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Jan 28 -- The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) invites public comment by March 29, 2021 on its proposal for the Occupational Requirements Survey (ORS) 2021-24.  
 
The Occupational Requirements Survey (ORS) is a nationwide survey that the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) is conducting at the request of the Social Security Administration (SSA). Three years of data collection and capture for the ORS will start in 2021 and end in mid-2024. Estimates produced from the data collected by the ORS will be used by the SSA to update occupational requirements data for administering the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) programs.
 
The ORS occupational information will allow SSA adjudicators to clearly associate the assessment of a claimant's physical and mental functional capacity and vocational profile with work requirements. BLS will compute percentages of workers with various characteristics, such as skill and strength level. SSA will use this information to provide statistical support for the medical-vocational rules used at step 5 of sequential evaluation regarding the number of unskilled jobs that exist at each level of exertion in the national economy.

The Social Security Administration, Members of Congress, and representatives of the disability community have all identified collection of updated information on the requirements of work in today's economy as crucial to the equitable and efficient operation of the Social Security Disability (SSDI) program.

The ORS collects data from a sample of employers. These requirements of work data consist of information about the duties, responsibilities, and critical job tasks for a sample of occupations for each sampled employer.
 
The ORS collects data on the requirements of work, as defined by the SSA's disability program:

(1) An indicator of “time to proficiency,” defined as the amount of time required by a typical worker to learn the techniques, acquire the information, and develop the facility needed for average job performance, comparable to the Specific Vocational Preparation (SVP) used in the Dictionary of Occupational Titles (DOT).

(2) Physical Demand characteristics/factors of occupations, measured in such a way to support SSA disability determination needs, comparable to measures in Appendix C of the Selected Characteristics of Occupations (SCO).

(3) Environmental Conditions, measured in such a way to support SSA disability determination needs, comparable to measures in Appendix D of the SCO.

(4) Data elements that describe the mental and cognitive demands of work.

(5) Occupational task lists of occupations, defined as the critical job function and key job tasks, to validate the reported requirements of work, comparable to data identified in the Employment and Training Administration's (ETA's) O*NET Program.

The ORS data is collected using a two-stage stratified design and includes sample cell definitions and allocations to accommodate the goal to produce estimates for as many occupations as possible. Occupations for private industry establishments are selected before the sample is fielded. Occupational selection for government units generally occurs after establishment contact. The probability of an occupation being selected after the sample is fielded will be proportionate to its employment within the establishment.
 
BLS will disseminate the data from the ORS on the BLS public website (www.bls.gov/​ors). The design uses a five-year rotation with complete estimates published after the full sample has been collected. Interim results will be produced and disseminated on an annual basis.
 
ORS website: https://www.bls.gov/ors/    
ORS Q&A: https://www.bls.gov/ors/questions-and-answers.htm
ORS methodology: https://www.bls.gov/opub/hom/ors/pdf/ors.pdf  
Draft ORS forms and supporting statement:  https://www.dropbox.com/sh/xocb6ujgncz0l5t/AAA-vpdlIeWyDYfFQIuj2IDja?dl=0
FR notice inviting comments: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2021/01/28/2021-01855/information-collection-activities-comment-request
 
Point of contact: Xingyou Zhang, Chief, Statistical Methods Group, Office of Compensation and Working Conditions, BLS 202-691-6082 https://data.bls.gov/forms/ors.htm?/ors/home.htm

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