Proposed Collection, Comment Request

Summary:

The Department of Labor, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, conducts a pre-clearance consultation program to provide the general public and Federal agencies with an opportunity to comment on proposed and/or continuing collections of information in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA95) [44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)]. This program helps to ensure that requested data can be provided in the desired format, reporting burden (time and financial resources) is minimized, collection instruments are clearly understood, and the impact of collection requirements on respondents can be properly assessed. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) is soliciting comments concerning the proposed extension of the “Report on Occupational Employment.” A copy of the proposed information collection request (ICR) can be obtained by contacting the individual listed below in the Addresses section of this notice.

Table of Contents

Dates:

Written comments must be submitted to the office listed in the Addresses section of this notice on or before April 13, 2004.

Addresses:

Send comments to Amy A. Hobby, BLS Clearance Officer, Division of Management Systems, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Room 4080, 2 Massachusetts Avenue, NE., Washington, DC 20212, telephone number (202) 691-7628 (this is not a toll free number).

For further information contact:

Amy A. Hobby, BLS Clearance Officer, telephone number (202) 691-7628, (See ADDRESSES section).

Supplementary information:

I. Background

The Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) survey is a Federal/State establishment survey of wage and salary workers designed to produce data on current occupational employment and wages. OES survey data assist in the development of employment and training programs established by the 1998 Workforce Investment Act (WIA) and the Perkins Vocational Education Act of 1984.

The OES program operates a periodic mail survey of a sample of non-farm establishments conducted by all fifty States, Guam, Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia, and the Virgin Islands. Over three-year periods, data on occupational employment and wages are collected by industry at the four- and five-digit North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) levels. The Department of Labor uses OES data in the administration of the Alien Labor Certification process under the Immigration Act of 1990.

II. Desired Focus of Comments

The Bureau of Labor Statistics is particularly interested in comments that:

• Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility;

• Evaluate the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;

• Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and

• Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submissions of responses.

III. Current Action

Office of Management and Budget clearance is being sought for the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) program. Occupational employment data obtained by the OES survey are used to develop information regarding current and projected employment needs and job opportunities. These data assist in the development of state vocational education plans. OES wage data provide a significant source of information to support a number of different Federal, State, and local efforts. The BLS plans to have email data collection in place in all States in 2004 or in early 2005. At this time, six volunteer States are testing the procedures and software of email data collection. OES is enhancing the State Survey Processing and Management (SPAM) computer system to improve the quality and timeliness of the data. OES will convert to the June 6, 2003, definitions of Metropolitan Statistical Areas by 2005.

Type of Review: Extension of a currently approved collection.

Agency: Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Title: Report on Occupational Employment.

OMB Number:1220-0042.

Affected Public: Business or other for-profit; not-for-profit institutions; Federal Government; State, Local, or Tribal Government.

Total Respondents:315,900.

Frequency: Semi-annually.

Total Responses:315,900.

Average Time Per Response:45 minutes.

Estimated Total Burden Hours:236,925 hours.

Total Burden Cost (capital/startup):$0.

Total Burden Cost (operating/maintenance):$0.

Comments submitted in response to this notice will be summarized and/or included in the request for Office of Management and Budget approval of the information collection request; they also will become a matter of public record.

Signed at Washington, DC, this 30th day of January, 2004. Cathy Kazanowski,

Chief, Division of Management Systems, Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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