The BLS releases data on occupational level employment here: http://www.bls.gov/oes/tables.htm. Each section is labeled with a year (such as "May 2015").

What year does the May 2015 data represent? Is it employment in 2014?

  • 1
    I think it's just by month. bls.gov/oes/current/oes111011.htm seems to support this contention.
    – user3856
    Apr 30, 2016 at 18:17
  • @BarryCarter so the employment number for the May 2015 data is just the number of people employed in occupation X in May of 2015?
    – gannawag
    Apr 30, 2016 at 20:39
  • I think so, yes. The data isn't incremental or differential as far as I know.
    – user3856
    Apr 30, 2016 at 20:48
  • Okay got it. And is there any indication of when the firms fill out the surveys? Or what the survey asks? I'm assuming it asks what the employment will be in the upcoming May?
    – gannawag
    Apr 30, 2016 at 20:50
  • I was under the impression it counted the actual unemployment for May. You do realize that we are in the year 2016 now, right? The May 2015 data isn't a prediction.
    – user3856
    May 3, 2016 at 2:38

1 Answer 1


I'd say the data is for May 2015. Here's a screenshot of why I think this. enter image description here

Now from the FAQ:

When will this year's OES estimates be available? Estimates are generally released in late March or early April. Please check the OES homepage around that time for a scheduled release date.

The also use the PAST 3 years of data to produce the May 2015 estimates.

Significant reductions in sampling error can be achieved by taking advantage of a full three years of data, covering 1.2 million establishments and about 57 percent of the employment in the United States. This feature is particularly important in improving the reliability of estimates for detailed occupations in small geographical areas. The May 2015 employment and wage estimates were calculated using data collected in the May 2015, November 2014, May 2014, November 2013, May 2013, and November 2012 semi-annual panels.

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