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Economic News Release

Green Technologies and Practices Technical Note

Technical Note


   The Green Technologies and Practices (GTP) survey is a special survey of business
establishments designed to measure the use of technologies and practices that lessen
the environmental impact of an establishment’s production processes. The survey also
collects occupational employment and wage data for wage and salary workers who spent
more than half of their time involved in green technologies and practices during the
survey reference period, the pay period including August 12, 2011. The GTP survey is
based on a probability sample of about 35,000 business establishments, drawn primarily
from state unemployment insurance (UI) files and stratified by Census region and 
industry sector.

   The GTP survey collects information on the BLS process approach to measuring
green jobs: jobs in which workers' duties involve making their establishment's
production processes more environmentally friendly or use fewer natural resources.
More information about the BLS green jobs initiative is available from the green
jobs homepage at

   Green technologies and practices are defined as technologies and practices that
lessen the environmental impact of an establishment’s production processes. Employers
were asked whether they had used each of the six green technologies and practices
listed below during the reference period. Examples of the types of technologies and
practices included in each of the six categories were provided.

1. Generate electricity, heat, or fuel from renewable sources primarily for use within
   the establishment.

      Examples of renewable sources:

        --Landfill gas
        --Municipal solid waste

2. Use technologies or practices to improve energy efficiency within the establishment.


        --Energy Star rated appliances
        --Occupying a LEED certified building
        --Energy efficient lighting
        --Programmable thermostats
        --Cogeneration (combined heat and power)
        --Energy efficient manufacturing equipment

3. Use technologies or practices in operations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions
   through methods other than renewable energy generation and energy efficiency.


        --Purchase and use of carbon offsets
        --Promotion and/or subsidy of alternative forms of transportation for
          employees, such as carpools, fuel efficient vehicles, cycling, or
          mass transit
        --Implementation of a telework program for employees

4. Use technologies or practices to either reduce the creation or release of
   pollutants or toxic compounds as a result of operations, or to remove
   pollutants or hazardous waste from the environment.

      Examples of pollutants or toxic compounds:

        --Carbon monoxide
        --Sulfur dioxide
        --Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs)
        --Nitrogen oxides
        --Chlorinated hydrocarbons
        --Herbicides or pesticides
        --Heavy metals
        --Radioactive contamination

5. Use technologies or practices to reduce or eliminate the creation of waste
   materials as a result of operations.


        --Collecting and reusing or recycling waste
        --Managing wastewater
        --Composting solid waste

6. Use technologies or practices in operations to conserve natural resources,
   excluding the use of recycled inputs in production processes.


        --Managing land resources
        --Managing storm water
        --Conserving soil, water, or wildlife
        --Implementing organic agriculture or sustainable forestry practices

   An establishment is generally a single physical location at which economic
activity occurs (e.g., store, factory, restaurant, etc.). When a single physical
location encompasses two or more distinct economic activities, it is treated as
two or more separate establishments if separate payroll records are available and
certain other criteria are met.

   An occupation is a set of activities or tasks that employees are paid to perform.
Workers are classified into occupations based on their job duties and, in some cases,
on the skills, education, and/or training required. Workers with similar job duties
are classified in the same occupation, regardless of the industry in which they are
employed. The GTP survey uses the 2010 Standard Occupational Classification (SOC)
system to classify workers into occupations.

   Wages are money that is paid or received for work or services performed in a
specified period. For the purposes of the GTP survey, wages are straight-time, gross
pay, exclusive of premium pay. Base rate pay, cost-of-living allowances, guaranteed
pay, hazardous-duty pay, incentive pay such as commissions and production bonuses,
and tips are included. Back pay, jury duty pay, overtime pay, severance pay, shift
differentials, nonproduction bonuses, employer costs for supplementary benefits, and
tuition reimbursements are excluded.

   GTP employment refers to the number of jobs in which workers spend more than half
of their time involved in green technologies and practices.

Survey sample

   The GTP survey draws its sample primarily from the Quarterly Census of Employment
and Wages (QCEW) state unemployment insurance (UI) files. A supplemental source is
used for rail transportation because this industry does not report to the UI program.
The GTP survey covers private and public sector establishments in the 50 states and
the District of Columbia.

   The GTP sampling frame of about 6.7 million in-scope establishments was stratified
by Census region and 2-digit North American Industry Classification System (NAICS)
sector. From this frame, a statistical sample of about 35,000 establishments was
selected. To provide better survey coverage, larger employers were more likely to be
selected than smaller employers.

Data collection

   Survey forms were mailed to sampled business establishments. Seventy percent of
sampled establishments responded to the GTP survey.

   Respondents were asked whether or not they used each of the six green technologies
and practices listed earlier during the pay period that included August 12, 2011. They
were also asked to provide the number of employees who spent more than half of their
time involved in green technologies and practices during the reference period. For
such workers, respondents were asked to provide job titles and brief job descriptions,
as well as the number of workers, by occupation, in each of 12 specific wage intervals.
The wage intervals were defined in terms of both hourly rates and the corresponding
annual rates, where the annual rate for an occupation is calculated by multiplying the
hourly wage rate by a typical work year of 2,080 hours. Respondents were instructed to
report part-time workers at their hourly rates. Full-time workers could be reported by
either hourly rates or annual salaries, depending on how the worker was paid.

Estimation methodology


   About 30 percent of sampled establishments either did not respond to the GTP survey,
or did not provide sufficient information for their responses to be usable. To compen-
sate for these nonresponding units, the weights of responding units are adjusted through
the use of nonresponse adjustment factors (NRAFs). These NRAFs are incorporated into the
benchmarking process (see below) and are based on the ratio of weighted maximum 2011
QCEW employment for all viable sample units in the cell to weighted maximum 2011 QCEW
employment for usable responding units in the cell, where maximum employment is defined
as the largest employment over all 12 months in the 2011 QCEW.

   In addition to these nonrespondents, some units provided partial responses to the
GTP survey. Missing responses to green technologies and practices questions are imputed
based on a donor pool of respondents with similar establishment characteristics. For
establishments reporting occupational employment data but no wage information, the
missing occupational wages are imputed using the distribution of weighted employment
across wage ranges for respondents reporting that occupation. For establishments
reporting green employment but no occupational information, the green employment is
assigned to a residual "occupation not reported" category.

   Weighting and benchmarking. Sampled establishments are weighted to represent all
establishments for the reference period. Each sampled establishment is initially
assigned a sampling weight equal to the reciprocal of its probability of selection.
To ensure that GTP employment estimates are consistent with total employment for the
reference period, weights are further adjusted by the ratio of August 2011 QCEW
employment totals to response-adjusted employment totals from the GTP survey.

   Wage estimation. Because the GTP survey collects wage data by wage range rather
than by wage rate, special procedures are needed to produce mean and median wage
estimates. Mean wage estimates are calculated using a weighted mean of the 12 wage
intervals. In order to estimate this, means for the individual wage intervals are
needed. These are calculated using harmonic means for 11 of the 12 wage intervals.
The interval mean for the highest, open-ended interval is calculated based on data
from the BLS National Compensation Survey. For the lowest wage interval, state-
specific harmonic means are calculated that incorporate each state’s minimum wage.
Median wages are calculated based on a weighted median procedure.

Data available

   The GTP survey produces data on the incidence of specific green technologies and
practices and on the total number of jobs in which workers spent more than half of
their time involved in green technologies and practices. These data are available
for all industries combined at the national and Census region levels, and for NAICS
industry sectors at the national level. The GTP survey also produces national 
occupational employment, mean wage, and median wage estimates for jobs in which 
workers spent more than half of their time involved in green technologies and 

For more information

   Answers to frequently asked questions about the GTP survey are available at Detailed technical information about the GTP survey is available
in our Survey Methods and Reliability Statement at

   Information in this release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals
upon request. Voice phone: (202) 691-5200; Federal Relay Service: (800) 877-8339.

Table of Contents

Last Modified Date: June 29, 2012