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Why Doesn’t Emsi Publish Monthly Occupation Employment Data?

Emsi produces annual occupation employment counts data by applying staffing patterns to industry-based job counts data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) dataset. To read more about this process, see this article.

Since QCEW publishes monthly industry employment counts, Emsi’s Data team began making these monthly counts available via API. The Data team also investigated the possibility of applying staffing patterns to each month’s industry job counts to create a monthly occupation job counts dataset. However, because the available staffing patterns (which come from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) dataset) are annualized, the same staffing pattern would be applied to each industry for each month in the year. This would result in all occupation seasonality being lost.

To give an example, a staffing pattern applied to Retail Sales industries would have identical staffing patterns applied in June as in December. Realistically, however, the Retail Sales industry will have a far higher concentration of front-line retail sales workers in December than in June.

To summarize, it is not currently possible to create monthly occupation employment counts based on QCEW data without introducing false assumptions about the seasonality of labor by occupation, thus either over- or understating occupational employment for various occupations at various times.

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