The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Office of Compensation Levels and Trends (OCLT) is redesigning its compensation statistics to reflect the workplace of the 21st century. This initiative is named the National Compensation Survey (NCS); formerly, it was called COMP2000. Under the COMP2000 banner, BLS conducted six test surveys using new concepts and procedures for selecting occupations and determining the level of duties and responsibilities of those occupations.
Following the completion of these test surveys, BLS began collection of wage data in October 1996 for a nationwide program of locality surveys. Publications from these surveys are now available. Currently, BLS is developing the employee benefits portion of this new program.
When fully operational, the National Compensation Survey will provide wage and benefit data for localities, geographic regions, and the U.S. as a whole. Data from the National Compensation Survey will be used to produce the Employment Cost Index and to expand the available output from that program. Survey data also will be used to maintain and to expand BLS compensation publications on wages by work level, benefit incidence, benefit provisions, and employer costs for compensation.
Mission of the NCS
To design, organize, and implement a compensation program that integrates data from three existing BLS programsthe Employment Cost Index (ECI), the Occupational Compensation Survey (OCS), and the Employee Benefits Survey (EBS)by the end of the decade. The resulting program will produce high quality, relevant, and timely data on levels and trends in compensation, making efficient use of available resources while minimizing respondent burden.
Goals of the NCS
The NCS will cover civilian workers in private industry establishments and state and local governments. It excludes private households, the Federal government, and agriculture.
The NCS will cover establishments in the 50 states and the District of Columbia. The NCS data will cover approximately 36,000 establishments. Special surveys (such as those done by contract to meet the requirements of the Service Contract Act for may require the inclusion of establishments in other U.S. territories and possessions, such as Puerto Rico; these areas will not be included in the basic program.
The NCS will cover establishments with one or more workers, regardless of industry.
Establishment and Occupation Sampling
The establishment sample for the NCS will be derived from a sample of 154 metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas designed to represent the United States. Every fiscal year, thirty to thirty-five of these metropolitan areas will be "certainty" areas that have a 100 percent chance of being selected. These are the metropolitan areas with nonagricultural employment over 560,000. BLS will be able to publish data on the compensation levels and trends of each of these areas. The remaining areas will be taken from a probability sample of all metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas in the U.S.
A small number of occupations within an establishment will be selected through probability proportional to size sampling, meaning that occupations will be selected in each establishment using a process that gives occupations with greater employment a greater chance of selection. Each selected occupation will be classified into one of several occupation level codes based on the work being performed.
BLS began collecting the wage portion of the NCS starting in the fall of 1996 and will begin collection of employee benefits in 1999. Additional output will follow over time. In addition to paper copies, published data will be available from the Internet.
Last Modified Date: February 7, 2020