Using Establishment Characteristics to Predict Respondent Mode Preferences in the Occupational Employment Statistics Survey

Carrie K. Jones and Polly A. Phipps


The Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey, conducted by U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and State partners, is a voluntary establishment survey that produces occupational employment and wage estimates by industry and geographic area. Solicitation is conducted primarily via mail. Respondents are given several data submission options including mail, telephone, facsimile, email, and internet. Previous research indicates that establishment characteristics influence whether a firm responds to the survey. In this analysis we examine characteristics such as size, location, industry, or multi-unit employer as predictors of response mode preferences. Identifying the preferred mode may lead to a tailored collection strategy that could increase response rates and lower survey costs. This paper identifies characteristics most likely to influence mode preference.