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Adjustments to government series, geographic

In several cases, BEA has determined that the BLS Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW)reports attribute government employment to the wrong states or counties; the best available information is used to remedy these deficiencies. Examples of how BEA adjusts the government series data are as follows:

  • The QCEW tabulations of Federal civilian employment assign all of the employment of the U.S. Congress and its staff to the District of Columbia, although members of Congress employ some of their staff in home district offices. BEA assumes that this home district employment accounts for 25 percent of total congressional employment and reassigns that portion of the total to the states in proportion to their congressional representation. No explicit adjustment is made at the county level; in effect, the home district employment is allocated to counties in proportion to QCEW Federal employment.
  • For the Federal sector, a detailed civilian employment series available from the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is used to evaluate the county coding of the corresponding QCEW data. Typically, excessively large proportions of Federal civilian employment are not reported by county by some agencies; the OPM data are used as necessary to remedy the deficiencies. For New York, BEA allocates the QCEW state employment totals for the Postal Service to counties in proportion to the OPM series for that agency.
  • For the noneducation component of state government, a comparison of the 1990 QCEW data with comparable data from the 1990 Census of Population indicated that an excessively large proportion of the QCEW employment was reported in the county of the state capital for six states. For these states-Illinois, Michigan, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Tennessee, and Wisconsin-the state totals of state government noneducation employment for 1990 and later years are allocated to counties in proportion to an unpublished tabulation of place-of-work journey-to-work data from the 1990 Census series.