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An Evaluation Of BLS Noise Research for the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages

Y. Michael Yang, Santanu Pramanik, David Hiles, Michael Buso, and Shail J. Butani


The Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) program of the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) publishes tabulations of monthly employment, quarterly wages, and number of establishments by industry and geography. In accordance with BLS policy, data provided to the Bureau in confidence should be used only for statistical purposes. In particular, the publication of data collected from BLS surveys should not lead to the identification of cooperating respondents. The BLS has been concerned about the current cell suppression method used with the QCEW. To address such concerns, BLS has conducted research about the random noise method as an alternative method.This paper provides an assessment of the BLS research to date.