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What is an establishment?

A single economic unit such as a mine, factory or store engaged in one, or predominantly one activity, typically at one physical location.

What classification system is used to determine an establishment’s economic activity?

The North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) has been used for industry classification of the QCEW data since 2001.  Data prior to 2001 were classified using the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) system.  Click here for more information regarding the industry coding systems used by the QCEW

What is an employer?

A business entity, firm or company which may consist of one or more establishments, where each establishment may participate in different economic activities.

What is included in QCEW employment?

Most employment is included, including all workers covered by Pennsylvania’s Unemployment Compensation (UC) Law, and Federal workers covered by the Unemployment Compensation for Federal Employees (UCFE) program. Excluded are members of the armed forces, the self-employed, proprietors, domestic workers, unpaid family workers, and railroad workers.

Monthly employment represents the number of workers who worked during, or received pay for, the pay period including the 12th of the month. Full time and part time workers are included, whether the job is temporary or permanent.

What is included in total wages?

Wages represent total compensation paid during the calendar quarter, regardless of when services were performed. Included in wages are pay for vacation and other paid leave, bonuses, stock options, tips, the cash value of meals and lodging.

How are Average Weekly Wages calculated?

Average Weekly Wages calculated are derived by dividing quarterly total wages reported by average employment and then dividing the quotient by 13 weeks per quarter.

I work more than one job; am I counted twice in the QCEW data?

The QCEW data is based on an establishment census which counts only filled jobs, it is likely that a multi-job holder will be counted two or more times in QCEW data.

Can I see data for a specific employer?

No. This information is treated as sensitive information because it was collected under a pledge of statistical confidentiality.

Why are some data series marked as confidential?

In some series, information may be suppressed in order to eliminate the possibility of determining employer specific data. This information is treated as sensitive information because it was collected under a pledge of statistical confidentiality.

Can I see QCEW data for time periods prior to 2001?

Yes, but not on our website. Only NAICS classified QCEW data (2001-present) is available on our website. Please contact our customer response team at 717-787-6466 or Toll Free at 1-877-493-3282 for historical SIC classified QCEW data. We can also be reached via email:

Where can I find the Top Employers in my region?

To find the top employers in your region, please click here

Why can’t CWIA provide the number of employees in the Top 50 list?

The specific number of employees employed by a company comes to us via the unemployment compensation system. As such, that data’s confidentiality is guaranteed by both state and federal statute, and can only be released by CWIA to certain government officials/agencies and even then only under certain circumstances.