State and Metro Area Employment, Hours, & Earnings

Changes to procedures for producing Current Employment Statistics (CES) State estimates

Production of State estimates will transition from State Workforce Agencies to BLS

With the production of preliminary estimates for March, 2011, responsibility for the production of State and metropolitan area (MSA) estimates will transition from individual State Workforce Agencies to the BLS. State agencies will continue to provide the BLS with information on local events that may affect the estimates, such as strikes or large layoffs at businesses not covered by the survey, and to disseminate and analyze the CES estimates for local data users. This change is designed to improve the cost efficiency of the CES program and to reduce the potential for statistical bias in state and area estimates. A portion of the cost savings generated by this change is slated to be directed towards raising survey response rates in future years, which will decrease the level of statistical error in the CES estimates.

Refinement of procedures for producing State and MSA estimates

Estimates produced by the BLS at the statewide industry super-sector level will continue to utilize an improved outlier identification procedure that has been in effect since the production of January 2010 preliminary state CES estimates. Beginning with March 2011 preliminary estimates, this procedure also will be used in the estimation of detailed industry statewide estimates and MSA estimates. In addition at that time, the BLS will implement an improved imputation procedure for major survey non-respondents and a procedure to correct for differential response rates within an industry sector. The use of these procedures will allow BLS to rely less on individual analyst judgment and more on the use of standard statistical methodology. Statewide and MSA series with smaller sample sizes will continue to be estimated using a small domain model. Introduction of the new estimation procedures may result in more month to month variability in the estimates, particularly in smaller MSAs. For further information on the estimators see www.bls.gov/opub/hom/homch2.htm.

Last Modified Date: March 25, 2011

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