The information on this page details a preliminary estimate of the current benchmark revisions. The final benchmark revisions for this year have now been released, and CES estimates have been updated to reflect those benchmarks. More information about current and previous benchmark revisions is available at

CES Preliminary Benchmark Announcement

In accordance with usual practice, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) is announcing the preliminary estimate of the upcoming annual benchmark revision to the establishment survey employment series. The final benchmark revision will be issued on February 7, 2014, with the publication of the January 2014 Employment Situation news release.

Each year, employment estimates from the Current Employment Statistics (CES) survey are benchmarked to comprehensive counts of employment for the month of March. These counts are derived from State Unemployment Insurance (UI) tax records that nearly all employers are required to file. For National CES employment series, the annual benchmark revisions over the last 10 years have averaged plus or minus three-tenths of one percent of Total nonfarm employment. The preliminary estimate of the benchmark revision indicates an upward adjustment to March 2013 Total nonfarm employment of 345,000 (0.3 percent). This revision is impacted by a large non-economic code change in the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) that moves approximately 469,000 in employment from Private households, which is out-of-scope for CES, to the Education and health care services industry, which is in scope. After accounting for this movement, the estimate of the revision to March 2013 Total nonfarm employment is a decrease of 124,000.

Table 1 shows the March 2013 preliminary benchmark revisions by major industry sector. As is typically the case, many of the individual industry series show larger percentage revisions than the Total nonfarm series, primarily because statistical sampling error is greater at more detailed levels than at an aggregated level.

Table 1. National Current Employment Statistics March 2013
Preliminary Benchmark Revisions by Major Industry Sector
(in thousands)

Total nonfarm

345 (1) 0.3

Total private

333 (1) .3

Mining and logging

-9 -1.1


13 .2


24 .2

Trade, transportation, and utilitites

-116 -.5


-10 -.4

Financial activities

-12 -.2

Professional and business services

12 .1

Education and health care services

390 (1) 1.8

Leisure and hospitality

66 .5

Other services

-25 -.5


12 .1

(1) Revision impacted by non-economic code change of approximately 469,000 in QCEW.

Last Modified Date: March 10, 2014