CES National Benchmark Article (PDF)

BLS Establishment Survey National Estimates Revised to Incorporate March 2018 Benchmarks

Authored by Shane Haley and Caila Pinkleton.

Shane Haley and Caila Pinkleton are economists in the Division of Current Employment Statistics – National, Office of Employment and Unemployment Statistics, Bureau of Labor Statistics. Telephone: (202) 691‑6555; email: Contact CES

Summary of the revisions

With the release of January 2019 data on February 1, 2019, 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.

The March 2018 benchmarked seasonally adjusted employment level for total nonfarm employment is 148,279,000. The not seasonally adjusted benchmarked employment level is 147,368,000.

Compared with the sample-based, published seasonally adjusted estimate for March 2018, total nonfarm employment had a revision of -1,000, or less than -0.05 percent. The not seasonally adjusted total nonfarm employment estimate was revised by -16,000, or less than -0.05 percent.

Table 1 presents revised total nonfarm employment data on a seasonally adjusted basis for January 2018 through December 2018. The revised data for April 2018 forward incorporate the effect of applying the rate of change measured by the sample to the new benchmark employment level, as well as updated net birth/death model forecasts and new seasonal adjustment factors. Revisions to November and December also reflect incorporation of additional sample receipts.

Table 1. Differences in seasonally adjusted levels and over-the-month changes, total nonfarm employment, January to December 2018 (in thousands)
2018 Levels Over-the-month Changes
As Previously Published As Revised Difference As Previously Published As Revised Difference

January

147,801 147,767 -34 176 171 -5

February

148,125 148,097 -28 324 330 6

March

148,280 148,279 -1 155 182 27

April

148,455 148,475 20 175 196 21

May

148,723 148,745 22 268 270 2

June

148,931 149,007 76 208 262 54

July

149,096 149,185 89 165 178 13

August

149,382 149,467 85 286 282 -4

September

149,501 149,575 74 119 108 -11

October

149,775 149,852 77 274 277 3

November

149,951 150,048 97 176 196 20

December(p)

150,263 150,270 7 312 222 -90

Footnotes
(p) Preliminary.

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IMPORTANT Special notice regarding seasonally adjusted historical data

Due to a major reconstruction effort, some seasonally adjusted series were revised further back than usual. Total nonfarm data was revised back to 1939. For more information, see the Reconstructions section of this article.

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Overview

Establishment survey benchmarking is done on an annual basis to population employment counts derived primarily from the administrative file of employees covered by Unemployment Insurance (UI). All employers covered by UI laws are required to report employment and wage information to the appropriate state Unemployment Insurance agency four times per year. Approximately 97 percent of total nonfarm employment within the scope of the establishment survey is covered by UI. The UI data are obtained and edited by each state’s Labor Market Information (LMI) agency, and are tabulated and published through the BLS Quarterly Census of Wages and Employment (QCEW) program. Both the QCEW and CES are based on the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). An employment count for the remaining 3 percent is constructed from alternate sources, primarily records from the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB), as well as County Business Patterns (CBP) and Annual Survey of Public Employment and Payroll (ASPEP) data from the Census Bureau. This 3 percent is referred to as noncovered employment (NCE). The combination of QCEW and NCE employment counts create the benchmark level and are used to replace CES sample-based estimates each March. The full benchmark level developed for March replaces the March sample-based estimate for each basic cell.

The total annual revision is the difference between the benchmark level for a given March and the published March sample-based employment estimate. Typically, the total revision is equal to the benchmark revision. The overall accuracy of the establishment survey is usually gauged by the size of the benchmark revision, which is often regarded as a proxy for total survey error. In years that are affected by historical reconstructions, however, affected CES series are re-estimated prior to benchmarking. The benchmark revision, in these cases, is the difference between the benchmark level and the newly reconstructed sample-based estimate. The benchmark revision can be more precisely interpreted as the difference between two independently derived employment counts, each subject to its own error sources.

In order to create a continuous time series between the new March benchmark level and historical sample-based data from the prior March benchmark level, employment estimates for the months between the most recent March benchmark and the previous year's benchmark are adjusted using a linear "wedge-back" procedure, which assumes that the total estimation error accumulated at a steady rate since the last benchmark. For the 9 months following the March benchmark (also referred to as the post-benchmark period), CES applies previously derived over-the-month sample changes to the revised March level to get the revised estimates. New net birth/death model forecasts are also calculated and applied during post-benchmark estimation. More information on benchmarks in the CES program is available in the Benchmarks section of the CES Technical Notes, as well as in the October 2017 Monthly Labor Review, "Benchmarking the Current Employment Statistics National Estimates."

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Seasonally adjusted revisions

Table 2 presents revised employment data on a seasonally adjusted basis for March 2018 by major industry sector. The revision to seasonally adjusted total nonfarm employment is -1,000.

Table 2. Seasonally adjusted employment revisions for major industry sectors, March 2018 (in thousands)
CES Industry Code CES Industry Title As Revised As Previously Published Differences
Amount Percent
00-000000 Total nonfarm 148,279 148,280 -1 (1)
05-000000 Total private 125,870 125,956 -86 -0.1
06-000000 Goods-producing 20,527 20,516 11 0.1
07-000000 Service-providing 127,752 127,764 -12 (1)
08-000000 Private service-providing 105,343 105,440 -97 -0.1
10-000000 Mining and logging 714 722 -8 -1.1
20-000000 Construction 7,201 7,164 37 0.5
30-000000 Manufacturing 12,612 12,630 -18 -0.1
31-000000 Durable goods 7,886 7,883 3 (1)
32-000000 Nondurable goods 4,726 4,747 -21 -0.4
40-000000 Trade, transportation, and utilities 27,591 27,736 -145 -0.5
41-420000 Wholesale trade 5,834.8 5,962 -127.2 -2.2
42-000000 Retail trade 15,834.3 15,930.4 -96.1 -0.6
43-000000 Transportation and warehousing 5,365.6 5,289 76.6 1.4
44-220000 Utilities 555.8 554.1 1.7 0.3
50-000000 Information 2,824 2,765 59 2.1
55-000000 Financial activities 8,537 8,548 -11 -0.1
60-000000 Professional and business services 20,816 20,817 -1 (1)
65-000000 Education and health services 23,518 23,491 27 0.1
70-000000 Leisure and hospitality 16,244 16,248 -4 (1)
80-000000 Other services 5,813 5,835 -22 -0.4
90-000000 Government 22,409 22,324 85 0.4
Footnotes

(1) Absolute revision is less then 0.05 percent.

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Typically, 5 years of seasonally adjusted data are revised with each CES annual benchmark. However, reconstructed series are seasonally adjusted over their revised time spans.

For technical information on how seasonal adjustment is performed in the CES program, refer to the Seasonal Adjustment section of the CES Technical Notes.

For more information on seasonal adjustment model specifications and special model adjustments, please see the CES Seasonal Adjustment Files and Documentation page.

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Not seasonally adjusted revisions

Table 3 presents the employment benchmarks for March 2018, not seasonally adjusted, by major industry sector. The revision to not seasonally adjusted total nonfarm employment is -16,000.

Table 3. Not seasonally adjusted employment benchmarks for major industry sectors, March 2018 (in thousands)
CES Industry Code CES Industry Title Benchmark Estimate(1) Differences
Amount Percent
00-000000 Total nonfarm 147,368 147,384 -16 (2)
05-000000 Total private 124,601 124,705 -104 -0.1
06-000000 Goods-producing 20,195 20,177 18 0.1
07-000000 Service-providing 127,173 127,207 -34 (2)
08-000000 Private service-providing 104,406 104,528 -122 -0.1
10-000000 Mining and logging 704 712 -8 -1.1
20-000000 Construction 6,933 6,889 44 0.6
30-000000 Manufacturing 12,558 12,576 -18 -0.1
31-000000 Durable goods 7,870 7,869 1 (2)
32-000000 Nondurable goods 4,688 4,707 -19 -0.4
40-000000 Trade, transportation, and utilities 27,283 27,360 -77 -0.3
41-420000 Wholesale trade 5,812.3 5,866.7 -54.4 -0.9
42-000000 Retail trade 15,610.8 15,707.2 -96.4 -0.6
43-000000 Transportation and warehousing 5,305.7 5,233 72.7 1.4
44-220000 Utilities 554.4 552.6 1.8 0.3
50-000000 Information 2,814 2,755 59 2.1
55-000000 Financial activities 8,491 8,503 -12 -0.1
60-000000 Professional and business services 20,566 20,638 -72 -0.4
65-000000 Education and health services 23,656 23,651 5 (2)
70-000000 Leisure and hospitality 15,818 15,822 -4 (2)
80-000000 Other services 5,778 5,799 -21 -0.4
90-000000 Government 22,767 22,679 88 0.4
Footnotes

(1) With the 2018 benchmark, CES reconstructed several series. The effects of these reconstructions are included in this table. For more information, see the Reconstructions section in the 2018 CES Benchmark Article.

(2) Absolute revision is less then 0.05 percent.

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Benchmarks for more detailed industries can be found at https://www.bls.gov/web/empsit/cesbmart-tables.htm.

Table 4 below shows the recent history of not seasonally adjusted total nonfarm percent and level benchmark revisions. Over the prior ten years, the annual benchmark revision at the total nonfarm level has averaged 0.2 percent (in absolute terms), with a range of −0.7 percent to 0.3 percent.

The differences listed in table 4 reflect the error due to normal benchmarking procedures after the incorporation of reconstructions. Those years are footnoted.

Table 4. Percent and level differences between nonfarm employment benchmarks and estimates by industry supersector, March 2008 – 2018 (in thousands)
CES Industry Code CES Industry Title Type 2008 2009 2010(1) 2011(2) 2012 2013(3) 2014 2015(4) 2016 2017(5) 2018(6)

00-000000

Total nonfarm Percent -0.1 -0.7 -0.3 0.1 0.3 -0.1 (7) -0.1 -0.1 0.1 (7)
Level -89 -902 -378 162 424 -119 67 -172 -81 135 -16

05-000000

Total private Percent -0.1 -0.9 -0.4 0.1 0.4 -0.1 0.1 -0.2 -0.1 0.1 -0.1
Level -137 -933 -391 134 481 -126 105 -232 -151 133 -104

10-000000

Mining and logging Percent 0.4 -3.5 -3.0 -0.4 1.6 -1.2 -1.8 -2.2 -3.2 -4.6 -1.1
Level 3 -25 -20 -3 13 -10 -16 -19 -22 -30 -8

20-000000

Construction 0.1 0.7 -2.9 -1.3 -0.5 1.8 0.3 1.6 0.6 0.7 0.8 0.6
Level 49 -171 -67 -26 93 14 90 39 47 52 44

30-000000

Manufacturing Percent -0.1 -0.7 -1.0 0.1 -0.2 0.2 0.4 -0.1 0.5 0.1 -0.1
Level -17 -84 -119 9 -25 23 43 -12 58 15 -18

40-000000

Trade, transportation, and utilities Percent 0.2 -1.2 -0.6 0.4 0.6 -0.5 -0.1 (7) -0.4 0.3 -0.3
Level 65 -300 -143 95 145 -131 -31 -5 -110 75 -77

41-420000(8)

Wholesale trade Percent -0.7 -1.2 -2.3 -0.2 0.8 -0.4 -0.8 -0.7 -1.1 -0.4 -0.9
Level -43.1 -68.0 -124.5 -13.1 45.3 -20.2 -45.4 -41.3 -66.6 -21.2 -54.4

42-000000(8)

Retail trade Percent 0.6 -1.6 -0.1 0.6 0.5 -0.8 0.0 -0.2 -0.8 0.1 -0.6
Level 92.8 -235.6 -18.4 83.8 78.9 -110.3 5.5 -23.5 -118.2 15.4 -96.4

43-000000(8)

Transportation and warehousing Percent 0.3 0.2 0.1 0.5 0.7 0.1 0.2 1.4 1.7 1.6 1.4
Level 15.0 9.9 3.1 22.4 29.4 3.6 9.7 65.3 83.5 79.8 72.7

44-220000(8)

Utilities Percent (7) -1.2 -0.6 0.5 -1.5 -0.8 -0.1 -0.8 -1.6 0.2 0.3
Level -0.2 -6.8 -3.4 2.8 -8.5 -4.6 -0.6 -4.7 -8.7 1 1.8

50-000000

Information Percent 0.3 -1.5 -0.4 -0.4 1.8 -0.2 2.4 -1.6 -0.1 2.5 2.1
Level 8 -42 -11 -12 47 -5 66 -44 -2 70 59

55-000000

Financial activities Percent -0.3 -0.1 0.4 0.9 0.6 -0.1 0.2 -0.1 (7) 0.1 -0.1
Level -23 -4 34 69 45 -10 19 -9 -4 7 -12

60-000000

Professional and business services Percent -0.4 -0.8 (7) 0.7 (7) (7) -0.8 -0.6 -0.6 -1.3 -0.4
Level -63 -137 -3 125 2 4 -147 -110 -125 -270 -72

65-000000

Education and health services Percent -0.1 -0.3 (7) -0.5 (7) -0.3 -0.1 (7) -0.4 0.3 (7)
Level -17 -56 7 -108 -2 -61 -16 -7 -83 70 5

70-000000

Leisure and hospitality Percent -1.1 -0.6 -0.6 0.7 0.8 0.5 0.3 -0.3 0.7 0.8 (7)
Level -151 -72 -80 93 104 72 38 -45 102 126 -4

80-000000

Other services Percent 0.2 -0.8 0.2 -2.0 1.1 -0.4 1.1 -0.4 -0.2 0.3 -0.4
Level 9 -42 11 -108 59 -22 59 -20 -12 18 -21

90-000000

Government Percent 0.2 0.1 0.1 0.1 -0.3 (7) -0.2 0.3 0.3 (7) 0.4
Level 48 31 13 28 -57 7 -38 60 70 2 88
Footnotes

(1) With the 2010 benchmark, CES reconstructed historical national employment levels of all employees for other federal government (91-999900) to reflect corrections to initial counts for Census temporary and intermittent workers for the 2010 Census. The reconstructions resulted in about 4,000 in employment moved out of other federal government (91-999900). For more information, see the Reconstructions section in the 2010 CES Benchmark Article.

(2) A review of industries for the possible presence of noncovered employment yielded 13 additional industries. As a result of including these industries, employment in the amount of 95,000 was added to the benchmark nonfarm level. For more information, see the Changes to noncovered employment section in the 2011 CES Benchmark Article.

(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 The Sample section of the CES Technical Notes), 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 or the Special notice regarding reconstructed data section in the 2013 CES Benchmark Article.

(4) With the 2015 benchmark, CES reconstructed the national employment series 65-624120, services for the elderly and persons with disabilities back to January 2000. CES previously reconstructed this series with the 2013 benchmark; however, between the 2013 and 2015 benchmark, a better source of information for the employment within NAICS 62412 for the state of California was found. The inclusion of the reconstructed series resulted in total nonfarm and total private employment that was 27,000 less than the originally published March 2015 estimate level. The difference between the benchmarked and originally published March 2015 estimate level is -199,000 or -0.1 percent. This table displays March 2015 data after accounting for the decrease of 27,000 from the reconstructed series. Similarly, for the education and health services supersector, this table displays March 2015 data after incorporating the reconstructed series. For more information, see the Reconstructions section in the 2015 CES Benchmark Article.

(5) With the 2017 benchmark, CES reconstructed the national employment series 60-561613, security guards and patrols and armored car services back to October 2016 to correct a microdata error. The inclusion of the reconstructed series resulted in total nonfarm and total private employment that was 3,000 more than the originally published March 2017 estimate level. The difference between the benchmarked and originally published March 2017 estimate level is 138,000 or 0.1 percent. This table displays March 2017 data after accounting for the increase of 3,000 from the reconstructed series. Similarly, for the professional and business services supersector, this table displays March 2017 data after incorporating the reconstructed series. For more information, see the Reconstructions section in the 2017 CES Benchmark Article.

(6) With the 2018 benchmark, CES reconstructed several national employment series. A recoding effort in the QCEW resulted in about 336,000 in employment in wholesale trade agents and brokers (41-425120) moving into other series within the wholesale trade, retail trade, transportation and warehousing, and professional and business services major industry sectors. Affected basic series were reconstructed for their entire history, generally back to January 1990. Additionally, a reclassification of a state employer to private ownership caused a shift of about 17,000 in employment from the CES series other state government (90-922999) into services for the elderly and persons with disabilities (65-624120). Affected basic series were reconstructed from March 2018 back to January 2018. For more information, see the Reconstructions section in the 2018 CES Benchmark Article.

(7) Absolute revision is less than 0.05 percent.

(8) Indented series are part of trade, transportation, and utilities.

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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 (PE) and women employees (WE). There are no benchmark employment levels for these series; they are revised by preserving ratios of employment for the particular data type to the all employee (AE) level prior to benchmarking, and then applying these ratios to the revised all employee level. These figures are calculated at the basic cell level and then aggregated to produce the summary estimates. Average weekly hours (AWH), average hourly earnings (AHE), and in manufacturing industries, average weekly overtime hours (AWOH) are not benchmarked; they are estimated solely from reports supplied by survey respondents at the basic estimating cell level. New employment benchmarks can additionally affect indirectly estimated data types. For more information on indirectly estimated data types, see the Available Data section in the CES Technical Notes.

Table 5 lists directly estimated data types and their common abbreviations. Directly estimated data types except for AE are collectively called non-AE data types.

Table 5. Directly estimated data types
Data Type Abbreviation
All employees AE
Production and nonsupervisory employees PE
Women employees WE
Average weekly hours of all employees AE AWH
Average hourly earnings of all employees AE AWE
Average weekly overtime hours of all employees AE AWOH
Average weekly hours of production and nonsupervisory employees PE AWH
Average hourly earnings of production and nonsupervisory employees PE AWE
Average weekly overtime hours of production and nonsupervisory employees PE AWOH

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The aggregate industry levels of the hours and earnings series are derived as a weighted average. AE and PE estimates for basic cells act as weights for their respective hours and earnings estimates for broader industry groupings. Adjustments of AE estimates to new benchmarks may alter the implicit 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 6 and table 7 provide information on the not seasonally adjusted levels of major industry sector hours and earnings series resulting from the March 2018 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 4 cents for AE and increased by 3 cents for PE from the previously published level.

Benchmark effects on hours and earnings for more detailed industries can be found at https://www.bls.gov/web/empsit/cesbmart-tables.htm.

Table 6. Effect of March 2018 benchmark revisions to all employees average weekly hours and average hourly earnings estimates, major industry sectors
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 $26.83 $26.87 $0.04
06-000000 Goods-producing 40.2 40.2 .0 27.97 27.99 .02
08-000000 Private service-providing 33.1 33.1 .0 26.57 26.61 .04
10-000000 Mining and logging 45.2 45.2 .0 32.79 32.68 -.11
20-000000 Construction 38.7 38.7 .0 29.50 29.52 .02
30-000000 Manufacturing 40.8 40.8 .0 26.87 26.90 .03
31-000000 Durable goods 41.3 41.3 .0 28.12 28.15 .03
32-000000 Nondurable goods 40.0 40.0 .0 24.71 24.73 .02
40-000000 Trade, transportation, and utilities 34.2 34.2 .0 23.07 23.06 -.01
41-420000 Wholesale trade 38.7 38.7 .0 30.01 29.96 -.05
42-000000 Retail trade 30.8 30.8 .0 18.47 18.47 .00
43-000000 Transportation and warehousing 38.4 38.6 .2 24.30 24.25 -.05
44-220000 Utilities 42.0 42.1 .1 40.44 40.45 .01
50-000000 Information 35.7 35.7 .0 38.97 39.13 .16
55-000000 Financial activities 37.3 37.2 -.1 34.32 34.31 -.01
60-000000 Professional and business services 35.9 35.9 .0 32.26 32.33 .07
65-000000 Education and health services 32.8 32.7 -.1 26.79 26.85 .06
70-000000 Leisure and hospitality 26.0 26.0 .0 15.87 15.88 .01
80-000000 Other services 31.5 31.5 .0 24.41 24.59 .18
Footnotes

(1) With the 2018 benchmark, CES reconstructed several series. The effects of these reconstructions are included in this table. For more information, see the Reconstructions section in the 2018 CES Benchmark Article.

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Table 7. Effect of March 2018 benchmark revisions to production employees average weekly hours and average hourly earnings estimates, major industry sectors
CES Industry Code CES Industry Title Average Weekly Hours Average Hourly Earnings
Estimated(1) Revised Difference Estimated(1) Revised Difference
05-000000 Total private 33.5 33.5 0.0 $22.48 $22.51 $0.03
06-000000 Goods-producing 41.2 41.2 .0 23.63 23.66 .03
08-000000 Private service-providing 32.2 32.2 .0 22.23 22.26 .03
10-000000 Mining and logging 46.5 46.4 -.1 28.05 27.99 -.06
20-000000 Construction 39.2 39.3 .1 27.29 27.32 .03
30-000000 Manufacturing 42.0 42.0 .0 21.36 21.39 .03
31-000000 Durable goods 42.5 42.5 .0 22.27 22.30 .03
32-000000 Nondurable goods 41.3 41.3 .0 19.89 19.89 .00
40-000000 Trade, transportation, and utilities 33.6 33.6 .0 19.65 19.65 .00
41-420000 Wholesale trade 38.7 38.7 .0 24.61 24.58 -.03
42-000000 Retail trade 30.0 30.0 .0 15.69 15.69 .00
43-000000 Transportation and warehousing 37.8 38.0 .2 21.76 21.71 -.05
44-220000 Utilities 42.7 42.7 .0 36.97 36.99 .02
50-000000 Information 35.5 35.5 .0 31.26 31.35 .09
55-000000 Financial activities 36.6 36.6 .0 26.89 26.88 -.01
60-000000 Professional and business services 35.0 35.1 .1 26.57 26.61 .04
65-000000 Education and health services 32.1 32.0 -.1 23.43 23.47 .04
70-000000 Leisure and hospitality 24.8 24.8 .0 13.74 13.74 .00
80-000000 Other services 30.5 30.5 .0 20.62 20.79 .17
Footnotes

(1) With the 2018 benchmark, CES reconstructed several series. The effects of these reconstructions are included in this table. For more information, see the Reconstructions section in the 2018 CES Benchmark Article.

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Revisions to net birth/death

The CES sample alone is not sufficient for estimating the total nonfarm employment level because each month new firms generate employment that cannot be captured through the sample. There is an unavoidable lag between a firm opening for business and its appearance on the CES sample frame. The sample frame is built from Unemployment Insurance (UI) quarterly tax records. These records cover virtually all U.S. employers and include business births, but they only become available for updating the CES sampling frame 7 to 9 months after the reference month. After the births appear on the frame, there is also time required for sampling, contacting, and soliciting cooperation from the firm, and verifying the initial data provided. In practice, BLS cannot sample and begin to collect data from new firms until they are at least a year old.

BLS has researched both sample-based and model-based approaches to measuring birth/death units that have not yet appeared on the UI universe frame. The research demonstrated that sampling for births was not feasible in the very short CES production timeframes, so the Bureau uses a model-based approach to account for this employment. This model incorporates two components; the first component is an indirect imputation for business deaths and 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 from the first component. More information on the CES birth/death model is available in the Birth/Death Model section of the CES Technical Notes.

Forecasted vs. actual net birth/death

Only error from the second component is directly measurable. Error from this component is measured by comparing the actual net of births and deaths with the model-based forecast that was used in the CES sample-based estimates. Most recently, the data from April 2017 to March 2018 can be measured. As table 8 shows, the actual net birth/death for April 2017 to March 2018 was approximately 65,000 below the forecasted amount used in the CES monthly estimates for the same period.

Table 8. Differences between forecasted and actual net birth/death, total private employment, April 2017 – March 2018 (in thousands)
Benchmark 2018 2017 2018 Total
Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar

Actual Net Birth/Death

281 204 124 140 91 -61 279 -24 -45 -149 157 42 1,039

Forecast Net Birth/Death

264 232 110 200 115 -41 247 8 -23 -198 125 65 1,104

Difference

17 -28 14 -60 -24 -20 32 -32 -22 49 32 -23 -65

Cumulative Difference

17 -11 3 -57 -81 -101 -69 -101 -123 -74 -42 -65

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Net birth/death adjustments to the post-benchmark period

From April 2018 to December 2018, also known as the post-benchmark period, estimates were recalculated for each month based primarily on new benchmark levels and new net birth/death forecasts. Net birth/death forecasts were revised to incorporate information from the most recent year of universe employment counts. Table 9 shows the net birth/death values for the supersectors over the post-benchmark period. From April 2018 to December 2018, the net birth/death model cumulatively added 1,055,000, compared with 963,000 in the previously published April 2018 to December 2018 employment estimates.

Table 9. Net birth/death forecasts by industry supersector, April to December 2018 (in thousands)
CES Industry Code CES Industry Title Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Cumulative Total
10-000000

Mining and logging

0 1 1 1 1 0 1 0 0 5
20-000000

Construction

35 39 23 12 10 4 22 -9 -13 123
30-000000

Manufacturing

0 7 6 -1 3 3 5 2 2 27
40-000000

Trade, transportation, and utilities

5 22 7 8 16 11 37 10 6 122

41-420000(1)

Wholesale trade

-3 4 -1 -2 2 -2 6 2 1 7

42-000000(1)

Retail trade

6 13 5 8 9 7 20 2 0 70

43-000000(1)

Transportation and warehousing

2 5 3 2 5 6 11 6 5 45

44-220000(1)

Utilities

0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
50-000000

Information

4 6 0 6 5 -3 9 4 -1 30
55-000000

Financial activities

2 6 1 6 4 -4 21 1 9 46
60-000000

Professional and business services

97 22 -4 40 22 -23 97 1 -26 226
65-000000

Education and health services

40 16 -20 28 17 -2 62 10 -7 144
70-000000

Leisure and hospitality

79 88 92 73 23 -44 11 -23 0 299
80-000000

Other services

13 8 6 -2 4 -3 10 -1 -2 33
Total private net birth/death adjustment 275 215 112 171 105 -61 275 -5 -32 1,055
Footnotes

(1) Indented series are part of trade, transportation, and utilities.

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Reconstructions

In addition to the regular benchmark revisions, CES employment, hours, and earnings estimates are sometimes reconstructed in order to avoid series breaks and to provide users with continuous, comparable employment time series suitable for economic analysis. Reconstructions may be necessary to correct processing errors, reporting errors, changes in scope, or to address other issues that may cause breaks in CES time series that are not economic in nature. The reconstructions that were incorporated with this year’s annual benchmark are described below.

Wholesale trade recoding

During processing for the 2018 benchmark, a QCEW recoding effort for the first quarter of 2018 moved a significant amount of employment out of NAICS 425120. For CES purposes, this resulted in about 336,000 in employment in wholesale trade agents and brokers (41-425120) moving into other series within the wholesale trade, retail trade, transportation and warehousing, and professional and business services major industry sectors. This amounted to approximately 38.8 percent of the previously published March 2018 employment level of wholesale trade agents and brokers. Affected basic series were reconstructed for their entire histories, generally back to January 1990. Series for AE, PE, WE, PE AWH, and PE AHE were reconstructed back to January 1990 for all affected basic and independent series. AE AWH and AE AHE were reconstructed back to the start of those data types, March of 2006. A complete list of affected basic and independent series is available in exhibit 1. Basic series are those at the most detailed industry level that get aggregated into other series levels; independent series are detailed series estimated independently of aggregation. For more information about CES aggregation procedures, see the Aggregation Procedures section in the CES Technical Notes.

Some of the changes associated with the recoding of NAICS 425120 affected levels of NAICS detail not published by CES; therefore, only cases where CES industries were affected are discussed in detail here. Reconstructions were applied to not seasonally adjusted CES data.

Basic-level reconstruction methods

The reconstruction of data from wholesale trade agents and brokers redistributes a single NAICS (425120) that made up the entire CES industry wholesale trade agents and brokers (41-425120) to many NAICS that span industries in the CES major industry sectors wholesale trade, retail trade, transportation and warehousing, and professional and business services. Employment in wholesale trade agents and brokers was split into 69 basic series, including the portion that remained in the original series, and 6 independent series.

Ratios of employment moving out of wholesale trade agents and brokers and into other basic-level CES series were created from QCEW data for March 2018 and used to reconstruct each series. Ratios were held constant and applied to each monthly CES employment estimate for the entire history of the series, usually back to 1990, to determine the amount of employment moving from wholesale trade agents and brokers to a different CES industry. Average weekly hours and average hourly earnings were recalculated by applying the same ratios to the amount of old total hours and old total payroll to move the correct amount of hours or earnings into the new CES industry. Total hours and total earnings summed for the new industries were then averaged using the new employment levels. More information about the calculation of CES employment, hours, and earnings estimates is available in the CES Technical Notes under Estimation Methods.

Exhibit 1 shows the ratios that were applied to 41-425120 to calculate proportions of employment, total hours, and total earnings moving to other series. AE series are sometimes published at a more detailed level than non-AE series. Furthermore, aggregate-level series for AE may be basic series for non-AE datatypes, as noted in exhibit 1.

Exhibit 1. Ratios used to move employment out of wholesale trade agents and brokers and into other industries
CES Industry Code CES Industry Title AE Ratio(1) Non-AE Ratio(1)

41-423100

Motor vehicles and parts 1 1

41-423110

Motor vehicles 0.5 0.5

41-423120

New motor vehicle parts 0.4 0.4

41-423200

Furniture and furnishings (2) 0.3

41-423210

Furniture 0.1 (3)

41-423220

Home furnishings 0.2 (3)

41-423310

Lumber and wood 0.4 0.4

41-423320

Masonry materials 0.2 0.2

41-423390

Roofing, siding, and other construction materials 0.5 0.5

41-423420

Office equipment 0.2 0.2

41-423430

Computer and software 1.2 1.2

41-423450

Medical equipment 4.3 4.3

41-423490

Miscellaneous professional and commercial equipment 1.1 1.1

41-423500

Metals and minerals 1 1

41-423610

Electrical equipment and wiring 1.1 1.1

41-423690

Electric appliances and other electronic parts 1.5 1.5

41-423710

Hardware 0.4 0.4

41-423720

Plumbing equipment 0.3 0.3

41-423740

HVAC and refrigeration equipment 0.4 0.4

41-423810

Construction equipment 0.1 0.1

41-423820

Farm and garden equipment 0.2 0.2

41-423830

Industrial machinery 1.8 1.8

41-423840

Industrial supplies 0.3 0.3

41-423850

Service establishment equipment 0.1 0.1

41-423860

Other transportation goods 0.3 0.3

41-423910

Sporting goods 0.1 0.1

41-423940

Jewelry 0.1 0.1

41-423990

Toy, hobby, and other durable goods 0.7 0.7

41-424120

Printing and writing paper and office supplies 0.7 0.7

41-424130

Industrial paper 0.6 0.6

41-424200

Druggists' goods 3.8 3.8

41-424300

Apparel and piece goods 0.5 0.5

41-424330

Women's and children's clothing 0.2 (3)

41-424400

Grocery and related products 2.9 2.9

41-424410

General line grocery 0.5 0.5

41-424480

Fruits and vegetables 0.1 0.1

41-424500

Farm product raw materials 0.1 0.1

41-424510

Grains and field beans (4) (4)

41-424600

Chemicals 1.7 1.7

41-424700

Petroleum 0.7 0.7

41-424800

Alcoholic beverages (2) 0.4

41-424810

Beer and ale 0.2 (3)

41-424820

Wine and spirits 0.2 (3)

41-424900

Miscellaneous nondurable goods (2) 1.3

41-424910

Farm supplies 0.3 0.3

41-424920

Books and periodicals 0.2 (3)

41-424930

Nursery stock and florists' supplies 0.1 0.1

41-424990

All other nondurable goods wholesalers 0.7 (3)

42-443142

Electronics stores 0.1 0.1

42-444100

Building material and supplies dealers (2) 0.1

42-444130

Hardware stores 0.1 0.1

42-444190

Other building material dealers 0.1 (3)

42-454100

Electronic shopping and mail-order houses 0.4 0.4

42-454390

Other direct selling establishments 0.2 0.2

43-484230

Other specialized trucking, long-distance 0.1 0.1

43-493110

General warehousing and storage 0.5 0.5

43-493120

Refrigerated warehousing and storage 0.1 0.1

60-541200

Accounting and bookkeeping services (2) 0.1

60-541214

Payroll services 0.1 0.1

60-541340

Engineering and drafting services 0.1 0.1

60-541511

Custom computer programming services 0.4 0.4

60-541512

Computer systems design services 0.4 0.4

60-541519

Other computer-related services 0.1 0.1

60-541600

Management and technical consulting services (2) 4.1

60-541610

Management consulting services (2) 4.1

60-541611

Administrative management consulting services 0.1 0.1

60-541613

Marketing consulting services 3.9 3.9

60-541614

Process and logistics consulting services 0.2 0.2

60-541690

Other technical consulting services (4) (4)

60-541714

Research and development in biotechnology, except nanobiotechnology 0.1 0.1

60-541715

Research and development in the physical, engineering, and life sciences, except nanotechnology and biotechnology 0.2 0.2

60-541800

Advertising and related services (2) 0.3

60-541840

Media buying agencies and media representatives (4) (4)

60-541890

Advertising material distribution and other advertising services 0.2 0.2

60-541990

Miscellaneous professional and technical services 0.1 0.1

60-551114

Managing offices 0.7 0.7

60-561310

Employment placement agencies and executive search services (2) 0.1

60-561311

Employment placement agencies 0.1 (3)

60-561320

Temporary help services 0.1 0.1

60-561400

Business support services (2) 0.3

60-561410

Document preparation services 0.1 0.1

60-561420

Telephone call centers (2) 0.2

60-561422

Telemarketing bureaus 0.2 (3)

60-561620

Security systems services 0.1 0.1

60-561990

All other support services 0.2 0.2
Footnotes

(1) Ratios will not sum to 100.0 because of the inclusion of independent series.

(2) Calculated at more detailed level for AE.

(3) Calculated at less detailed level than AE.

(4) Less than 0.05 percent.

To Table of Figures

Aggregate-level reconstruction methods

Reconstructed basic series were summed to aggregate levels using the normal CES aggregation methods (see the Aggregation Procedures section in the CES Technical Notes), and, consequently, unadjusted aggregate employment series are subject to change from the detailed aggregate series to the major industry sector levels for trade, transportation, and utilities and professional and business services. Hours and earnings series are subject to change from detailed aggregate series to aggregate major industry sectors for private service-providing, service-providing, total private, and total nonfarm. Not seasonally adjusted employment for private service-providing, service-providing, total private, and total nonfarm are unaffected.

Reconstruction methods for series that go back further than 1990

For industries that have series with earlier data than January 1990, ratios at the major industry level were created from summed reconstructed data and the originally published estimates. These pre-1990 ratios were calculated for employment and total earnings using January 1990 data for all series in exhibit 2 and applied to the pre-1990 histories for these series. Pre-1990 PE AWH did not change, but the historical PE AWH data was used to calculate PE AHE changes for pre-1990 data, which had minor changes between 1 and -2 cents for some months.

Exhibit 2. Start years of pre-1990 industries affected by recoding wholesale trade agents and brokers
CES Industry Code CES Industry Title AE PE PE AWH PE AHE WE

40-000000

Trade, transportation, and utilities 1939 1964 1964 1964 1964

41-420000

Wholesale trade 1939 1972 1972 1972 1972

42-000000

Retail trade 1939 1972 1972 1972 1972

43-000000

Transportation and warehousing 1972 1972 1972 1972 1972

60-000000

Professional and business services 1939 1964 1964 1964 1964

60-561300

Employment services 1985 1990 1990 1990 1990

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Seasonal adjustment in reconstructed series

For all series affected by the redistribution of employment, hours, and earnings from wholesale trade agents and brokers into other industries, the corresponding seasonally adjusted series were also subject to change for the entirety of their histories. Aggregate industries as well as component series used as indirect seasonal adjustment are also subject to change, up to and including total private and total nonfarm. More information about seasonal adjustment of CES series is available in the CES Technical Notes under Seasonal Adjustment.

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Ownership change in state government

A reclassification of some employers from state to private ownership caused a shift in employment of about 17,000 from the CES series other state government (90-922999) into services for the elderly and persons with disabilities (65-624120). This shift amounted to approximately 3.5 percent of the previously published March 2018 employment level of other state government. The change occurred in January 2018, necessitating a reconstruction of 3 months of CES data for January, February, and March of 2018. Exhibit 3 lists data types affected by the change in ownership. Changes include AE, PE, and WE in services for the elderly and persons with disabilities and AE and WE in other state government. Hours and earnings are not applicable for government series, so the hours and earnings for services for the elderly and persons with disabilities were not affected by the change at the most detailed industry level. Changes to employment at the most detailed level, however, can affect the hours and earnings at aggregate levels.

Exhibit 3. CES series involved in state government reconstructions
CES Industry Code CES Industry Title Data Type(s) Involved Time Span

65-624120

Services for the elderly and persons with disabilities AE, PE, WE January 2018 – March 2018

90-922999

Other state government AE, WE January 2018 – March 2018

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Basic-level reconstruction methods

A ratio of QCEW employment using the new ownership total to QCEW employment using the old ownership total for other state government for March 2018 was calculated. The ratio was applied to CES employment for other state government for January, February, and March of 2018 for AE and WE to determine the amount remaining in those series. The difference between the old employment and new employment for each month was added to the corresponding month for services for the elderly and persons with disabilities. For PE, the original sample ratios used to calculate PE in services for the elderly and persons with disabilities were applied to the new totals for AE.

Aggregate-level reconstruction methods

The previous employment was maintained at total nonfarm (00-000000), but aggregate levels were affected by the change in ownership. Exhibit 4 lists the affected aggregate industries. As with usual processing, 5 years of data are subject to seasonal adjustment during benchmark processing.

Exhibit 4. Aggregate series affected by the change in ownership in other government services
CES Industry Code CES Industry Title

05-000000

Total private

08-000000

Private service-providing

65-000000

Education and health services

65-620000

Health care and social assistance

65-624000

Social assistance

65-624100

Individual and family services

90-000000

Government

90-920000

State government

90-922000

State government, excluding education

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Aggregation processing error for production and nonsupervisory employees hours and earnings estimates

During the 2018 benchmark, a processing error was found that caused both PE AWH and PE AHE to aggregate incorrectly, specifically between 1947 and 1989 for the total private, goods-producing, and private service-providing sectors. The maximum absolute differences in aggregation totals were 0.1 hours for PE AWH and 2 cents for PE AHE. These were corrected by re-aggregating all hours and earnings estimates between 1947 and 1989.

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Changes to the CES published series

With the release of the January 2019 first preliminary estimates on February 1, 2019, CES incorporated series changes related to annual sample adequacy and disclosure review.

Series changes due to annual sample review

All CES series are evaluated annually for sample size, coverage, and response rates. The following changes result from a re-evaluation of the sample and universe coverage for CES industries, which are based on the 2017 North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). Some industries no longer have sufficient sample to be estimated and published separately and were discontinued or combined with other similar industries for estimation and publication purposes. This information is also available at www.bls.gov/web/empsit/cesnewseries.htm.

A list of currently published CES series is available at www.bls.gov/web/empsit/cesseriespub.htm.

Some series have new CES industry codes or titles as a result of the series changes (see table 10). These CES industry code or title changes have been applied to all data types published for the designated series. Historical data for these series with new CES industry codes or CES industry titles are affected as noted on the remainder of this page; historical data are available under the new CES industry codes or new CES industry titles.

Table 10. Series with CES Industry Code or Title Changes
NAICS Code Previous New
CES Industry Code CES Industry Title CES Industry Code CES Industry Title

335312,3,4

31-335314 Switchgears, switchboard apparatus, relays, and industrial controls 31-335314 Motors and generators, switchgears and switchboard apparatus, and relay and industrial controls

To Table of Figures

Table 11 through table 16 show the new CES industry codes and titles, not the previous CES industry codes and titles, as noted in table 10.

In order to more easily identify affected series and because AE series are published at a more detailed industry level than non-AE series, series changes are shown for AE and non-AE data types. The first three tables reference the AE data type and the second three tables reference all non-AE data types. The three tables in each group display the discontinued, collapsed, and new series. Discontinued series tables (table 11 and table 14) display series for which the data types noted are no longer published. Collapsed series tables (table 12 and table 15) 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. Series that no longer publish AE will also no longer publish other directly estimated datatypes or derivative series. New series tables (table 13 and table 16) display series for which the data types noted are now published.

Table 11. Discontinued all employees series
NAICS Code CES Industry Code CES Industry Title Next Highest Published Industry

32311

32-323110 Printing Printing and related support activities (32-323000)

323113

32-323113 Commercial screen printing Printing and related support activities (32-323000)

32312

32-323120 Support activities for printing Printing and related support activities (32-323000)

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Table 12. Collapsed all employees series
Previous New

NAICS Code

CES Industry Code CES Industry Title NAICS Code CES Industry Code CES Industry Title

335312

31-335312 Motors and generators 335312,3,4 31-335314 Motors and generators, switchgears and switchboard apparatus, and relay and industrial controls

335313,4

31-335314 Switchgears, switchboard apparatus, relays, and industrial controls

To Table of Figures

Table 13. New all employees series

There are no new AE series published as a result of annual sample review.

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Table 14. Discontinued series other than all employees
NAICS Code CES Industry Code CES Industry Title Discontinued From Publication Next Highest Published Industry

321911

31-321911 Wood windows and doors PE AWOH Millwork (31-321910)

321912,8

31-321918 Cut stock, resawing lumber, planing, and other millwork, including flooring PE AWOH Millwork (31-321910)

32192

31-321920 Wood containers and pallets PE AWOH Other wood products (31-321900)

32199

31-321990 All other wood products PE AWOH Other wood products (31-321900)

3271

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

3274,9

31-327900 Lime, gypsum, and other nonmetallic mineral products WE Nonmetallic mineral products (31-327000)

3312

31-331200 Steel products from purchased steel AE AWH, AE AHE, WE, AE AWOH Primary metals (31-331000)

3314

31-331400 Other nonferrous metal production AE AWH, AE AHE, WE Primary metals (31-331000)

334413

31-334413 Semiconductors and related devices PE AWOH Semiconductors and electronic components (31-334400)

33637

31-336370 Motor vehicle metal stamping WE Motor vehicle parts (31-336300)

3366

31-336600 Ship and boat building WE Transportation equipment (31-336000)

3365,9

31-336900 Railroad rolling stock and other transportation equipment WE Transportation equipment (31-336000)

337215

31-337215 Showcases, partitions, shelving, and lockers AE AWH, AE AHE, WE Furniture and related products (31-337000)

339113

31-339113 Surgical appliances and supplies PE AWOH Medical equipment and supplies (31-339100)

3113

32-311300 Sugar and confectionery products PE AWOH Food manufacturing (32-311000)

31141

32-311410 Frozen food PE, PE AWH, PE AHE, PE AWOH Fruit and vegetable preserving and specialty (32-311400)

31142

32-311420 Fruit and vegetable canning and drying PE, PE AWH, PE AHE, PE AWOH Fruit and vegetable preserving and specialty (32-311400)

311611

32-311611 Animal, except poultry, slaughtering AE AWH, AE AHE Animal slaughtering and processing (32-311600)

311612,3

32-311613 Meat processed from carcasses, and rendering and meat byproduct processing AE AWH, AE AHE Animal slaughtering and processing (32-311600)

3117

32-311700 Seafood product preparation and packaging PE, PE AWH, PE AHE Food manufacturing (32-311000)

3221

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

3222

32-322200 Converted paper products PE, PE AWH, PE AHE, AE AWOH Paper and paper products (32-322000)

32222

32-322220 Paper bags and coated and treated paper AE AWH, AE AHE, WE Converted paper products (32-322200)

32222

32-322220 Paper bags and coated and treated paper PE, PE AWH, PE AHE, AE AWOH, PE AWOH Paper and paper products (32-322000)

44411

42-444110 Home centers PE, PE AWH, PE AHE, WE Building material and supplies dealers (42-444100)

541713

60-541713 Research and development in nanotechnology PE, PE AWH, PE AHE Research and development in the physical, engineering, and life sciences (60-541710)

541714

60-541714 Research and development in biotechnology, except nanobiotechnology PE, PE AWH, PE AHE Research and development in the physical, engineering, and life sciences (60-541710)

6112

65-611200 Junior colleges WE Educational services (65-610000)

6116

65-611600 Other schools and instruction WE Educational services (65-610000)

To Table of Figures

Table 15. Collapsed series other than all employees

There are no collapsed non-AE series as a result of annual sample review.

To Table of Figures

Table 16. New series other than all employees

There are no new non-AE series published as a result of annual sample review.

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Availability of revised data

LABSTAT, the BLS public database, 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/data, the CES National Database page.

Previously published data are available on both a not seasonally adjusted and seasonally adjusted basis for all CES industries down to the 3-digit level from the CES Vintage Data. CES vintage data are typically updated in late February following the annual benchmark revision.

Benchmarks for detailed industries can be found at https://www.bls.gov/web/empsit/cesbmart-tables.htm.

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Table of figures

Tables

Exhibits

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Last Modified Date: June 10, 2019