Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW)

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What is the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages?

This program produces a comprehensive tabulation of employment and wage information for workers covered by state of Idaho unemployment insurance laws and federal workers covered by the Unemployment Compensation for Federal Employees program. QCEW covers approximately 98% of total employment in the United States and over 90% of employment in Idaho.

Data from the QCEW series include:

  • Number of firms.
  • Monthly employment.
  • Average monthly employment per quarter.
  • Total quarterly wages.
  • Average weekly wage by industry using the North American Industry Classification System up to six digits.
  • Ownership as private, federal government, state government or local government.
  • Location by county, region and state.

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Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Note: An asterisk (*) or “ND” in an employment data table indicates the data is non-disclosable or suppressed under the rules and laws governing Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data collection and research programs. These laws and rules protect the confidentiality, numbers and identity of the employers who respond.

There are two types of data suppression that fall under these guidelines: primary and secondary.

Primary suppression is required when an employer’s identity or data can be inferred directly from the numbers. Primary suppression in a category is determined by a BLS formula based on the number of establishments, total employment, number of employers, and the contribution of the largest employers to total wages and jobs.

Secondary suppression is necessary when grouping certain figures in a hierarchy makes it possible to infer the value or identity of other withheld employment. In that case, the BLS formula marks additional data for suppression to protect anonymity.

More information on QCEW data methods can be found at https://www.bls.gov/cew/questions-and-answers.htm.

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