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Update on the Redesign of the National Compensation Survey

Yoel Izsak, Lawrence R. Ernst, Erin E. McNulty, Steven P. Paben, Chester H. Ponikowski, Glenn Springer, and Jason Tehonica


Locality wage-level surveys are among the key products produced by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' National Compensation Survey (NCS). A sample redesign of the NCS is necessary each decade to incorporate new area definitions. There are three phases of sampling: localities, establishments, and jobs. At JSM 2003, we presented the paper "Redesign of the National Compensation Survey," in which we discussed sample redesign issues concerning the selection of sample areas and presented preliminary results. In this paper, we will present final decisions and additional research for those issues. This will include further work on the use of single county or multicounty clusters outside of Core Based Statistical Areas (CBSAs) and on the appropriate size of sampling strata for different types of areas. Additionally, we will discuss several topics regarding sample establishment allocation, including the allocation of establishment sample to sample areas, to industries, and to area x industry cells using a controlled selection process. Finally, we will discuss aspects of occupational allocation.