Occupational Requirements Survey technical note

						Technical Note

Data in this release are from the Occupational Requirements Survey (ORS), conducted by the U.S. 
Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The ORS is an establishment-based survey and 
provides job-related information about the physical demands, environmental conditions, education and 
training, and mental requirements of jobs in the U.S. economy. Excluded are the federal government, 
the military, agricultural workers, private household workers, and the self-employed. 

Additional estimates for detailed occupations and occupational groups are available at 
www.bls.gov/ors/#data.

Sample size
The 2017 estimates are from two samples of data collected from the Occupational Requirements Survey. 
The ORS is an establishment-based survey and uses a national sample design. To maximize the amount 
of publishable information, the BLS is combining data across three annual ORS samples to produce the 
2018 estimates. The number of publishable occupations and the level of occupational detail is 
expected to increase with the addition of each subsequent year’s sample until the full ORS sample 
size of 26,500 sampled establishments is reached in 2018.

Data for the 2017 reference period were collected from 2 samples consisting of 14,000 private 
industry and 2,000 state and local government establishments. The ORS estimates represent 
138,400,000 workers in the United States. 

Measures of reliability
To assist users in ascertaining the reliability of ORS estimates, standard errors are made available 
shortly after publication of the news release. Standard errors provide users a measure of the precision 
of an estimate to ensure that it is within an acceptable range for their intended purpose. Collected and 
imputed data are included in the standard error calculation. BLS will continue refining estimation 
processes including evaluating the impact of sampling and nonsampling errors on the ORS estimates. For 
further information see: www.bls.gov/ors/se.htm. 

Occupational classification
BLS uses the Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) system, www.bls.gov/soc. The ORS classifies 
occupations by eight-digit codes used by O*NET’s detailed occupational taxonomy referred to as 
"O*NET-SOC 2010 Occupations." See www.onetcenter.org/taxonomy.html for more information regarding O*Net 
occupation classification. Military specific occupations (55-0000.00) are out of scope for the ORS. 
Additional information about occupational classification can be found in the ORS Handbook of Methods 
“Design” section at www.bls.gov/opub/hom/ors/design.htm. 

Definitions of major terms
For definitions of major terms used in the ORS, see the glossary beginning on page 108 of the ORS 
collection manual at www.bls.gov/ncs/ors/occupational_requirements_survey_collection_manual_052016.pdf, 
or the “Concepts” section of the ORS Handbook of Methods at www.bls.gov/opub/hom/ors/concepts.htm. 

Obtaining information
More information can be obtained by calling (202) 691-6199, sending email to orsinfo@bls.gov, or by 
visiting www.bls.gov/ors. Information in this release will be made available to sensory impaired 
individuals upon request — Telephone:(202)691-5200; Federal Relay Service:(800) 877-8339.

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Last Modified Date: November 29, 2017