Editing Strategies Used by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in Data Collection over the Internet

Stephen H. Cohen


The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) is the principle Federal agency charged with disseminating statistics in the broad area of labor economics. In particular BLS publishes the principle Federal economic indicators on unemployment and inflation in the U.S. BLS attempts to provide data providers with as many options as possible for submitting their reports such as over the Internet. The BLS approach to Internet data collection is to provide a singular, manageable, secure architecture for all surveys.

This paper will explore the editing strategy used by BLS on the Internet. The paper will summarize the types of edits used in post collection review and the strategy employed to incorporate edits into web based instruments. Edit experience from two Internet survey instruments will be discussed including implementation strategies, edit failure experience, and comparisons with edit failures of data collected by standard protocols.