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Validation in the Occupational Requirements Survey: Analysis of Approaches

Kristin N. Smyth


The Occupational Requirements Survey (ORS) is an establishment survey conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) for the Social Security Administration (SSA). The survey collects information on the vocational preparation and the cognitive and physical requirements of occupations in the U.S. economy, as well as the environmental conditions in which those occupations are performed. This paper examines the process for validating estimates from ORS. It describes the purpose, procedures, and systems of validation and how they contribute to increasing the precision of the ORS measurements and properly gauging the quality of the final product. This paper also takes a look at estimates in the broader context of occupational research and other sources of information on occupational requirements. This paper examines what useful comparisons can be made between these sources and ORS and what further research would help to refine ORS validation procedures.