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Sample Allocation for the Redesigned National Compensation Survey

Hyunshik James Lee, Tiandong Li, Gwyn R. Ferguson, Chester H. Ponikowski, and Bradley D. Rhein


The National Compensation Survey (NCS) conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) is an establishment survey for which the sample selection methodology has been redesigned to reflect a change in the scope of the survey. The new sample design will be implemented in 2012. The main feature of the redesign is the change from a three-stage area based design to a new two-stage design. Under the new design, establishments are selected by the probability proportional to size (PPS) sampling method as the primary sampling unit (PSU) at the first-stage, and occupations again by the PPS method at the second-stage from the sampled establishments. For this new design, sample allocation needs to be done to meet the precision objectives of the survey. For this purpose, variance components are estimated, response rates are projected, and based on this information the national private industry sample is allocated to sample allocation cells defined by 23 detailed industries. This paper discusses these steps and the final sample allocation results.