IMPLAN employment very very different from QCEW

I'm looking at 2017 data for the Total US. IMPLAN employment in Extraction of natural gas and crude petroleum is 560,000 and QCEW data is 142,000. QCEW has also 170,000 in oil and gas pipeline construction. Would that have been added to the IMPLAN extraction jobs? Or would those construction jobs be in the IMPLAN power construction category? What else is accounting for the 400,000+ difference? 

I'm trying to calculate the size of the fossil fuel workforce, and I'm getting wildly different numbers between QCEW and IMPLAN

Was this post helpful?
0 out of 0 found this helpful



  • This question most often arises when IMPLAN data is compared to BLS Covered Employment and Wages (CEW) data. BLS covered employment and wages data does not cover all jobs. It only covers wage and salary employment covered by UI and federal civilian jobs covered by UCFE.

    IMPLAN data usually reports higher Employment values because we include an estimate for the number of proprietors in the region as well, or because more than one NAICS codes is incorporated into a Sector.

    Construction Sectors are somewhat unique in that we create our construction Sectors from Census descriptions rather than NAICS codes. Thus, there is not a direct correspondence between the Sectors for IMPLAN construction and the reported values by NAICS in CEW since the reported CEW figures are distributed to their respective IMPLAN construction Sectors.

    More information on the CEW data can be found here:

  • Yes, I understand that and have read the previous responses on this topic, but it doesn’t answer my question about oil and gas extraction specifically, and what occupations are considered to be part of that industry. I would think that pipeline construction is construction, not extraction. I’m only looking at gross national data, but I don’t think there are over 400,000 oil and gas proprietors that QCEW misses. So, if other NAICS sectors make up IMPLAN’s oil and gas extraction sector, what are they?

  • Betony -

    According to the latest BEA REA data used in the production of the 2017 IMPLAN data, wage and salary employment in the “Oil and gas extraction” sector (SA27) is only 20% of the total employment (SA25) for the sector. That leaves 679,000 proprietors.

    That BEA REA sector maps to 2 IMPLAN sectors: 20 and 21. The BEA REA proprietors are distributed to each of these 2 IMPLAN sectors based on the Census Bureau’s “County Business Patterns by Legal Form of Organization” and “Nonemployer Statistics by Legal Form of Organization” data.

    Please let us know if you have further questions.


Please sign in to leave a comment.