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Email Solicitation for a Business Establishment Survey ‐ Results from the 2015 Annual Refiling Survey

Sharon Stang and Emily Thomas


The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) is a federal/state cooperative program that publishes a count of monthly employment and total quarterly wages of employers covering 98 percent of U.S. jobs. These data are published quarterly, and are available at the county, MSA, state and national levels by industry. The Annual Refiling Survey (ARS) is an establishment survey that asks businesses to update their industry classification and geographic information. ARS online data collection began with the 2012 survey, and online respondents provided their email addresses when they reported their data. The ARS is conducted over a three-year cycle and businesses surveyed in 2012 were again eligible for selection in 2015. To reduce survey costs associated with printing and mailing envelopes and forms, the ARS began soliciting respondents via email in 2015. This paper summarizes the procedures, response results, and potential cost savings associated with the 2015 ARS email solicitation pilot test.