Frequently Asked Questions
Can I report my information online?
Yes. You will need your IDCF number (located above the mailing address in your OEWS data request). Go to our secure data collection site at https://IDCFOEWS.BLS.GOV, where you can enter your data online or securely upload your data file. Contact your state office with any questions or to obtain your IDCF number.
I am getting an error when I try to log in and submit data. What should I do?
Try using a different browser or clear the browser cache. If that does not work, please contact the OEWS Helpdesk at email@example.com.
Can I report my information via email?
Yes. Email your file to the secure email address on your OEWS data request. This is the address that begins with "OEWS" and ends with "@idcfmail.bls.gov". Please include your IDCF number in the email.
Can I report my information over the phone?
Yes. Just give us a call and we will be happy to take your data over the phone. See our contact information page for a list of state agency phone numbers.
Is there a form or template I can download?
Yes. The OEWS fillable form is a PDF, and is suitable for establishments with fewer than 20 employees. The OEWS Excel template can be used by establishments of any size.
Are the data I provide confidential?
Yes. The information you provide will be used for statistical purposes only, and all identifying information for non-governmental establishments will be held in strict confidence in accordance with Bureau of Labor Statistics Data Integrity Guidelines and with the Confidential Information Protection and Statistical Efficiency Act (44 USC Section 3572).
When reporting data, do not include employee names or Social Security numbers.
Is the Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics Report mandatory?
Yes, the OEWS Report is mandatory in several states. This information can be found on your survey materials or by contacting your state.
Why have I been asked to participate in this report?
The OEWS survey draws its sample from state unemployment insurance (UI) files and is stratified by metropolitan and nonmetropolitan area, industry, and size.
Your business was selected to represent other businesses of similar size in the same area and industry, which means your response is critical.
Which establishment should we report for? We have multiple establishments and work sites, some in other states.
The mailing address on the OEWS data request says “Report for” followed by the location, establishment, or work site we are asking about. In the mailing address example below, the “Report for” line has red arrows pointing at it. Please contact your state office if you need additional assistance.
Which employees should we report?
- Full- and part-time paid employees working at the location specified after “Report for” in the mailing address
- Employees on paid leave
- Employees assigned temporarily to other work locations, including employees who are working remotely
- Paid owners, officers, and staff of incorporated firms
Do NOT include:
- Contractors and temporary agency employees not on your payroll
- Unpaid family workers
- Workers on unpaid leave
- Proprietors, owners, and partners of unincorporated firms
- Workers not covered by unemployment insurance
Should I include my employees' personal information, like names or Social Security numbers?
NO! When reporting data, do not include employee names or Social Security numbers.
When is our submission due? How much time do I have to complete the report?
We ask that you provide your data within two weeks, if possible. We are asking for data about employees who worked during the pay period that included the reference date below the IDCF number on the data request (either November 12 or May 12). If you need additional time to complete the report, please contact your state office.
How do we report apprentices?
Report apprentices in the job for which they are being trained.
How should we report helpers?
Report helpers separately from the employees they are helping. For example, carpenters and carpenter helpers should not be listed together.
How should we report employees who are trained for one job but are working in a different job?
Report employee job titles according to the work they are doing, not their training. For example, report an employee working as a drafter, but trained as an engineer, as a drafter.
What is included when reporting wages?
Please INCLUDE when reporting wages:
What is excluded when reporting wages?
Please EXCLUDE when reporting wages:
Should we report hourly wage rates or annual salaries?
- Full-time employees: Report their hourly wage rates or annual salaries.
- Part-time employees: Report their hourly wage rates.
- Salaried employees with non-standard work hours: Report their hourly wage rate.
- What is a full-time employee? For most occupations, it's someone who works 2,080 hours a year, including paid vacations (40 hrs/wk times 52 weeks).
Should we report the average wage rate for all employees in the same job?
No! Please report the exact hourly wage rate or annual salary for each employee.
How should I report wages for commission or tipped workers?
For tipped, commission, and piece-rate workers, please estimate the total earnings (base pay plus tips, commissions, or piece rates) and hours worked, and calculate the hourly wage rate.
How are OEWS data used?
The many uses of OEWS data are available here.
Where can I learn more about the OEWS program?
An overview of the OEWS program is available here.
Where can I find the most recent OEWS data?
Links to OEWS data by year are available here.
Who can I contact for help reporting my data?
Please contact your state office for assistance.
Last Modified Date: November 10, 2022