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National Sample Reallocation for the Occupational Employment Statistics Survey

David S. Piccone and Marie C. Stetser


The Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) survey provides detailed occupational employment and wage estimates for all metropolitan and balance of state (MSA/BOS) areas in the U.S. To provide consistency in annual state budgets and workloads, the OES state sample sizes have been fixed since 1995. As a result the reliability among areas across states has been inconsistent, especially since some states’ economies have grown over time and become more industrially diverse. This paper describes a methodology to remove the fixed state allocation and change to a national allocation among MSA/BOS areas. This will result in a more robust design that will treat all MSA/BOS areas consistently, taking into consideration the industrial diversity and employment in each area compared to the other areas in the U.S and will provide more consistent reliability among area estimates throughout the U.S.