In addition to converting to a new industry classification system, three other major changes have been introduced to the Current Employment Statistics survey, effective with the release of data for May 2003.
The CES series for federal government employment has been revised slightly in scope and definition. Previously, this series was an end-of-the-month count of employees by the Office of Personnel Management that excluded some workers. Now, these workers are included, and the series, like others, is estimated from a sample of establishments, benchmarked annually, and reflects employment as of the pay period including the 12th of the month.
The release of data for May 2003 marks the completion of a multiyear transition of the establishment survey from a quota-based sample to a more statistically sound probability-based sample. The implementation of the probability sample began in June 2000.
Also, current monthly establishment data are now adjusted using a concurrent seasonal adjustment methodology. This is a change from the previous practice of updating seasonal factors semiannually.
The chart above reflects all of four of these changes, as well as the standard annual benchmark revisions.
Payroll employment data are from the Current Employment Statistics program. The above data are seasonally adjusted. Data for April and May 2003 are preliminary and subject to revision. For more information, see "The Employment Situation: May 2003" (PDF) (TXT), news release USDL. 03-281.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, More changes to Current Employment Statistics at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2003/jun/wk2/art03.htm (visited December 10, 2023).