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What is a payroll

what is a payroll

Employment, Hours, and Earnings from the Current Employment Statistics survey (State and Metro Area)

Each month the Current Employment Statistics program surveys about 143,000 businesses and government agencies, representing approximately 588,000 individual worksites, in order to provide detailed industry data on employment, hours, and earnings of workers on nonfarm payrolls for all 50 States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and about 450 metropolitan areas and divisions.

Effective with the July 21,2015 release of June 2015 data, BLS will release new data series: (1) total nonfarm, all employees, 3-month average of the seasonally adjusted over-the-month change, in thousands for all states and selected metro areas, and (2) total private, all employees, 3-month average of the seasonally adjusted over-the-month change, in thousands for all states (at the statewide level only). The new series will be added to the supplemental tables of the Regional and State Employment and Unemployment and Unemployment news releases.

Historical data for the new series will be available back to April 1990 in most cases. For example. these series can be extracted for Alabama statewide using the following Series IDs from LABSTAT. the BLS database:

SMS01000000000000026 Alabama, Statewide, Total

nonfarm, all employees, 3-month average change, seasonally adjusted

SMS01000000500000026 Alabama, Statewide, Total private, all employees, 3-month average change, seasonally adjusted


  • NEW The North American Industry Classification System (NAICS), used by BLS and other statistical agencies to classify industry statistics, is periodically revised. The next NAICS revision is scheduled for 2017. A notice was published in the Federal Register on August 4, 2015, to describe the proposed 2017 changes to NAICS and to invite public comment. Additional information about the use of NAICS at BLS is available at the Bureau's NAICS webpage.
  • The Joint Explanatory Statement that accompanied the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015, included language directing the BLS to conduct a review of the methodology used in the collection and reporting of CES survey data for Metropolitan Statistical Areas. The BLS response to Congress is available at
  • Revisions in State Establishment-based Employment Estimates Effective January 2015
  • Due to a data processing error, data for CES State and Metropolitan Area estimates were incorrectly published in the database and have now been corrected on July 21, 2015. A detailed list of corrections is available at

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