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Dec 1 -- The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) invites public comment on its request that OMB approve renewal of the Annual Refiling Survey (ARS), which BLS uses to assign a NAICS code to each establishment in the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW). Comments are due by December 31, 2020.
 
The Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) program is a federal/state cooperative effort which compiles monthly employment data, quarterly wages data, and business identification information from employers subject to state Unemployment Insurance (UI) laws. These data are collected from state Quarterly Contribution Reports (QCRs) submitted to State Workforce Agencies (SWAs). The states send micro-level employment and wages data, supplemented with the names, addresses, and business identification information of these employers, to the BLS. The state data are used to create the BLS sampling frame, known as the longitudinal QCEW data. To ensure the continued accuracy of these data, the information supplied by employers must be periodically verified and updated. For this purpose, the Annual Refiling Survey (ARS) is used in conjunction with the UI tax reporting system in each state.  
 
The information collected by the ARS is used to review the existing industry code assigned to each establishment as well as the physical location of the business establishment. As a result, changes in the industrial and geographical compositions of our economy are captured in a timely manner and reflected in the BLS statistical programs. The ARS also asks employers to identify new locations in the state. If these employers meet QCEW program reporting criteria, then a Multiple Worksite Report (MWR) is sent to the employer requesting employment and wages for each worksite each quarter. Thus, the ARS is also used to identify new potential MWR-eligible employers.  
 
OMB clearance is being sought for a revision to the ARS. Once every three years, the SWAs survey employers that are covered by the state's UI laws to ensure that state records correctly reflect the business activities and locations of those employers. States survey approximately one-third of their businesses each year and largely take care of the entire universe of covered businesses over a three-year cycle. The selection criterion for surveying establishments is based on the nine-digit Federal Employer Identification Number of the respondent.
 
FR notice inviting comment: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/12/01/2020-26433/agency-information-collection-activities-submission-for-omb-review-comment-request-annual-refiling
ARS request submitted to OMB: https://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAViewICR?ref_nbr=202009-1220-003 Click on IC List for forms, View Supporting Documents for narrative on uses, methods, timeline.  

Point of contact: Ed Robison, Division Chief, Statistical Methods Staff, Office of Employment and Unemployment Statistics, BLS   202-691-6363  robison.edwin@bls.gov    
 
For AEA members wishing to provide comments, "A Primer on How to Respond to Calls for Comment on Federal Data Collections" is available at https://www.aeaweb.org/content/file?id=5806

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