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Business Response Survey to the Coronavirus Pandemic

Questions and Answers

Business Response Survey to the Coronavirus Pandemic Questions and Answers

1. What is the Business Response Survey to the Coronavirus Pandemic?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has developed new data on how U.S. businesses changed their operations and employment since the onset of the novel coronavirus. This information, in combination with data collected by other current BLS surveys, will aid in understanding how businesses responded during the pandemic. Other BLS statistics collected and published during the pandemic provide indications of changes in employment, wages, job openings and terminations, employer-provided benefits, and safety and health. The new data provides additional insights by asking employers directly what they experienced as a result of the pandemic and how they responded.

BLS produced data for 2020, which refers to a survey fielded in 2020 and references changes since the onset of the coronavirus through September 2020. BLS will also produce data for 2021, which refers to another survey being fielded in 2021 and references changes made since the onset of the coronavirus through September 2021. The 2020 and 2021 questionnaires ask a different set of questions and refer to changes made during their respective time periods.

2. When will these data be released?

Data for the 2020 Business Response Survey to the Coronavirus Pandemic were released on December 7, 2020.

Data for the 2021 Business Response Survey to the Coronavirus Pandemic are scheduled to be released in late 2021.

You can subscribe to receive updates and additional information about the data release.

3. When were these data collected?

Data for the 2020 survey were collected from July 20, 2020 through September 30, 2020.

Data for the 2021 survey are being collection from July 28, 2021 through September 30, 2021.

4. How were the data collected?

The 2020 and 2021 BRS were collected entirely online. Respondents were solicited via email and printed letters. 

5. How was the sample designed?

For the 2020 BRS, BLS selected a sample of approximately 597,000 establishments. More information about the sample can be found in the 2020 Technical Notes.

For the 2021 BRS, BLS selected a sample of approximately 323,000 establishments. More information about the sample can be found in the 2021 Technical Notes.

The objective for both surveys was to produce statistics at detailed levels including by size class, state, industry, and some state-industry, state-size combinations. 

6. Will these data be updated?

The 2020 and 2021 BRS were one-time surveys with different questions aimed at better understanding business resposne to the coronavirus pandemic.  Additional tabulations of the data will be published on the website in the coming months. You can subscribe to receive updates.

7. Who should I contact if I have questions?

You can reach the Business Response Survey to the Coronavirus Pandemic staff by email.