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Jan 17 -- The Department of Labor (DOL) is submitting this Employment and Training Administration (ETA)-sponsored information collection request (ICR) for the O*NET Data Collection Program to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA). Public comments on the ICR are invited. The OMB will consider all written comments that the agency receives on or before February 16, 2024.

The O*NET Data Collection Program is an ongoing effort to collect and maintain current information on the detailed characteristics of occupations and skills for more than 900 occupations. The resulting database provides the most comprehensive standardized source of occupational and skills information in the nation. O*NET information is used by a wide range of audiences, including individuals making career decisions, public agencies and schools providing career exploration services or education and training programs, and businesses making staffing and training decisions. The O*NET system provides a common language, framework and database to meet the administrative needs of various federal programs, including workforce investment and training programs supported by funding from the Departments of Labor, Education, and Health and Human Services.

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 E). Appendix F 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.

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.

With the May 2023 version of the database, 853 O*NET-SOC 2019 occupations have been comprehensively updated with information collected from job incumbents and occupation experts through the O*NET Data Collection Program; 738 of these occupations have had more than one update.

O*NET OnLine currently averages more than 2.3 million visits per month. The O*NET Resource Center (https://www.onetcenter.org) averages more than 200,000 visits per month. The My Next Move sites average over 1.2 million visits per month. O*NET Web Services averages over 30 million user requests per month.

A 3-year extension of the O*NET Data Collection Program is being requested for the period of March 2024 through February 2027. This extension will provide for the updating of selected high-growth occupations and for data collection activities for new and emerging occupations. The 2018 Standard Occupation Classification system identified many new occupations (such as data scientists), as well as a number of modifications to existing occupation titles, definitions, and classifications (https://www.bls.gov/soc/2018/home.htm). A dynamic and progressive U.S. economy requires continuous improvement to the data on which so many decisions are based. Millions of people are currently using O*NET information, and the numbers continue to expand as public agencies and private developers integrate O*NET data into their systems and products. The O*NET database provides valid, reliable, and current occupational information crucial to a strong U.S. workforce. O*NET database updates are scheduled to occur once a year to incorporate newly collected information on recently surveyed occupations. A schedule for data analysis is provided in Exhibit A-5 in Section ‎16; schedules for data collection and analysis are subject to annual appropriations.

O*NET Resource Center: https://www.onetcenter.org/
ETA submission to OMB: https://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAViewICR?ref_nbr=202311-1205-001 Click IC List for information collection instrument, View Supporting Statement for technical documentation. Submit comments through this webpage.
FRN: https://www.federalregister.gov/d/2024-00777

For AEA members wishing to submit 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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