Shadow Government Statistics
Analysis Behind and Beyond Government Economic Reporting

The Bureau of Labor Statistics produces the
Current Employment Statiistics survey,

also known as the Establishment Payroll Survey.

From  The establishment payroll survey, known as the Current Employment Statistics (CES) survey, is based on a survey of approximately 140,000 businesses and government agencies representing approximately 410,000 worksites throughout the United States. The primary statistics derived from the survey are monthly estimates of employment, hours, and earnings for the Nation, States, and major metropolitan areas. Preliminary national estimates for a given reference month are typically released on the third Friday after the conclusion of the reference week; i.e., the week which includes the 12th of the month, in conjunction with data derived from a separate survey of households, the Current Population Survey (CPS). The CPS is the source of statistics on the activities of the labor force, including unemployment and the Nation’s unemployment rate.

More facts about the scope of the Establishment (Payrolls Survey)

The Shadow Government Statistics Newsletter analyses and comments on the inferences which can be drawn from the survey, as it reports each month. 

For an example of the kind of analysis provided:


Commentary #256, reviewing October 2009 employment data.

Use the links above to view up to date charts of Payroll Survey data.

BLS FAQs on the Establishment Survey  

SGS Primer on Employment & Unemployment




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