Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


Why should I participate?

You count! The quality of data produced by the BLS is a direct reflection of the quality of information and cooperation received from employers. Your participation in this test will help the BLS develop accurate survey questions. A letter (PDF) to participants from the Social Security Administration's Acting Commissioner, Carolyn W. Colvin, further explains the needs for these data.

How do I provide data?

A BLS economist will contact you to determine your preferred method for providing data and discuss which specific items will be included in the survey test. The BLS will ask for information related to the following items for selected occupations:

  • physical demands ranging from keyboard use to heavy lifting
  • exposure to environmental conditions such as extreme heat or cold
  • the amount of time required to perform work at a proficient level

Will my information be kept confidential?

Yes! Your organization's participation and specific occupational information will be held in confidence to the fullest extent of the law. The BLS will use the information you provide for statistical purposes only in accordance with the Confidential Information Protection and Statistical Efficiency Act of 2002.

When will I be asked to participate?

The BLS will conduct initial ORS testing through July 2013 to help identify procedures and questions for collecting occupational information.

Whom should I contact if I have additional questions?

In addition to the BLS economist who will contact you, please feel free to call or email the NCS information office at 202.691.6199 or

What is the relationship between BLS and the Social Security Administration in regard to this survey?

The BLS is designing and conducting a series of tests to assess the feasibility of using the National Compensation Survey (NCS) platform as a means to accurately and reliably capture occupational data that are relevant to SSA's disability program. The following documents explain the working relationship between the BLS and the SSA: The Scope of Work from FY 2013 (PDF) and FY 2014 (PDF) explain BLS' approach to these tests. Additionally, a letter from SSA (PDF) describes the data needs that the Occupational Requirements Survey (ORS) is designed to produce. A final document lists the deliverables for the FY 2013 (PDF).


Last Modified Date: November 6, 2013