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Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW)


The Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) program is a cooperative program with the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The QCEW program publishes a quarterly count of employment and wages reported by employers covering more than 95 percent of U.S. jobs available at the county, Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), state, and national levels by detailed industry. The program produces a comprehensive tabulation of employment and wage information for workers covered by state unemployment insurance (UI) laws and federal workers covered by the Unemployment Compensation for Federal Employees (UCFE) program.



QCEW conducts two surveys in addition to collecting administrative data. Both surveys collect data electronically and from paper forms. 

  • the Annual Refiling Survey (ARS): approximately one-third of all private sector U.S. businesses with more than three employees are contacted annually to verify their main business activity and physical location address via the Annual Refiling Survey (ARS).
  • the Multiple Worksite Report (MWR): eligible multiple-establishment employers are required to report quarterly employment and wage data via the Multiple Worksite Report (MWR).

Data Uses & Sources


Uses for QCEW data

Data from the QCEW program serve as an important input to many BLS programs, and other Federal and State programs for statistics and research publications. 

For a complete list of users and uses of QCEW data, please see the QCEW Handbook of Methods - Data - Users and uses.

Data Sources

At the national level, the QCEW program publishes employment and wage data for nearly every NAICS (North American Industry Classification System) industry. Employment data under the QCEW program represent the number of covered workers who worked during, or received pay for, the pay period including the 12th of the month.

QCEW microdata are fundamentally a byproduct of the unemployment insurance (UI) accounting system in the state. All states receive a Quarterly Contributions Report (QCR) from all private sector employers, as well as from state and local governments covered under the UI program.

Classification Information

Find more information on QCEW classifications by areas, industries, establishment sizes, ownerships, aggregations, data types, and data file documentation.

Data Requests

You must be a governmental entity to submit a data request for the QCEW program. If you have questions about data requests or data sharing agreements, please email