Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages

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The Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) program produces a comprehensive tabulation of employment and wage information for workers covered by California Unemployment Insurance laws. The QCEW program serves as a near census of monthly employment and quarterly wage information at the state and county levels and provides the most detailed industry data available. The QCEW data is usually published six months after the end of the quarter.

The QCEW data is also called Detailed Industry Data and Employment and Payroll Data. It was formerly known as the ES202 Program data.

Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW)

Industry Classification

Each business is categorized into a specific industry classification, the QCEW and many other programs use this classification to organize data to better understand the information collected. As the basis for the classification of industry, the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) was put into place as a cooperative effort of the statistical agencies of North America to group together similar production processes within an industry.

Size of Business

The Size Data for California (Quarterly) contains the number of businesses, number of employees, and payroll organized by employment size, industry, and county for California and the metropolitan areas. The Size of Business data for California, counties, and metropolitan areas are released annually using data from the third quarter, which is the most seasonally stable quarter. The Statewide Size of Business data (not aggregated by county or metropolitan area level) are available quarterly.

Tables for California, counties and the metropolitan areas include breakouts at the major industry levels grouped by nine size categories based on the number of employees and businesses:

Size Category
Number of Employees

While the Size of Business data is based on individual establishments, Firm Size Data looks at the presence of the establishment or group of establishments defined by a unique Employer Identification Number overall. Furthermore, Firm Size data includes large firms through an additional size range of 3,000 or more employees and looks at the share of firms within a specific employment range. Overall, the Size Data gives an in depth look into the employment in California quarterly.

Business Employment Dynamics (BED)

The Business Employment Dynamics (BED) data tracks the expansion and contraction of employment for private businesses. These employment changes - gross job gains (expansions and openings) and gross job losses (reductions and closures) - are components of the net change in employment at the establishment level.

Annual Refiling Survey (ARS)

The Annual Refiling Survey (ARS) verifies and updates the NAICS, physical location address and ownership codes of all establishments on a three-year cycle.

Multiple Worksite Report (MWR)

Each quarter, the Multiple Worksite Report (MWR) asks most multi-location employers to provide employment and wage data for all their establishments covered under one Unemployment Insurance (UI) account in California. Data from the MWR enables our agency to monitor and analyze conditions of business activities by California’s geographic area and industry. For more information, please visit the Bureau of Labor Statistics which includes:

Additional Data