BLS Handbook of Methods

In This Chapter

Chapter 5.
Employment and Wages Covered by Unemployment Insurance

The Covered Employment and Wages program, commonly called the ES-202 program, is a cooperative endeavor of the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the employment security agencies of the 50 States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. Using quarterly data submitted on magnetic media or electronically by the agencies, BLS summarizes employment and wage data for workers covered by State unemployment insurance (UI) laws and for civilian workers covered by the program of Unemployment Compensation for Federal Employees (UCFE).

The ES-202 program is a comprehensive and accurate source of employment and wage data, by industry, at the national, State, and county levels. It provides a virtual census of nonagricultural employees and their wages. In addition, about 47 percent of all workers in agricultural industries are covered.

Background
The ES-202 program can trace its origins back to the Social Security Act of 1935, which authorized collection of information to determine if State unemployment compensation programs were in compliance with the act. From the inception of the national UI system in 1938, when the Federal Unemployment Tax Act became effective, until 1972, collection of the data, publication, and technical expertise were the responsibilities of the U.S. Department of Labor's Manpower Administration or its predecessor agencies. Semiannual reports summarizing the data were issued until 1950, when the periodical Employment and Wages began quarterly publication. In 1972, BLS assumed responsibility and continued quarterly publication until 1975. Employment and Wages then became an annual publication.

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