The Current Employment Statistics (CES) program is a monthly survey conducted
by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The survey provides employment, hours, and earnings
estimates based on payroll records of business establishments.
Data produced from the CES survey include nonfarm employment series for all employees, production and nonsupervisory employees, and women employees, as well as average hourly earnings, average weekly hours, and average weekly overtime hours (in manufacturing industries) for both all employees and production and nonsupervisory employees.
Most detailed employment series begin in 1990. Employment data by aggregate industry sector and most major industry
sectors are published as far back as 1939.
About 2,100 not seasonally adjusted employment series for all employees, production and nonsupervisory employees, and women employees are published monthly. The series
for all employees include over 900 industries at various levels of
Approximately 2,500 all employees and production and nonsupervisory employees series for average hourly earnings, average weekly hours, and, in
manufacturing, average weekly overtime hours are published monthly on a not seasonally adjusted basis and cover over 600 industries.
About 5,700 seasonally adjusted employment, hours, and earnings series for all employees, production and nonsupervisory employees, and women employees are published.
Approximately 8,400 not seasonally adjusted special derivative series such as average weekly earnings, indexes, and constant dollar
series for all employees and production and nonsupervisory employees are also published for over 600 industries.
Payroll employment data are published for both private and government sectors. These data are available for nonfarm industries.
Hours and earnings data are published only for the private sector. These data are produced for all private-sector employees on business payrolls
and also for production and nonsupervisory employees. Production and nonsupervisory
employees include production employees in mining and logging and manufacturing,
construction employees in construction, and nonsupervisory employees in private service-providing
The survey reference period is the pay period including the 12th of the month. This can vary according to an establishment's length of pay period, a factor taken into account when compiling the data.
The Current Employment Statistics Program is a federal-state cooperative
program. The CES survey is based on approximately 142,000 businesses and government agencies representing approximately 689,000 worksites throughout the United States.
CES data are classified according to the 2017 North American Industry Classification System (NAICS).
The CES monthly employment series are the first economic indicator of current economic trends each month,
together with the unemployment rate, and are inputs to many gauges of the U.S. economy including:
- The overall health of the economy (employment)
- Earnings trends and wage-push inflation (average hourly earnings)
- Short-term fluctuations in demand (average weekly hours)
CES employment series are inputs into other major economic indicators:
- Personal Income (aggregate earnings)
- Industrial Production (aggregate hours in manufacturing, mining, and
- Index of Leading Economic Indicators (average weekly hours of production employees in
- Index of Coincident Indicators (employment)
- Productivity measures (aggregate hours)
CES employment series can also inform other areas of business, research, and policy:
- Public policy
- Wage negotiations
- Economic research and planning
- Industry studies
Last Modified Date: February 1, 2019