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Bureau of Labor Statistics > Office of Survey Methods and Research > Publications > Browse Research Papers

The Weighting Process Used in the Employer Costs for Employee Compensation Series for the National Compensation Survey

Christina Lynn McCarthy, Gwyn R. Ferguson, and Chester H. Ponikowski

Abstract

The National Compensation Survey (NCS) is conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to compute measures of pay and benefits of America’s workers. One output derived from the NCS data is the BLS Employer Costs for Employee Compensation (ECEC) series, which produces quarterly estimates of employer costs for wages, salaries, and benefits. The ECEC weighting process consists of multiple steps including calculation of weights that reflect a 3-stage sampling design, nonresponse adjustment at the establishment level and occupational level, adjustment for sample rotation, and benchmarking. The weighting processes for the survey account for changes in employment totals due to establishments moving out of area, going out of business, or refusing to provide data, employment fluctuations, as well as occupations being abolished or not in-scope for the survey. Data from a recent sample will demonstrate how well the employment totals reflect the in-scope population for the survey throughout each stage of the weighting processes.