The Current Employment Statistics program is a monthly survey conducted by State employment security agencies in cooperation with the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The survey provides employment, hours and earnings estimates based on payroll records of business establishments.

Data Available

The data from the Current Employment Statistics survey include series for total employment, number of production or nonsupervisory workers, average hourly earnings, average weekly hours, average weekly earnings, and average weekly overtime hours in manufacturing industries.

For all employees and production or nonsupervisory workers, over 2,100 published monthly employment series are available. The series for all employees include over 1,150 industries at various levels of aggregation.

Over 2,600 published monthly series for production workers' average weekly earnings, average hourly earnings, average weekly hours, and, in manufacturing, average weekly overtime hours are available.

Hours and earnings data are available for about 850 industries.

Most employment series begin in 1990, although employment by industry supersector is available since 1939.

For industry supersectors and major groups, about 210 series of seasonally adjusted data are available.

Over 200 special derivative series such as indexes and constant dollar series are also available.


Payroll employment in nonagricultural industries.

Private sector hours and earnings: Production workers for natural resources and mining and manufacturing, construction workers for construction, and nonsupervisory workers in service-providing industries.

Reference Period

Pay period including the 12th of the month (varies by reporting establishment).

Source of Data

Current Employment Statistics Program, a Federal-State cooperative program; sample based on over 390,000 business establishments.

Industry Classification

With the release of January 2008 data on February 1, 2008, the CES National Nonfarm Payroll series was updated to the 2007 North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) from the 2002 NAICS basis. For further details on the 2007 NAICS update, visit the CES NAICS web page. The last revision to CES industry classification was the June 2003 replacement of the 1987 Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) with 2002 NAICS. Information on the SIC to NAICS conversion can be found at CES NAICS conversion web page.

Forms of Publication

Monthly news releases - The Employment Situation-3 weeks after the reference week (usually the first Friday of each month), and Real Earnings - coincident with Consumer Price Index release. Electronic access available.

Monthly web-only publication - Employment and Earnings Online.

Internet - LABSTAT main database


The first economic indicator of current economic trends each month, together with the unemployment rate.

  • Health of the economy (employment).
  • Earnings trends and wage-push inflation (average hourly earnings).
  • Short-term fluctuations in demand (average weekly hours).

Input into other major economic indicators:

  • Personal Income (aggregate earnings).
  • Industrial Production (aggregate hours in manufacturing, mining, and public utilities).
  • Index of Leading Economic Indicators (average weekly hours in manufacturing).
  • Index of Coincident Indicators (employment)
  • Productivity measures (aggregate hours).

Adjustments of labor costs in escalation of long-term purchase contracts (average hourly earnings in specific industries). Note: The Employment Cost Index is the official BLS source on compensation cost measurement.

Wage negotiations.

Economic research and planning.

Industry studies.


Last Modified Date: March 28, 2008