Application of Cognitive Methods to an Establishment Survey: A Demonstration Using the Current Employment Statistics Survey

Eileen M. O'Brien, Sylvia K. Fisher, Karen L. Goldenberg, and Richard J. Rosen


This paper describes the application of two evaluation approaches to the ongoing Current Establishment Statistics (CES) survey questionnaire, and uses the results of these complementary techniques to identify potential sources of measurement error in the survey. CES provides monthly data on U.S. payroll employment, hours, and earnings, which are closely watched economic indicators. The self-administered questionnaire was originally developed as a mail shuttle form on which respondents supplied new data each month for a year.Respondents now use it to record monthly data for Touchtone Data Entry or CATI.