Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages

Electronic Data Reporting

Chapter 2 - Data Accuracy, Confidentiality and Security

Data accuracy, confidentiality, and security are of the utmost importance to BLS and its CES and MWR programs. This chapter contains important information regarding these issues.

2.1 Data Accuracy

The accuracy of the submitted data is of the utmost importance to BLS. Also, the BLS approach to EDI emphasizes building in data quality so that the first transmitted files meet BLS data definition requirements and that every subsequent file is accurate. This approach minimizes revisions to the data file contents.

Please closely review the remaining chapters in this booklet to ensure that your data meet the CES and MWR data specifications. It is imperative that you review each data item with the EDI Center staff before programming begins. For CES data, see Appendices A and C, and for MWR data see Appendix B.

If the EDI Center determines that the quality of the data being submitted does not sufficiently meet the program requirements, BLS will notify the firm and discuss alternatives to remedy the situation. If these issues cannot be resolved, the EDI Center may notify the firm that it will no longer be able to process the electronic file.

Reference Period
For accurate and consistent data, the proper reference period is the pay period that includes the 12th of the month, regardless of the firm's payroll frequency or pay date. Employers should report their employment data for all full-time and part-time employees who worked during or received pay for the payroll (pay) period that includes the 12th of the month. The reporting of other CES data items such as payroll, hours, commissions, and overtime hours should also be reported for the same reference period. CES also collects gross monthly earnings.

2.2 Data Confidentiality

To maintain data confidentiality, BLS published data are industry aggregates which are designed to prevent identification of individual firms. Various BLS regulations and the 2003 CIPSEA statutory legislation provide protections to insure the confidentiality of the employer data provided to the EDI Center. If you want additional information regarding the confidentiality measures of the BLS, please contact EDI Center staff. Below are some specifics by program.

CES
Data collected by the CES program and the State agencies are kept strictly confidential and are used for statistical purposes only and BLS will hold the information in confidence to the full extent permitted by law.

MWR
All information collected by the MWR program is kept strictly confidential by BLS. The various State agencies cooperating in the MWR program use these data for statistical and Unemployment Insurance program purposes and hold the data confidential to the extent allowed under their respective State laws. Detailed descriptions of State-specific confidentiality policies and uses of these data will be provided to your firm on an annual basis and are also available upon request.

2.3 Security

To ensure security during the electronic transmission process, you will be required to enter a user name and password when you logon to the BLS electronic data reporting system. To ensure security within your firm, you should provide your user name and password ONLY to personnel authorized to transmit the file.

Within BLS, only specifically authorized personnel have access to your data. A user name and password is required to access the information contained in the BLS electronic data reporting system.

Chapter 1 | Chapter 2 | Chapter 3 | Chapter 4 | Chapter 5 | Chapter 6 | Appendix A, B, C, D, E, F

Last Modified Date: September 27, 2005

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