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Quarterly Census of Employment & Wages (QCEW)

This program produces a comprehensive quarterly count of employment and wages for workers covered under the Illinois Unemployment and Insurance (UI) Act and the Federal Unemployment Compensation programs. QCEW data is sometimes referred to as covered employment and wages. For more information, see our overview of QCEW program.​

Note: QCEW data are not designed as a time series. QCEW data are simply the sums of individual establishment records and reflect the number of business establishments that exist in a county or industry at a point in time. Businesses can move in or out of a county or industry for a number of reasons - some reflecting economic events, others reflecting administrative changes. For example, economic change would come from a business relocating into the county; administrative change would come from a business correcting its county designation.

Note: In 2016, IDES instituted a policy to deactivate employer accounts with zero employment and zero wages for eight or more quarters. In 2017, a new tax system became operational which allowed for the deactivation of accounts that should have been deactivated earlier. In the future, accounts will be deactivated on a scheduled basis. This has resulted in a decrease in the number of business establishments previously considered active. The number of establishments had previously been overstated. The new policy did not change totals for employment or wages, only the total number of business establishments.

Establishments, by Employer Size Category (Tables and Charts)​

(Tabulation of business establishments, by employment size category, by geographical area (county or state), by either ownership or NAICS-industry sector)

Employing establishments can be characterized by employment size category [0-4; 5-9; 10-19; 20-49; 50-99; 100-249; 250-499; and 500 or more]; and ownership [Federal, State, Local Government or Private Sector]; within geographies such as Local Workforce Investment Areas (LWIAs) or Statewide; and by NAICS industry sectors. The reports listed below are tabulations based on these data elements.​​

Percent distribution of employees by size of business establishment in selected private industries, March 2023.

2023 Number of Establishments by Size Category, by Geography (Illinois, Local Workforce Investment Areas and Economic Development Regions), and by Major NAICS Industry Sector (PDF)​.

Illinois at Work

A quarterly tabulation of business establishments, employment, and total wages paid, by geographical area (county or state), and by NAICS-industry sector.

The Illinois at Work report summarizes private sector employment (detailed by the North American Industry Classification System, NAICS), state and local government employment (all covered by the Illinois Unemployment Insurance Act) and federal government employment for each of Illinois's 102 counties. This quarterly county-level report provides the number of business establishments, employment level and total wages, by major NAICS-industry sector. The report also includes a page for the state totals, by major NAICS-industry sector. A separate statewide-only report is now available that provides the number of establishments, employment level and total wages, by 3-digit NAICS industry.​

Where Workers Work

Where Workers Work is a report that features basic private sector employment totals, tabulated by major NAICS industry sector for six northeastern Illinois counties, major communities in each of these counties, and neighborhoods (associated with ZIP codes) within the City of Chicago. The report is based on March employment data each year, and is produced once a year.​

​​Average Weekly Wages Report

The average weekly wage report uses total wages paid for a geographic area and total employment for a geographic area from the QCEW quarterly report (Illinois at Work) each quarter to calculate average weekly wage (for counties within Economic Development Regions (EDRs)).

Contact Information

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