Occupational Requirements Survey: Presentation

Occupational Requirement Survey (ORS) news releases, data, and other information can be found at www.bls.gov/ors. The primary purpose of collecting ORS data is to provide a comprehensive dataset on the physical demands, environmental conditions, education and training (or specific vocational preparation (SVP)), and mental requirements for jobs in the U.S. economy by detailed occupations. Users may include:

  • Jobseekers
  • Researchers
  • Insurance companies
  • Advocacy organizations
  • Data users within nonprofits
  • Employment agencies
  • State and federal agencies
  • Disability community
  • Vocational experts
  • Human resource professionals
  • Medical professionals
  • Actuaries

ORS data are used for a variety of purposes. Uses may include:

  • Assisting the Social Security Administration in its disability adjudication process
  • Using data for new opportunities in research, such as in academia or government
  • Tracking the nature of work
  • Benchmarking job descriptions or developing targeted recruiting plans
  • Helping insurance companies assess risk management
  • Assisting temporary help firms properly match an employee to job openings

Accessing data

The complete set of 2016 ORS data can be found at www.bls.gov/ors/#data. Both a multi-screen query tool and flat files are available for data users. Flat files can be downloaded at https://download.bls.gov/pub/time.series/or/, which also includes a description of these files and the structure of ORS series. In addition, selected occupational information about 21 major occupational groups can be found in occupational profiles.

The 2016 annual estimates released for the ORS are from a single sample of collected data. 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. 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 up to 30,000 sample establishments is reached.

Although the occupational requirements data collected may have many uses, their limitations must be kept in mind. The data are subject to sampling error, which may cause deviations from the results that would be obtained if the actual requirements for jobs in all establishments could be used. Nonsampling error is present in surveys as well. (See the Calculation section for more information.) Also, the current imputation process used by ORS remains under development and may be refined in the future.

Last Modified Date: March 29, 2017