CES Vintage Data
Current Employment Statistics (CES) estimates are subject to revisions for up to 2 months from their original publication
due to ongoing receipt of sample data. They are further subject to revisions resulting from our annual benchmarking and seasonal
readjustment processes. A complete explanation of CES revisions can be found at www.bls.gov/web/empsit/cestn.htm#section6.
Due to user interest in versions of CES estimates from original to current publication, CES compiled vintage data tables that
display the CES published employment values for a given reference month across time. Tables for all CES supersectors are available in Excel
file format. Vintage data tables for employment in additional industries are available in CSV file format and are convertible to the
Excel file format using the steps outlined below.
Vintage Data Files
Seasonally adjusted Excel files are available for all CES supersectors. These files are available at www.bls.gov/ces/cesvindata.htm.
Vintage data spreadsheets for industries other than the supersectors provided above can be created in a similar format using an Excel template and a raw CSV file for each industry. Seasonally adjusted and not seasonally adjusted CSV files are available at the supersector, the 2-digit sector, and the 3-digit subsector levels.
Guide to vintage data sheets
- Open the vintage data Excel template. www.bls.gov/ces/cesvin_template.xlsx
- Download the CSV files and select an industry based on CSV title (Note: title is based on CES supersector, CES industry code, and seasonal adjustment of data). The files can be downloaded from www.bls.gov/ces/cesvinall.zip.
- Copy (ctrl+a, ctrl+c) and paste (ctrl+v) the entire CSV file into the sheet "CSV data" in the Excel template.
All other sheets should update automatically.
Vintage Data File Description
Vintage data tables show all published values since the first preliminary estimates for May 2003, when CES began current estimation methods, and show all available
estimate reference months for the files. Total nonfarm has reference months available back to 1939. Both employment levels and over-the-month change
values are available in vintage format.
The Excel files include the following:
- Data sheet — CES vintage data tables on the "Data" sheet, display the CES published values for a given
reference month (columns labeled across the sheet in row 3) by Employment Situation release (in column A of the sheet). The selected cell (here highlighted red)
references the January 1939 value for the May 2003 employment release. The yellow row is the reference month. To see how the values have revised over
time, move down the column. For your convenience, the first preliminary release, the third preliminary release, and the January 2016 values are located directly
under the reference month in light blue.
- Revisions sheet — The "Revisions" sheet displays the amount of the revisions associated with the reference month from
the previous publication to the current publication. This provides information about the magnitude of the revisions from
one publication to the next.
- Graph sheet — On the "Graph" sheet, the Y axis identifies the estimate in thousands, while the X axis identifies
the reference month. Three lines are plotted on the graph:
- First preliminary release (or May 03) — This line represents the time series of originally published CES estimates for all months
plotted. For example, the point plotted for January 2009 identifies the CES estimate for the January 2009 reference month
published at the first preliminary release of estimates for February 2009. If the reference date is before May 03, the May 03 value is shown.
- Third preliminary release (or May 03) — This line represents the time series of CES estimates published 2 months after the
originally published estimates for all months plotted. For example, the point plotted for January 2009 identifies the CES
estimate for the January 2009 reference month published at the third preliminary release of estimates for April 2009. If the reference date is before May 03, the May 03 value is shown.
- January 2016 first preliminary release — This line represents the time series of CES estimates as published at the reference Month-Year combination
listed in the legend. For example, the point plotted for January 2009 identifies the CES estimate for the January 2009
reference month published at the release of the Month-Year combination's first preliminary release.
- Comments sheet — The "Comments" sheet provides a summary of any large, non-standard revisions that occurred.
Charting Revisions Over Time
The following graphs provide insight to how CES data revise over time. These graphs are available in the Excel files of vintage data.
Comparing the first and third preliminary release estimates to the January 2016 estimates:
Comparing the first and third preliminary release over-the-month change estimates to the January 2016 over-the-month change estimates:
For information about historical revisions to CES data, please see the following:
Last Modified Date: February 12, 2016