Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Two employment surveys and their differences

The Bureau of Labor Statistics produces two monthly employment estimates that are independently obtained: the estimate of total nonfarm jobs, from the Current Employment Statistics (CES) program; and the estimate of total civilian employment, based on the Current Population Survey (CPS).

The two surveys use different defini­tions of employment and separate estimation methods. Key things to note:

The Current Employment Statistics survey is a survey of employers that provides a measure of the number of payroll jobs in nonfarm industries.

The Current Population Survey is a survey of households that provides a measure of employed persons aged 16 years and older in the civilian non-­institutional population.

Employment estimates from the CPS give information about workers in both the agricultural and non-agricultural sectors and in any type of work arrangement. CES payroll employment estimates are restricted to non-agricultural wage and salary jobs and exclude private household workers. As a result, employment estimates from the CPS are higher than those from the CES survey.

The long-term trends in the two surveys' employment measures are quite comparable. Nonetheless, throughout the history of the surveys, there have been periods when the short-term trends diverged or when growth in one series significantly outpaced growth in the other.

But wait, there's more! Want a few more of the details about these surveys? Just check out the full article.

1 comment:

vanessa said...

Here's an article in the National Journal about how high skill, high wage jobs are still going unfilled despite the high unemployment rate. In the article, Julian Alssid of the Workforce Strategy Center warns of an "outsourcing tsunami" if more isn't done to make our workforce development system more strategic in its approach