The Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) program, is a Federal/State cooperative effort that compiles monthly employment data, quarterly wages data, and business identification information from employers subject to State Unemployment Insurance (UI) laws.
There are nearly 9.5 million establishments on file with the States. These establishments cover all civilian employers (except interstate railroads) and some agricultural, domestic, and charitable organization employers. The BLS reviews private sector employers' North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes and geographic codes on a three-year cycle. Government establishments are not reviewed routinely. Each year, approximately one-third of private sector establishments are reviewed and updated, if necessary.
For this purpose, the BLS-3023 Industry Verification Forms, collectively known as Annual Refiling Survey (ARS) forms, are used in conjunction with the UI tax reporting system in each State. As a result, changes in the industrial and geographical compositions of our economy are captured in a timely manner and reflected in the BLS statistical programs. This survey is authorized by Federal law 29 U.S.C. 2. Although employer cooperation is not required by Federal law, twenty-five States have laws that make completion of the ARS mandatory.
The BLS has developed three distinct ARS forms. Each form is designed to verify and to collect specific information concerning the employer's industrial activity, geographic location, business mailing address, and physical location address. The ARS also asks employers to identify new locations in the State. If these employers meet QCEW program reporting criteria, then a Multiple Worksite Report (MWR) requests employment and wages for each worksite each quarter. Thus, the ARS is also used to identify new potential MWR-eligible employers.
The BLS 3023-NVS form is for employers that have a single worksite within a State. This form asks employers to verify a business activity description associated with their existing NAICS code. If that description is correct, the employer confirms the accuracy of the NAICS code. If the description is incorrect, the employer describes the business activities and the approximate percentage of the revenue or production derived from each activity.
The BLS 3023-NVM form is for employers that have multiple worksites within a given State and applies the same verification methods used on the BLS 3023-NVS form. This form was designed to reduce employer burden. A company would receive one form containing all worksites with their NAICS codes and a description of the business activity for each of those worksites. When each of the worksites are engaged in the same activity, the form is simpler. Otherwise, employers that have worksites with different NAICS codes are sent one BLS 3023-NVM form with separate information for each worksite with a different NAICS code.
The BLS 3023-NCA form is used to collect information from those establishments that are in NAICS Code 999999 (Unclassified Establishments). These are establishments for which no information is available regarding their industrial activities. Employers that receive BLS 3023-NCA forms are asked to provide detailed descriptions of their economic activities. States use the BLS 3023-NCA forms to gather information on new business establishments.
The BLS constantly pursues automated reporting options to reduce employer burden and costs. Some employers with a single worksite within a State can use the BLS Touchtone Response System (TRS). Employers can use the TRS only if they meet certain criteria. First, a physical location must exist for an establishment. Second, the NAICS code currently assigned to that establishment cannot be NAICS code 999999 (Unclassified Establishments). Finally, the establishment must contain a United States business mailing address. If all of these conditions are met and there are no changes to any of these data elements, then the employer can use the TRS.
The BLS has added other self-reporting options for the ARS. The first web- reporting option, ARSweb, is offered for the NVS and NCA. Another electronic reporting option, NVMweb, is for employers with multiple locations within a particular State. Essentially, there are no differences in the information obtained via ARSweb and NVMweb. ARSweb is for single-establishment employers; NVMweb is for multi-establishment employers.
By using the telephone or the secure website, respondents help BLS by saving taxpayer money on paper, postage and their associated costs and burden. Respondents are asked to furnish the same information as they did in the past. Emphasizing more cost-effective response options help to maintain the data quality for users of QCEW program data.
Last Modified Date: November 6, 2014