geographic levels are collected and published monthly. In addition to the online database, the CES program produces a monthly news release and the monthly periodical Employment & Earnings, which are released on a three-and five-week lag, respectively. The database includes information on total employment, number of women employed, average weekly and monthly hours and earnings, number of production or nonsupervisory workers, and average weekly overtime hours in manufacturing industries. Microdata are not publicly available.

Like the BEL and QCEW sampling frames, the CES does not include nonemployers or detailed characteristics of business owners ( The hourly employment data are used in the BLS industry productivity measures. However, the CES program collects hours and earning data only for production workers (primarily from the natural resources and mining and manufacturing sectors) and nonsupervisory workers (only from the service-providing industries). Employment data are collected for all workers, including production and nonsupervisory workers. BLS is currently collecting hours and earning data for all employees and plans to publish these data in early 2007 ( Triplett and Bosworth (2004) argue that “with the huge change in workplace organization and management in recent years, the boundary between ‘production’ and ‘non-production’ workers has lost its meaning,” and that the same applies to supervisory and nonsupervisory workers outside manufacturing. They conclude that there is a clear need for BLS to collect information on hours of work for all workers, as well as information on changes in labor quality at the industry level.

Job Openings and Labor Turnover

The BLS JOLTS program provides monthly data, based on a sample of about 16,000 establishments nationwide, on job openings, new hires, and both voluntary and involuntary separations. The definition of a job opening or vacancy requires that a specific position exists, that work could start


BLS’s annual national compensation survey—a redesign of the occupational compensation survey, the employment cost index, and the employee benefit survey—provides additional details on employee compensation costs, occupational earnings, and a range of worker benefits. Other agencies collect data on employee benefits as well. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention conduct the National Employer Health Insurance Survey, which provides information on employer-sponsored health insurance; the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality conducts the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, providing information on health insurance coverage by firms of various sizes and an overview of access to health insurance and care.

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