Current Monthly Employment (CES)

The Current Employment Statistics (CES) Program, a monthly survey of 5,900 nonfarm employers, provides monthly data on employment by industry, as well as hours worked and wages earned in various industries. The data, which are broken down by the nation, state and metropolitan regions in Minnesota, offer a snapshot of the health of the economy.

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About Current Employment Statistics

Description: Monthly survey of nonfarm businesses for estimating industry employment, hours and earnings for the 50 states and 250 Metropolitan Statistical Areas.

Data source: The CES program is a federal-state cooperative program between the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and state agencies. This program is the largest survey of its kind. The national sample consists of 400,000 businesses. The Minnesota sample consists of 5,900 businesses.

Minnesota data: 

National data:

What can it provide?

  • Monthly industry employment time series.
  • Number of production or nonsupervisory workers. Average weekly hours and average weekly earnings.
  • One of the earliest monthly economic indicators released by the government. The release of the national “employment situation” usually causes immediate reaction in the stock and bond markets.
  • A look at the health of the economy through employment numbers, earnings trends and other data.

How is the data formatted? Viewable tables and graphs, downloadable files

Definitions: Employment is defined as a count of jobs by place of work rather than a count of employed persons.

Program notes: The CES program implemented the North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS) in 2003. Industry employment estimates for prior years have been re-cast into the new NAICS, allowing time series analysis.

More about the data: Additional information about Current Employment Statistics can be found at the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Web site at Questions regarding the Minnesota data can be addressed to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development at 651-259-7384 or

Miscellaneous: All Employee Hours and Earnings series: This is a new data series on hours and earnings for all nonfarm private-sector employees.

Read this article to learn more about the CES program.