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July 31 -- The Department of Labor's (DOL) Employment and Training Administration (ETA) is soliciting comments concerning a revision to a previously approved information collection request (ICR) titled “O*NET Data Collection Program.” Consideration will be given to all written comments received by September 29, 2023.

This Information Collection Request (ICR) requests a revision to the Occupational Information Network (O*NET®) data collection program, to collect updated occupational characteristics and requirements information on an ongoing basis. Both selected sample sizes of business establishments and use of the Occupation Expert Methodology have been increased to offset declining response rates at both the establishment and employee levels; and the potentially lasting impacts of COVID-19 on business eligibility (see Section 15). Contacted Occupation Expert source organizations are presented with the opportunity of a recognition program for their participation (Section 9). Informational materials have been condensed to reduce redundancy and burden (Appendix F). Appendix G in this ICR package differs from the 2021 Appendix G submission: the look and format of the questionnaires have been modernized to reflect current best practices for surveys, including standardization of similar background questions between the Establishment and Occupation Expert questionnaires; and both the instructions for, and the presentation of level scale anchors have been updated to lend additional clarity. Also, the burden calculations incorporate up to 3 focus groups of size 30 each; these focus groups will be used to evaluate current protocols and/or materials and to guide future enhancements to O*NET data collection (see Appendix H and Supporting Statement Part B, Section 4.12.3). Finally, we propose to conduct incentive evaluation experiments at the establishment, employee, and occupation expert levels to assess the potential impact for reducing nonresponse bias, increasing response rates, and minimizing follow-up data collection efforts (Appendix J).

The O*NET Data Collection Program continually operates to populate and maintain a current database on the detailed characteristics of workers, occupations, and skills. The program uses an occupational taxonomy, the O*NET-Standard Occupational Classification (SOC), which has been updated to reflect the 2018 SOC, mandated by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for use by all federal agencies collecting occupational and labor market information. Previously, the O*NET-SOC was based on the 2010 SOC taxonomy. The O*NET-SOC comprises occupations at the most detailed level of the SOC and includes additional occupational specificity as needed. In addition, new and emerging occupations in high-growth sectors of the economy have been identified and added to the taxonomy. Data have been published for 853 O*NET-SOC occupations, 738 of which have undergone more than one update. The O*NET Data Collection Program received initial OMB clearance in 1999 for a pretest and eight subsequent clearances that have allowed data collection to continue without interruption since June 2001. The current clearance expires November 30, 2024. This request is to continue to update occupations that reflect older data as well as to collect data on new and changing occupations included in the 2018 SOC taxonomy for 3 more years, subject to annual budget levels.
O*NET Resource Center: https://www.onetcenter.org/
Draft ICR--survey instruments and technical documentation: https://www.onetcenter.org/ombclearance.html
FRN: https://www.federalregister.gov/d/2023-16130

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