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Mar 3 -- The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) is soliciting comments concerning the proposed revision of the “National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997.” Written comments must be submitted to the office listed in the Addresses section of this notice on or before May 2, 2023.

The National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997 (NLSY97) is a nationally representative sample of persons who were born in the years 1980 to 1984. These respondents were ages 12-17 when the first round of annual interviews began in 1997; starting with round sixteen, the NLSY97 is conducted on a biennial basis. Round twenty-one interviews will occur from September 2023 to June 2024. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) contracts with a vendor to conduct the NLSY97. The primary objective of the survey is to study the transition from schooling to the establishment of careers and families. The longitudinal focus of this survey requires information to be collected from the same individuals over many years in order to trace their education, training, work experience, fertility, income, and program participation.

One of the goals of the Department of Labor (DOL) is to produce and disseminate timely, accurate, and relevant information about the U.S. labor force. The BLS contributes to this goal by gathering information about the labor force and labor market and disseminating it to policymakers and the public so that participants in those markets can make more informed, and thus more efficient, choices.

Research based on the NLSY97 contributes to the formation of national policy in the areas of education, training, work experience, fertility, income, and program participation. In addition to the reports that the BLS produces based on data from the NLSY97, members of the academic community publish articles and reports based on NLSY97 data for the DOL and other funding agencies. To date, approximately 976 articles examining NLSY97 data have been published in scholarly journals.

The survey design provides data gathered from the same respondents over time to form the only dataset that contains this type of information for this important population group. Without the collection of these data, an accurate longitudinal dataset could not be provided to researchers and policymakers, thus adversely affecting the DOL's ability to perform its policy- and report-making activities.

The BLS seeks approval to conduct round 21 of biennial interviews of the NLSY97. Respondents of the NLSY97 will undergo an interview of approximately 74 minutes during which they will answer questions about schooling and labor market experiences, family relationships, and community background.

During the fielding period for the main round 21 interviews, no more than 2 percent of respondents will be asked to participate in a brief validation interview a few weeks after the initial interview. The purpose of the validation interview is to verify that the initial interview took place as the interviewer reported and to assess the data quality of selected questionnaire items.

Round 21 will be a predominantly telephone survey. Approximately 90 percent of interviews will be completed by telephone, with the remaining interviews being conducted in person.

The round 21 questionnaire will resemble the round 20 questionnaire with few modifications. New questions for the round 21 questionnaire include questions on the location of work and job search, whether an employer requires the signing of a non-disclosure agreement, chronic health conditions relating to heart conditions, blood sugar, and high blood pressure, coronavirus vaccine recipiency, the use of pain medications, and adverse childhood experiences. In addition, attempts to streamline the questionnaire have been made so that it will be shorter and less burdensome for respondents. To this end, fewer questions will be asked about impact of the coronavirus pandemic, and questions about the value of a job, sexual activity and birth control, criminal background checks, and internet access were removed.
NLSY97: https://www.bls.gov/nls/nlsy97.htm
Draft data collection instrument and technical documentation available at https://www.dropbox.com/scl/fo/8p1095enxvf8ps34psl23/h?dl=0&rlkey=123lymy9nv2x9gjklrag10ccf
FRN: https://www.federalregister.gov/d/2023-04368

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