CES Data Access Tips
This page provides step-by-step instructions for extracting employment, hours, and earnings data from the Current
Employment Statistics (CES) data retrieval tools.
To get started, connect to the CES homepage at www.bls.gov/ces/home.htm.
This page provides access to estimates of national industry
employment, hours, and earnings. It also provides access to related
resources such as press releases (including the Employment Situation), the
strike report, ship building indexes, analytical tables, and research
articles. The following options are available by clicking on CES Databases in the left side navigation bar under Browse CES.
The Top Picks link
allows you to retrieve data from a list of the most
requested CES statistics. After opening the screen, click on the
checkbox next to each data series you want to retrieve. A check will
appear for each selection. When finished, press the Retrieve
data button. The default of 10 years of data will be displayed in your browser window.
You can change the format of the output data using the More Formating Options button in the upper right corner. See number 6 under Create Customized Tables One Screen below for an explanation of how to use each of the formatting options.
Create Customized Tables
Create Customized Tables (one
screen) is a data retrieval tool for the entire LABSTAT database that requires that Java be loaded on your computer. This
offers a more efficient method of data retrieval than the Create
Customized Tables (multiple screens) method described below that can be used if you do not have Java.
Select one or more Data Types — Data types include employment,
hours, earnings, and their derivatives. Each data type indicates
its unit of measurement. To select a data type, click on the data
type name from the list. If you do not wish to scroll
through the entire list of data types, use the data type find box
(described below). To select more than one data type, press and hold down Ctrl before clicking on each additional data type.
Find Box — Type all or part of the series name or
industry code that you are looking for in the text box, then
click on the Find button. The first
match in the data type list will be selected; repeated clicks of the Find button
will move the selection to the next match in the list.
Select one or more supersectors — Depending
upon the data type(s) selected in box 1, a list of the available supersectors
appears in box 2. Click on the supersector that contains the industry
for which you are searching for data. To select more than one supersector, press the Ctrl key before clicking on each additional supersector.
Select an Industry — Depending upon your selections in boxes 1 and 2, a
list of all available industries from the supersectors you chose will appear in box 3. Click on
the industry name you want to retrieve. If you do not wish to
scroll through the entire list of industries, use the Find box
(described above in number 1). To select more than one industry, press the Ctrl key before clicking on each additional industry.
Select Seasonal Adjustment — Select not seasonally adjusted and/or seasonally adjusted data
series by clicking the check box next to the desired seasonal adjustment
option(s). Time series data are seasonally adjusted to eliminate the effect of
predictable variations that occur during the same period every
year. Note that if the data are not available, the text
next to the check box will be grey instead of black.
Get Data — After completing boxes 1 to 4, the Get Data button becomes active. Click to retrieve the data. A new window will open with a table
containing up to 10 years of the most recently available CES data pertaining to your industry and data type.
Add To Your Selection — After
completing boxes 1 to 4, the Add To Your Selection button also becomes
active. Click this button to add the currently selected data series as
part of your query. Clicking on the button adds your selection to
the list in the Your Selections box; multiple selections can be added in
this manner. Click the Get Data button to retrieve all the selected
More Formatting Options — After clicking the Get Data button, a
new window will open displaying, by default, up to 10 years of data
for each time series selected in your query. If this is
not the desired format, then use the following options to
change output formats. Note that some of these options are available at the top of the output window without
clicking the More Formatting Options link.
Select view of the data —
In the upper left hand corner you can choose how you would like your data displayed. Table Format is the default view, listing columns for each month and rows for each year. Column Format will list the data in one long column with a row for each year and month combination. Multi-series table will list all of the series chosen in one table with a row for each series and a column for
each month and year combination. Under this option, you can also choose to view the original data, a variety of different
net changes of the series, and a variety of different net percentage
changes of the series. Click the checkbox(es) next to the option(s) you
Select the time frame for your data — In the upper right hand corner under Specify year range,
select the year you would like your data to begin in the From drop down menu
and the year you would like your data to end in the To drop down menu. The menus
contain all of the years that are available for the series you have selected.
Output type — On the left underneath Select view of data is a box for Output Type.
You can specify an HTML table or text. If you choose text
output, you can select comma delimited or tab delimited
text output from the drop down menu.
Graphs — Next to Output Type under Graphs, you can click the checkbox next
to include graphs to add a line graph for each of your time series.
Retrieve data — To display your data in the newly selected formats,
click the Retrieve data button. Repeat this process if your data needs further changes.
Create Customized Tables (multiple screens) is a data retrieval tool
for the entire LABSTAT database that uses five different pages to narrow the data series options.
Seasonal adjustment — Check the box next to not seasonally adjusted, seasonally adjusted, or both.
Click the Next Form button to move to the next screen.
Supersector — Click on the supersector(s) you would like to view.
To select more than one supersector, press and hold the Ctrl key
while clicking on each additional supersector. Click the Next Form button to move to the next screen.
Data type — Click on the data type(s) you would like to view.
To select more than one data type, press and hold the Ctrl key
while clicking on each additional data type. A list of data types is available at http://download.bls.gov/pub/time.series/ce/ce.datatype.
Click the Next Form button to move to the next screen.
Industry — A list of all available industries for the options you selected on
previous pages will appear in the list box. Choose the industry you would like to view. To select more than
one industry, press and hold the Ctrl key while clicking on each additional industry.
Click the Next Form button to move to the next screen.
In the industry list, the ordering is based on an
8-digit CES tabcode. The first 2 digits indicate the supersector, and the last 6 digits indicate the
NAICS code of the series. For example, 31334000 is the code for supersector 31, durable goods manufacturing, and
NAICS 334000, computer and electronic product manufacturing.
The manufacturing sector is broken into two parts. The first two digits of the CES
tabcode state if the industry is part of durables goods (31) or
nondurable goods (32). To select industries within manufacturing,
you must first select either durable or nondurable goods manufacturing
from the supersector list (number 2 above, under Create Customize Tables Multiple Screens).
Text and Code Search — For numbers 2 to 4 above under Create Customize Tables Multiple Screens, you
can use the Text or Code search features.
The text search allows you to search for names of industries or words related to that industry,
such as Electronic manufacturing. The code search allows you to search for all or part of an industry or NAICS code,
such as 31334*.
Series ID — The series ID(s) for the selected industries are displayed in a text box. Saving the ID(s) will make it easier to pull the same data in the future using the Series Report tool described below. Click the Retrieve Data button to move to the next screen.
More Formatting Options — See number 6 under Create Customized Tables One Screen above for an explanation of how to use each of the formatting options.
Series Report is
a data retrieval tool that allows you to retrieve data by providing a series
ID. After the screen opens, enter the series ID in the text
box. Click CES Series ID Format, to view details about the series ID format.
The next screen is identical to More Formatting Options outlined above in number 6 under Create Customized Tables One Screen.
Flat Files is
a directory that allows you to open and view or download a text file containing data or information about a CES
series. Information about these files are
contained in a file named ce.txt in the directory.
Historical B Tables
Historical B tables provides historical times series data from the B tables of the
Employment Situation news release. Click the table from the list that you would like to view. If the data
you are interested in does not appear on this page, use the Create
Customized Tables (one screen) or Create Customized Tables (multiple screens) tool to select more detailed data.
In the next window, check the box(es) next to the series and in the column of the type of data you would like to view. You may select as many industries as you would like. Click on Retrieve data at the bottom of the page, and a new window will
open displaying up to 10 years of data for each
time series selected in your query. If this is not the
desired format, you can change output options, as described about in number 6 under Create Customized Tables One Screen.
Discontinued Historical Series
Discontinued Historical CES
Data by SIC, through April 2003 only provides access to the Standard Industry Classification (SIC) coded CES
times series data that was discontinued after April 2003. Selecting this
link allows you to retrieve SIC-based CES data using the Top Picks, Create Customized Tables (one screen), Create Customized
Tables (multiple screens), Series Report, and Flat File
methods described above. The
results will be categorized by SIC and not by the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS), making them incompatible with later NAICS-based CES data. More information about the use of NAICS and SIC in the CES program is available at www.bls.gov/ces/cesnaics.htm.
Other BLS Employment Data
Other employment data from the BLS is available on the Overview of BLS Statistics on Employment page at www.bls.gov/bls/employment.htm or on the Bureau of Labor Statistics home page at www.bls.gov. Available data include but are not limited to state and metropolitan area statistics, occupational employment statistics, labor force statistics, and wage and compensation statistics.
Contact information and phone numbers for all BLS programs are available on the BLS Contacts page at www.bls.gov/bls/contact.htm.
For information about the CES program or CES data, call us at
202-691-6555 or email us at email@example.com.
Last Modified Date: February 11, 2014