A Qualitative Study of Nonresponse Factors Affecting BLS Establishment Surveys: Results

Sylvia K. Fisher, John J. Bosley, Karen L. Goldenberg, William Mockovak, and Clyde Tucker


Surveys of businesses, organizations, and institutions -so-called "establishment surveys"-provide key data for some of the Nation's most important measures of economic health. However, the quality of the data depends on respondent cooperation; thus, survey nonresponse is a major challenge for a survey.Increasing concern about this challenge to the data quality of its establishment surveys led senior management from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to charter a team in 2001 to conduct qualitative research on the scope of the problem. Fox et al. (2003) describes procedures used by the team to carry out its charter. This paper reports the major findings of the qualitative research.