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February 2006, Vol. 129, No. 2
Internet collection at the Bureau of Labor Statistics: an option to report data
Stephen Cohen, Dee McCarthy, Richard Rosen, and William Wiatrowski
Many of the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) statistical programs that collect data from employers, such as those reporting on employment, compensation, or occupational injuries and illnesses, are introducing Internet-based data collection. Among the reasons for offering Internet collection is the availability of reporting choices for employers, the potential to reduce BLS costs associated with mailing or data entry, and the potential to reduce employer burden, or the perception of burden. Multimode surveys that include the Internet allow respondents to select the most suitable mode for their circumstances, which may reduce burden. Internet-based data collection also augments the palette of the questionnaire designer by adding to it Internet technologies such as hyperlinks, color manipulation, dynamic graphics, and multimedia players that can provide instructions visually and/or orally.
This article reviews the BLS experience with collecting data over the Internet. BLS is in the process of incorporating Internet-based data collection into a number of its establishment surveys. Internet collection is typically offered to employers as one of several options for reporting their data. BLS benefits from Internet collection as well, with the potential to:
Control certain costs
Improve response rates
Decrease burden, or the perception of burden
Improve data quality
For surveys with multiple deadlinesóreduce revisions between preliminary and final estimates
This excerpt is from an article published in the February 2006 issue of the Monthly Labor Review. The full text of the article is available in Adobe Acrobat's Portable Document Format (PDF). See How to view a PDF file for more information.
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1 Richard S. Bragaw, "Pioneering the Wholesale Club Concept," Discount Merchandiser, November 1990, pp. 42, 44, 48.
2 Ibid., p. 42.
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