-314000)

3221

32-322100 Pulp, paper, and paperboard mills PE AWOH Paper and paper products (32-322000)

3222

32-322200 Converted paper products PE AWOH Paper and paper products (32-322000)

32411

32-324110 Petroleum refineries PE, PE AWH, PE AHE, PE AWOH Petroleum and coal products (32-324000)

32412,9

32-324190 Asphalt paving and roofing materials and other petroleum and coal products PE, PE AWH, PE AHE, PE AWOH Petroleum and coal products (32-324000)

32612

32-326120 Plastics pipe, fittings, and profile shapes AE AWOH Plastics products (32-326100)

32613,6

32-326160 Plastics bottles and laminated plastics plate, sheet, and shapes AE AWOH Plastics products (32-326100)

42394

41-423940 Jewelry PE, PE AWH, PE AHE Miscellaneous durable goods (41-423900)

42392,9

41-423990 Toy, hobby, and other durable goods PE, PE AWH, PE AHE Miscellaneous durable goods (41-423900)

42411,2

41-424120 Printing and writing paper and office supplies AE AWH, AE AHE Paper and paper products (41-424100)

42413

41-424130 Industrial paper AE AWH, AE AHE Paper and paper products (41-424100)

4542

42-454200 Vending machine operators PE, PE AWH, PE AHE Nonstore retailers (42-454000)

4543

42-454300 Direct selling establishments PE, PE AWH, PE AHE Nonstore retailers (42-454000)

5252

55-525000 Funds, trusts, and other financial vehicles PE, PE AWH, PE AHE Other financial investment activities, including funds and trusts (55-523900)

811118

80-811118 Other automotive mechanical and elec. repair PE, PE AWH, PE AHE Automotive mechanical and electrical repair (80-811110)

811121

80-811121 Automotive body and interior repair AE AWH, AE AHE, PE, PE AWH, PE AHE Automotive body, interior, and glass repair (80-811120)

811122

80-811122 Automotive glass replacement shops AE AWH, AE AHE, PE, PE AWH, PE AHE Automotive body, interior, and glass repair (80-811120)

813212

80-813212 Voluntary health organizations PE, PE AWH, PE AHE Grantmaking and giving services (80-813200)

813219

80-813219 Other grantmaking and giving services PE, PE AWH, PE AHE Grantmaking and giving services (80-813200)

Footnotes
(1) The industry listed is the next highest published industry for all data types discontinued from publication.

To Table of Figures


Exhibit 8. Collapsed Non-AE series
NAICS Code CES Industry Code CES Industry Title Collapsed into CES Industry Data Types Collapsed

5252

55-525000 Funds, trusts, and other financial vehicles Collapsed into All other financial investment activities, including funds and trusts (55-523990) AE AWH, AE AHE, WE

To Table of Figures


Exhibit 9. New Non-AE series
There are no new non-AE series published.

To Table of Figures

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Why benchmarks differ from estimates

A benchmark revision is the difference between the benchmark employment level for a given March and its corresponding sample-based estimate. The overall accuracy of the establishment survey is usually gauged by the size of this difference. The benchmark revision often is regarded as a proxy for total survey error, but this does not take into account error in the universe data or infrequent events such as this year?s historical reconstruction of previously out-of-scope employment. The employment counts obtained from quarterly UI tax forms are administrative data that reflect employer record-keeping practices and differing state laws and procedures. The benchmark revision can be more precisely interpreted as the difference between two independently derived employment counts, each subject to its own error sources.

Like all sample surveys, the establishment survey is susceptible to two sources of error: sampling error and nonsampling error. Sampling error is present any time a sample is used to make inferences about a population. The magnitude of the sampling error, or variance, relates directly to sample size and the percentage of the universe covered by that sample. The CES monthly survey captures slightly under one-third of the universe, exceptionally high by usual sampling standards. This coverage ensures a small sampling error at the Total nonfarm employment level.

Both the universe counts and the establishment survey estimates are subject to nonsampling errors common to all surveys – measurement, response, and processing errors. The error structures for both the CES monthly survey and the UI universe are complex. Still, the two programs generally produce consistent total employment figures, each validating the other.

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Benchmark revision effects for other data types

The routine benchmarking process results in revisions to the series for production and nonsupervisory employees and women employees. There are no benchmark employment levels for these series; they are revised by preserving ratios of employment for the particular data type to all employee employment prior to benchmarking, and then applying these ratios to the revised all employee figures. These figures are calculated at the basic cell level and then aggregated to produce the summary estimates. Average weekly hours, average hourly earnings, and in manufacturing industries, average weekly overtime hours are not benchmarked; they are estimated solely from reports supplied by survey respondents at the basic estimating cell level.

The aggregate industry levels of the hours and earnings series are derived as a weighted average. The all employee employment estimates or the production and nonsupervisory employee employment estimates for the basic cells essentially act as weights for their respective hours and earnings estimates for broader industry groupings. Adjustments of the all employee estimates to new benchmarks may alter the weights used for both AE and PE hours and earnings, which, in turn, may change the estimates for both AE and PE hours and earnings at higher levels of aggregation.

Generally, new employment benchmarks have little effect on hours and earnings estimates for major industry groupings. To influence the hours and earnings estimates of a broader industry group, employment revisions have to be relatively large and must affect industries that have hours or earnings averages that are substantially different from those of other industries in their broader group. Table 5 and Table 6 provide information on the levels of specific hours and earnings series resulting from the March 2013 benchmark. At the Total private level, there was no change in average weekly hours estimates for both AE and PE from the previously published level. Total private average hourly earnings increased by two cents for AE and one cent for PE from the previously published level.

Table 5. Effect of March 2013 benchmark revisions to AE AWH and AE AHE estimates, selected industries
CES Industry Code CES Industry Title Average Weekly Hours Average Hourly Earnings
Estimated(1) Revised Difference Estimated(1) Revised Difference

05-000000

Total private

34.3 34.3 0.0 $23.82 $23.84 $0.02

06-000000

Goods-producing

40.2 40.2 .0 25.00 24.97 -.03

08-000000

Private service-providing

33.2 33.2 .0 23.55 23.58 .03

10-000000

Mining and logging

42.7 42.7 .0 29.35 29.37 .02

20-000000

Construction

38.6 38.6 .0 26.08 26.04 -.04

30-000000

Manufacturing

40.7 40.7 .0 24.20 24.17 -.03

31-000000

Durable goods

41.1 41.1 .0 25.58 25.55 -.03

31-321000

Wood products

40.5 40.5 .0 17.93 17.96 .03

31-327000

Nonmetallic mineral products

41.5 41.5 .0 21.79 21.80 .01

31-331000

Primary metals

43.3 43.3 .0 24.39 24.35 -.04

31-332000

Fabricated metal products

41.1 41.1 .0 21.76 21.77 .01

31-333000

Machinery

41.3 41.4 .1 26.27 26.26 -.01

31-334000

Computer and electronic products

39.8 39.8 .0 32.95 32.95 .00

31-335000

Electrical equipment and appliances

40.7 40.7 .0 24.25 24.25 .00

31-336000

Transportation equipment

42.7 42.7 .0 29.01 28.96 -.05

31-336001

Motor vehicles and parts

42.7 42.6 -.1 23.46 23.40 -.06

31-337000

Furniture and related products

39.6 39.7 .1 18.60 18.59 -.01

31-339000

Miscellaneous durable goods manufacturing

39 39 .0 23.61 23.56 -.05

32-000000

Nondurable goods

40.1 40.1 .0 21.79 21.78 -.01

32-311000

Food manufacturing

39.6 39.6 .0 18.16 18.16 .00

32-313000

Textile mills

40.9 40.9 .0 17.31 17.31 .00

32-314000

Textile product mills

38.5 38.6 .1 16.27 16.26 -.01

32-315000

Apparel

35.9 35.9 .0 17.48 17.47 -.01

32-322000

Paper and paper products

41.7 41.7 .0 24.30 24.27 -.03

32-323000

Printing and related support activities

37 37 .0 22.12 22.12 .00

32-324000

Petroleum and coal products

45 45 .0 36.78 36.88 .10

32-325000

Chemicals

42.1 42.1 .0 27.78 27.78 .00

32-326000

Plastics and rubber products

41 41 .0 20.20 20.20 .00

32-329000

Miscellaneous nondurable goods manufacturing

37.5 37.5 .0 21.48 21.48 .00

40-000000

Trade, transportation, and utilities

34.4 34.5 .1 20.83 20.85 .02

41-420000

Wholesale trade

38.5 38.5 .0 27.37 27.36 -.01

42-000000

Retail trade

31.4 31.4 .0 16.58 16.60 .02

43-000000

Transportation and warehousing

38.5 38.5 .0 22.02 22.10 .08

44-220000

Utilities

42.3 42.3 .0 35.00 35.01 .01

50-000000

Information

36 36.1 .1 32.55 32.61 .06

55-000000

Financial activities

36.9 36.9 .0 29.90 29.85 -.05

60-000000

Professional and business services

35.9 35.9 .0 28.43 28.49 .06

65-000000

Education and health services

32.6 32.6 .0 24.25 24.30 .05

70-000000

Leisure and hospitality

26.1 26.1 .0 13.48 13.48 .00

80-000000

Other services

31.6 31.7 .1 21.20 21.32 .12

Footnotes
(1) The CES estimates in this column contain reconstructions to series within CES supersectors Financial activities and Education and healthcare services. Each first quarter, the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) program, whose data account for approximately 97 percent of the CES universe scope (see www.bls.gov/web/empsit/cestn.htm#section1), incorporates updated industry assignments. In 2013, these updates included two substantial groups of nonrandom, noneconomic code changes, one to Funds, trusts, and other financial vehicles (NAICS 525), and the other, a reclassification of approximately 466,000 in employment from Private households (NAICS 814), which is out of scope for CES, to Services for the elderly and persons with disabilities (NAICS 62412), which is in scope. These changes also had an impact, beyond what would be considered typical for a given benchmark year, on corresponding CES series. For more information about the changes to these industries, see the QCEW First Quarter 2013 News Release available at www.bls.gov/news.release/archives/cewqtr_09262013.htm or the reconstruction section of the CES Benchmark Article at Special notice regarding reconstructed data.

To Table of Figures


Table 6. Effect of March 2013 benchmark revisions to PE AWH and PE AHE estimates, selected industries
CES Industry Code CES Industry Title Average Weekly Hours Average Hourly Earnings
Estimated(1) Revised Difference Estimated(1) Revised Difference

05-000000

Total private

33.6 33.6 0.0 $20.02 $20.03 $0.01

06-000000

Goods-producing

41.2 41.2 .0 21.10 21.08 -.02

08-000000

Private service-providing

32.3 32.3 .0 19.80 19.81 .01

10-000000

Mining and logging

45.3 45.3 .0 26.80 26.81 .01

20-000000

Construction

39.3 39.3 .0 24.15 24.11 -.04

30-000000

Manufacturing

41.8 41.8 .0 19.23 19.21 -.02

31-000000

Durable goods

42.3 42.3 .0 20.25 20.23 -.02

31-321000

Wood products

42.6 42.6 .0 15.28 15.30 .02

31-327000

Nonmetallic mineral products

42.2 42.1 -.1 18.01 18.01 .00

31-331000

Primary metals

43.7 43.6 -.1 21.51 21.44 -.07

31-332000

Fabricated metal products

42.1 42.1 .0 18.32 18.32 .00

31-333000

Machinery

43.3 43.3 .0 20.51 20.50 -.01

31-334000

Computer and electronic products

40.7 40.7 .0 23.35 23.35 .00

31-335000

Electrical equipment and appliances

41.5 41.5 .0 18.02 18.02 .00

31-336000

Transportation equipment

43.8 43.8 .0 24.40 24.34 -.06

31-336001

Motor vehicles and parts

44 44 .0 20.89 20.81 -.08

31-337000

Furniture and related products

40.1 40.1 .0 15.41 15.39 -.02

31-339000

Miscellaneous durable goods manufacturing

40.2 40.2 .0 17.10 17.08 -.02

32-000000

Nondurable goods

40.9 40.9 .0 17.53 17.52 -.01

32-311000

Food manufacturing

40.1 40.1 .0 15.41 15.41 .00

32-313000

Textile mills

42.2 42.2 .0 13.82 13.82 .00

32-314000

Textile product mills

39.2 39.2 .0 12.81 12.81 .00

32-315000

Apparel

37.2 37.2 .0 12.97 12.97 .00

32-322000

Paper and paper products

43.1 43.1 .0 20.32 20.29 -.03

32-323000

Printing and related support activities

38.3 38.3 .0 17.67 17.67 .00

32-324000

Petroleum and coal products

47 47.1 .1 34.40 34.51 .11

32-325000

Chemicals

42.8 42.8 .0 21.18 21.18 .00

32-326000

Plastics and rubber products

41.6 41.7 .1 16.14 16.13 -.01

32-329000

Miscellaneous nondurable goods manufacturing

40.4 40.4 .0 18.22 18.22 .00

40-000000

Trade, transportation, and utilities

33.6 33.6 .0 17.58 17.61 .03

41-420000

Wholesale trade

38.5 38.5 .0 22.30 22.30 .00

42-000000

Retail trade

30 30.1 .1 13.98 14.00 .02

43-000000

Transportation and warehousing

38.4 38.4 .0 19.42 19.46 .04

44-220000

Utilities

41.7 41.7 .0 32.04 32.05 .01

50-000000

Information

35.4 35.6 .2 27.67 27.76 .09

55-000000

Financial activities

36.4 36.4 .0 23.72 23.66 -.06

60-000000

Professional and business services

35.1 35.1 .0 23.63 23.67 .04

65-000000

Education and health services

32.1 32.1 .0 21.13 21.15 .02

70-000000

Leisure and hospitality

25 25 .0 11.77 11.77 .00

80-000000

Other services

30.6 30.7 .1 17.87 17.94 .07

Footnotes
(1) The CES estimates in this column contain reconstructions to series within CES supersectors Financial activities and Education and healthcare services. Each first quarter, the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) program, whose data account for approximately 97 percent of the CES universe scope (see www.bls.gov/web/empsit/cestn.htm#section1), incorporates updated industry assignments. In 2013, these updates included two substantial groups of nonrandom, noneconomic code changes, one to Funds, trusts, and other financial vehicles (NAICS 525), and the other, a reclassification of approximately 466,000 in employment from Private households (NAICS 814), which is out of scope for CES, to Services for the elderly and persons with disabilities (NAICS 62412), which is in scope. These changes also had an impact, beyond what would be considered typical for a given benchmark year, on corresponding CES series. For more information about the changes to these industries, see the QCEW First Quarter 2013 News Release available at www.bls.gov/news.release/archives/cewqtr_09262013.htm or the reconstruction section of the CES Benchmark Article at Special notice regarding reconstructed data.

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Methods

Benchmark adjustment procedure

Establishment survey benchmarking is done on an annual basis to a population derived primarily from the administrative file of employees covered by UI. The time required to complete the revision process—from the full collection of the UI population data to publication of the revised industry estimates—is about ten months. The benchmark adjustment procedure replaces the March sample-based employment estimates with UI-based population counts for March. The benchmark therefore determines the final employment levels, while sample movements capture month-to-month trends.

Benchmarks are established for each basic estimating cell and are aggregated to develop published levels. On a not seasonally adjusted basis, the sample-based estimates for the year preceding and the nine months following the benchmark also are then subject to revision. Employment estimates for the months between the most recent March benchmark and the previous year's benchmark are adjusted using a "wedge-back" procedure. In this process, the difference between the benchmark level and the previously published March estimate for each estimating cell is computed. This difference, or error, is linearly distributed across the 11 months of estimates subsequent to the previous benchmark; eleven-twelfths of the March difference is added to February estimates, ten-twelfths to January estimates, and so on, ending with the previous April estimates, which receive one-twelfth of the March difference. The wedge procedure assumes that the total estimation error accumulated at a steady rate since the last benchmark. Applying previously derived over-the-month sample changes to the revised March level yields revised estimates for the nine months following the March benchmark (also referred to as the post benchmark period, see Revisions in the post benchmark period). New net birth/death model estimates also are calculated and applied during post benchmark estimation. The annual sample update is introduced in the November final sample-based estimates, which are released along with the January first preliminary sample-based estimates that coincide with the Benchmark release. The new sample is used for all subsequent estimates.

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Benchmark source material

The principal source of benchmark data for private industries is the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW). The QCEW scope is defined by employment data provided to state employment security agencies by employers covered by state UI laws. BLS uses several other sources to establish benchmarks for the industries partially covered or exempt from mandatory UI coverage, accounting for nearly 3 percent of the nonfarm employment total.

Data on employees covered under Social Security laws, published by the U.S. Census Bureau in County Business Patterns, are used to augment UI data for industries not fully covered by the UI scope, such as Non-office insurance sales workers, child daycare workers, Religious organizations, and Private schools and hospitals. Noncovered employment for state and local government hospitals and educational institutions is based on the Annual Survey of Public Employment and Payroll (ASPEP) conducted by the Census Bureau. Noncovered employment data from these sources are available only on a lagged basis. Extrapolation to a current level is accomplished by applying the employment trends from the UI-covered part of the population in these industries to the noncovered part. Universe data for interstate railroads are obtained from the Railroad Retirement Board. More information on calculating noncovered employment in the CES program is available in the CES Technical Notes at www.bls.gov/web/empsit/cestn.htm#NCE.

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Business birth and death estimation

Regular updating of the CES sample frame with information from the UI universe files helps to keep the CES survey current with respect to employment from business births and deaths. However, the timeliest UI universe files available will always be a minimum of six to seven months out of date. The CES survey thus cannot rely on regular frame maintenance alone to provide estimates for business birth and death employment contributions. BLS has researched both sample-based and model-based approaches to measuring birth units that have not yet appeared on the UI universe frame. Since the research demonstrated that sampling for births was not feasible in the very short CES production timeframes, the Bureau is utilizing a model-based approach for this component.

Earlier research indicated that while both the business birth and death portions of total employment are generally significant, the net contribution is relatively small. To account for this net birth/death portion of total employment, BLS is utilizing an estimation procedure with two components. The first component excludes employment losses from business deaths from sample-based estimation in order to offset the missing employment gains from business births. This is incorporated into the sample-based link relative estimate procedure by simply not reflecting sample units going out of business, but imputing to them the same trend as the other firms in the sample. The second component is an Autoregressive Integrated Moving Average (ARIMA) time series model designed to estimate the net birth/death employment not accounted for by the imputation. The historical time series used to create and test the ARIMA model was derived from the UI universe micro level database, and reflects the actual net of births and deaths over the past five years. The net birth/death model component figures are unique to each month and include negative adjustments in some months. Furthermore, these figures exhibit a seasonal pattern similar to the seasonal patterns of the continuing businesses.

Only error from the second component is directly measurable. Error from this component is measured by comparing the actual net of births and deaths from March 2012-13 — once it becomes available — with the model-based estimate. As Table 7 shows, the actual net birth/death for April 2012 to March 2013 was approximately 230,000 above the forecasted amount used in the CES monthly estimates for the time period.

Table 7. Differences between forecasted and actual net birth/death, Total private employment, April 2012 – March 2013 (in thousands)
Benchmark 2013 2012 2013 Total
Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar

Actual Net Birth/Death

273 210 162 88 103 -30 202 -3 -2 -345 147 60 865

Forecast Net Birth/Death

206 205 122 66 89 -14 118 -36 -1 -314 102 92 635

Difference

67 5 40 22 14 -16 84 33 -1 -31 45 -32 230

Cumulative Difference

67 72 112 134 148 132 216 249 248 217 262 230

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Availability of revised data

LABSTAT, the BLS public database on the Internet, contains all historical employment, hours, and earnings data revised as a result of this benchmark, including both not seasonally adjusted and seasonally adjusted data. The data can be accessed at www.bls.gov/ces/, the CES homepage.

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Seasonal adjustment procedure

For technical information on how seasonal adjustment is performed in the CES program, refer to the Seasonal Adjustment section of the CES Technical Notes, available at www.bls.gov/web/empsit/cestn.htm#section5e. For more information on seasonal adjustment model specifications and special model adjustments, please see the Seasonal Adjustment Model Specification List section of the CES Seasonal Adjustment Files and Documentation page, available at www.bls.gov/web/empsit/cesseasadj.htm#samodel.

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End Notes

1 As a result of the collapse, the title for CES Industry Code 55-523990 was revised to All other financial investment activities, including funds and trusts.
2 Each first quarter, the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) program, whose data account for approximately 97 percent of the CES universe scope (see www.bls.gov/web/empsit/cestn.htm#section1), incorporates updated industry assignments. In 2013, the updates included substantial nonrandom, noneconomic code changes to NAICS 525 (Funds, trusts, and other financial vehicles). These changes also had an impact, beyond what would be considered typical for a given benchmark year, on corresponding CES series. For more information about the changes to Funds, trusts, and other financial vehicles, see the QCEW First Quarter 2013 News Release Box Note titled "Notable Industry Changes" available at www.bls.gov/news.release/archives/cewqtr_09262013.htm.
3 CES estimates data in two ways: directly and indirectly. Directly estimated data types refer to data types for which estimates are calculated directly from the responding sample. Indirectly estimated data types refer to data types for which estimates are calculated from other directly estimated data types. Average weekly earnings of all employees and indexes of aggregate weekly hours of all employees are examples of indirectly estimated data types. For more information on indirectly estimated data types, see the CES Technical Notes available at www.bls.gov/web/empsit/cestn.htm.

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Table of figures

Tables

Exhibits

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Last Modified Date: March 10, 2014