LMI Faqs

Seasonal adjustment is a statistical technique which eliminates the influences of weather, holidays, the opening and closing of schools, and other recurring seasonal events from economic time series. This permits easier observation and analysis of cyclical, trend, and other nonseasonal movements in the data. By eliminating seasonal fluctuations, the series becomes smoother and it is easier to compare data from month to month. The Rhode Island, New England, and United States civilian labor force statistics, as well as the Current Employment Statistics survey, produce seasonally adjusted statistics.

The North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) is the standard used by statistical agencies in classifying business establishments for the purpose of collecting, analyzing, and publishing statistical data related to the U.S. business economy.

Developed in cooperation with Canada and Mexico, NAICS uses a production-oriented conceptual framework to group establishments into industries based on the activity in which they are primarily engaged.

NAICS uses a six-digit hierarchical coding system to classify all economic activity into twenty industry sectors. Five sectors are mainly goods-producing sectors and fifteen are entirely services-providing sectors. This six-digit hierarchical structure allows greater coding flexibility than the four-digit structure of the SIC.


The Current Population Survey (CPS) is a monthly survey of households conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau for the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). It provides a comprehensive body of data on the labor force, employment, unemployment, persons not in the labor force, hours of work, earnings, and other demographic and labor force characteristics.

Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS) program provides monthly labor force, resident employment and unemployment estimates, as well as unemployment rates for state and sub-state areas based on information obtained from the Current Population Survey (CPS). While the national unemployment rate is derived directly from data collected through the CPS, sample sizes in each state are too small to provide reliable monthly estimates for the states directly. Therefore, all states, including Rhode Island calculate their unemployment rates using statistical models developed by BLS. The models incorporate the number of jobs at businesses and current Unemployment Insurance claims data to refine the individual state estimates provided by the CPS survey.

  • All persons who did any work for pay or profit during the survey week (the week of the 12th of the month).
  • All persons who did at least 15 hours of unpaid work in a family-operated business.
  • All persons who were temporarily absent from their regular jobs because of illness, vacation, bad weather, industrial dispute, or various personal reasons.
  • All persons who did not have a job at all during the survey week, made specific active efforts to find a job during the prior 4-week period, and were available for work (unless temporarily ill).
  • All persons who were not working and were waiting to be called back to a job from which they had been temporarily laid off.
  • Persons under 16 years of age are automatically excluded from the official labor force measurements.
  • Residents of institutions and persons on active duty in the Armed Forces are excluded.
  • Persons who have no job AND are not looking for one are excluded. Many who do not participate in the labor force are going to school, retired or have family responsibilities.

Workers who lose their jobs and are covered by Unemployment Insurance typically file claims, which serve as notice that they are beginning a period of unemployment. Claimants who qualify for benefits are counted in the insured unemployment figures. However, this represents only a portion of the total unemployed. Unemployment Insurance claims figures are not used to measure total unemployment because they exclude several important groups, including unemployed workers who have exhausted their benefits; workers whose unemployment is considered to have resulted from their own actions (such as misconduct on the job); workers who do not qualify for unemployment insurance (such as self-employed individuals and workers in certain non-profit organizations); and otherwise eligible unemployed persons who do not file for benefits.

Current Employment Statistics (CES) program is a monthly survey of business establishments conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Approximately 1,200 Rhode Island businesses participate in the monthly survey, providing a count of employees, hours worked, and wages paid. CES provides estimates of non-farm establishment employment, as well as hours and earnings for production workers employed in the manufacturing sector. The employer responses are incorporated into statistical models developed by BLS, which generate employment estimates for the state’s major industries each month.

The Occupational Employment Statistics program provides wage rates, occupational employment estimates, and industrial staffing patterns for Rhode Island. Approximately 1,400 Rhode Island employers are surveyed each year with a request to provide the number of workers by wage range for each occupation in their employ.

The Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) program provides monthly employment and quarterly wage data by industry, location and size of employer. The QCEW program derives its data from the quarterly tax reports submitted by employers subject to Rhode Island’s Unemployment Insurance law. This information is supplemented with data collected from government agencies and businesses with multiple locations.