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Evaluation of Alternative Measures of Size for Sampling of Establishments in the NCS

Onimissi M. Sheidu


The National Compensation Survey, conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, is an establishment survey sampled yearly from a national frame using probability proportionate to establishment employment size. The national frame is developed from administrative files maintained quarterly by the States for the Unemployment Insurance program. Each establishment on the frame is assigned a measure of employment size equal to the employment in the third month of the frame quarter. In 2011, approximately 15% of the establishments in the frame, which includes seasonal businesses, reported an employment of zero, an employment that must be adjusted to ensure that the establishment has a chance of selection. In the past, establishments with zero employment have been assigned an employment equal to one employee, with some cases resulting in large weights for the occupations selected from these companies. The large weights lead to an over-representation of these occupations in the sample. This paper presents alternative measures of size values and discusses the options for best determining the measure of size for all establishments in the frame.