Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) field economists are extensively trained and given detailed instructions on data collection techniques. They employ a variety of methods, including personal visits, mail, telephone, and email, to obtain data from Occupational Requirements Survey (ORS) respondents. Field economists do not use paper or an online questionnaire to collect these data; instead, they rely on a conversational interview and descriptive documents, such as task lists, to collect occupational requirements from respondents. Respondents are typically human resources managers or specialists, occupational safety managers, or supervisors. Field economists attempt to gather the following information from the respondent:
A BLS field economist contacts the sampled establishment for the collection of data. From each establishment, the ORS collects data on physical demands, environmental conditions, education and training (or specific vocational preparation (SVP)), and mental requirements for the selected job(s). These data are then used to produce the ORS estimates discussed in the Calculation section.
The collection for ORS data is done on an annual basis. Collection of the first ORS sample began in September 2015 and was collected for approximately 9 months. Subsequent sample group collections will be done annually from May to July (of the following year).
All data collected in the ORS are subject to the BLS confidentiality requirements that prevent the disclosure of identifying information. Data collected from the ORS are used solely for statistical purposes. BLS has a strict confidentiality policy which ensures that the survey sample composition, lists of reporters, and names of respondents will be kept confidential. In addition, the policy assures respondents that published figures will not reveal the identity of any specific respondent and will not allow the data of any specific respondent to be identified. Each published estimate is screened to ensure that it meets these confidentiality requirements.