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Nonfarm Payroll Employment (Total and Indexed to 2009)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Latest Data: 2022
Release Timing: Monthly
Frequency: Annual

Nonfarm payroll employment is a measure of the number of U.S. workers in the economy engaged in jobs excluding farm work, unincorporated self-employment, private households’ employment, proprietorships, unpaid volunteering and intelligence agency roles. About 80 percent of total workers contributing to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) are represented through Total Nonfarm Payroll Employment. This measure can be used to assess the current economic situation because it can represent the number of jobs added or lost in an economy. A rise in employment numbers can be indicative of overall economic expansion.

Economists use index numbers for quick comparisons between sets of data across time. The Total Nonfarm Payroll Employment (Indexed to 2009) is calculated by identifying 2009 as the "base year" and scaling all of the other ‘Total Nonfarm Payroll Employment’ results off of that year.

For example, the ‘Nonfarm Payroll Employment’ value for Alabama in 2009 is represented by 1.0 (obtained by dividing the value by itself, 1886.5/1886.5 = 1.0) and the numbers from other years are similarly scaled down. The ‘Total Nonfarm Payroll Employment (Indexed to 2009) value for 2017 is 1.06 obtained by dividing 2017 ‘Nonfarm Payroll Employment’ value by the base year’s ‘Nonfarm Payroll Employment’ value (2015.5/1905.1 = 1.057).