Sausage Making at the Bureau of Labor Statistics - or - What Do They Put Into All Those Compensation and Earnings Measures?

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The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) collects and categorizes a prodigious amount of data to provide measures of compensation or earnings for various industries, occupations, and demographic groups and sub-groups of the U.S. population through seven different BLS programs. These seven programs include the National Compensation Survey (NCS), the Current Employment Statistics survey (CES), the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW), the Current Population Survey (CPS), the Occupational Employment Statistics Survey (OES), the National Longitudinal Survey (NLS), the Consumer Expenditure Survey (CEX), and the Labor Productivity and Costs (LPC) measures derived from the Major Sector Productivity program and the Industry Productivity program. The aim of this note is to compare the component elements of four of these series and to show how earnings or compensation growth measured over the 19821-2012 1 period varies among them. The four earnings series examined are from the National Compensation Survey (NCS), the Current Employment Statistics survey (CES), the Current Population Survey (CPS), and the Labor Productivity and Costs (LPC) program. Of these series four series, twohree provide measures of earnings, and one,and two provide the LPC program, measures of compensation .
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Lane Hudgins. (2013). Sausage Making at the Bureau of Labor Statistics - or - What Do They Put Into All Those Compensation and Earnings Measures? Journal of Legal Economics 19(2): pp. 97
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Authors Lane Hudgins
Classification Earnings Growth, Employment, Earnings, Base Earnings, Business Valuation, Work life
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