New York State Unemployment Insurance Wage Record System Data

New York State Department of Labor (NYSDOL)

Quarterly earnings data of employees, collected by employers, and submitted to the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance.

Unit of Observation:
Personally Identifiable Information Available for Linking:
New York City, New York, United States of America
Years Available:
2000 – present
Frequency of Updates:
Quarterly with an approximately four-month lag

Approximately 97% of New York State’s non-farm employment is covered by the unemployment insurance (UI) law


This data set is available to any federal, state, or local government agency, including the State University New York (SUNY) or City University of New York (CUNY). To access this data, researchers must be acting as an agent or contractor of a state, local, or federal agency. To request data from NYSDOL, researchers must submit a request for data using the NYSDOL standard application, which is available on NYSDOL’s website for download.

Access to data is governed by a data sharing agreement signed by both NYSDOL and an approved requestor. The agreement takes the form of either a memorandum of understand (MOU) or a state contract. An MOU is used when the request is made by another New York State (NYS) agency and lasts for up to ten years. A state contract is used when a request is made by a non-NYS agency and lasts for up to five years. The data, security procedures, and costs are the same for both types of agreements.

All researchers given access to data must annually sign a non-disclosure agreement with NYSDOL. Additionally, researchers must participate in NYSDOL Unemployment Insurance (UI) Confidentiality Training, comply with periodic inspections of data storage facilities, and submit an annual self-assessment to ensure compliance with the data sharing agreement. The self-assessment is due to NYSDOL on June 30th of each year the data sharing agreement is in effect.

Please note that this publication is based upon publicly available information at The New York State Department of Labor’s information, requirements, and procedures regarding UI data sharing may change without notice as law and policy requires.

Timeline for Access

NYSDOL reviews and replies to an application within 20 business days of receipt. After an initial review, NYSDOL may ask for additional information; if requested, the requestor has 20 business days to provide the additional information. NYSDOL will then approve or deny the data request within 30 business days of receiving additional information.

If approved, researchers must sign a data sharing agreement with NYSDOL, the preparation of which will begin following approval. The timeframe for reaching an agreement will vary based upon the complexity of the request. Once an agreement is signed, it will typically take less than 30 days for the first data file to be produced.

Lag Time

Files are updated annually, and are available on approximately a one year lag, with updates usually available in December.


There is a $1,000 one-time cost which covers review of the application, the development of a data sharing agreement, and the initial self-assessment questionnaire. There is no fee to submit an application.  This one-time cost becomes due after the data sharing agreement is fully executed.  Additionally, the cost to produce the data varies based on the complexity of the request, and researchers may be charged an estimated $80 to $100 hourly rate. Other costs, such as those related to compliance inspections, may apply.


Following the approval of a data sharing agreement, researchers have the opportunity to provide to NYSDOL with any additional data necessary to identify the records.

Identifiers Available for Linking

  • Social Security number

Data Contents

Partial List of Variables

Employee name, employee SSN, employee’s quarterly wages, employer name, employer address, industry of the employer

J-PAL Randomized Evaluations Using this Data Set


Other Research Using this Data Set

Azurdia, Gilda, Dan Bloom, Nancy Pindus, and Cindy Redcross. 2009. “Transitional Jobs for Ex-Prisoners: Implementation, Two-Year Impacts, and Costs of the Center for Employment Opportunities (CEO) prisoner reentry program.” Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Last reviewed