Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages
Industry Classification Systems Used By QCEW
Employment and wage data developed in the QCEW program have been classified by industry since 1938. An industrial code, based on a description provided by the employer on a questionnaire, is assigned to each establishment by the State workforce agency. If a private or government employer conducts different activities at various establishments or installations, separate industrial codes are assigned, to the extent possible, to each establishment.
The QCEW program has an extensive database of historical and current economic data. While QCEW data are not intended to be a time series, differences in classification systems may lead to perceived discontinuity in QCEW data.
Versions of classification systems
Please refer to the following links for detailed description on each version of NAICS, as well as its predecessor, the Standard Industry Classification (SIC) system.
- Data from 2017 forward are classified under the NAICS 2017 system.
- Data from 2011-2016 are classified under the NAICS 2012 system.
- Data from 2007-2010 are classified under the NAICS 2007 system.
- Data from 1990-2006 are classified under the NAICS 2002 system. (Data from 1990-2000 were originally classified under the 1987 SIC. As a NAICS reconstruction project, the data had been reclassified under the NAICS 2002)
- Data from 1988 to 2000 are classified under the 1987 SIC system.
- Data for 1975 to 1987 are classified under the 1972 SIC system. The 1977 SIC revision introduced no significant changes.
- Data prior to 1975:
There are no machine readable versions of that data available at this time. Data from 1938 through 1974 are available in paper copy versions through the Federal Depository Libraries. The information below was obtained from pages 146-147 in the 1974 Employment and Wages periodical published in 1975 by the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics.
- From 1938 through 1941, quarterly and annual data are classified in the 80 two-digit industry groups under the 1939 Social Security Board Industrial Classification Code.
- From 1942 through 1946, annual data are classified into 402 three-digit industry groups and the quarterly data into 77 two-digit groups under the 1942 Social Security Board Industrial Classification Code.
- For 1947 and 1948, annual data are classified into 406 three-digit groups and the quarterly data into 77 two-digit groups under the 1942 Social Security Board Industrial Classification Code for non-manufacturing industries and under the 1945 SIC system for manufacturing industries.
- From 1949 through 1957, quarterly data continued to be classified into two-digit groups and, in addition, by three-digit groups on the same basis as in the 1947-1948 period. The reporting of annual data by the States was discontinued.
- From 1958 through 1963, data are classified into 384 three-digit and 79 two-digit industry groups under the 1957 SIC system.
- From 1964 through 1967, data are classified as amended by the 1963 Supplement to the 1957 SIC edition.
- From 1968 through 1974, data are classified into 384 three-digit and 78 two-digit industry groups under the 1967 SIC system.
Finding your industry or industries
To search for an industry or industries, try the Industry Finder.
For more information on the classification systems
For a HTML view of the supersector and sector structure of NAICS, please refer to the QCEW supersector page.
For a composite industry list of all NAICS industry codes and titles, please visit the QCEW Industry Codes and Titles page.
For a break-down of the SIC industries, please refer to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration SIC manual. For more information on QCEW data classified under SIC or NAICS, please refer to the QCEW Data guide.
Last Modified Date: December 20, 2019