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Survey Response Measurement at the Bureau of Labor Statistic

Gwyn R. Ferguson, Stephen H. Cohen, and Richard J. Rosen


Historically, each survey at the Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS, has computed and analyzed its own response rates, but there was no systematic comparison of the rates across surveys. In the 1980's, a framework was developed for computing similar response rates across all surveys. Over the last several years, each of the Bureau's surveys has revised their response rate definitions and formulas to conform to the Bureau-wide framework. Using the response rates computed using these definitions and formulas, we have begun analyzing response rates across similar surveys. This paper will present the agency-wide framework and definitions, describe the current status of the agency-wide analysis, and discuss planned enhancements to this effort.