A Study in the Process of Planning, Designing and Managing a Survey Program: The case of time‐use surveys at the BLS

Michael Horrigan and Diane Herz


The BLS has recently set up a working group for the purpose of examining the possibility of conducting a time-use survey. This examination follows two significant activities on time use that the BLS has undertaken in the last year: (1) A pilot study of two alternative versions of a time-use survey using a telephone methodology, and (2) co-sponsorship (with the MacArthur Foundation) of the November 1997 conference on time use. Specifically, the working group has been charged with developing a report that addresses the feasibility of conducting a time-use survey using a subsample of the outgoing rotation groups from the monthly Current Population Survey. If viewed as technically feasible, the report will also develop a comprehensive management plan for the design and execution of such a survey. The working group is developing a report that will be delivered to Commissioner Abraham during the summer of 1998. The paper for the ASA session will provide an insider's view to the process of developing a survey strategy as well as a summary of the working group's recommended approach.