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Notice

Proposed Collection; Comment Request

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ACTION:

Notice.

SUMMARY:

The Department of Labor, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, conducts a pre-clearance consultation program to provide the general public and Federal agencies an opportunity to comment on proposed and/or continuing collections of information in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA95) [44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)]. This program helps to ensure that requested data can be provided in the desired format, reporting burden (time and financial resources) is minimized, collection instruments are clearly understood, and the impact of collection requirements on respondents can be properly assessed. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) is soliciting comments concerning the proposed revision of the Multiple Worksite Report and the Report of Federal Employment and Wages. A copy of the proposed information collection request (ICR) can be obtained by contacting the individual listed in the Addresses section of this notice.

DATES:

Written comments must be submitted to the office listed in the Addresses section of this notice on or before November 17, 2000.

ADDRESSES:

Send comments to Sytrina D. Toon, BLS Clearance Officer, Division of Management Systems, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Room 3255, 2 Massachusetts Avenue, NE., Washington, DC 20212, telephone number 202-691-7628 (this is not a toll free number).

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Sytrina D. Toon, BLS Clearance Officer, telephone number 202-691-7628. (See Addresses section.)

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background

The Covered Employment and Wages (ES-202) Program is a Federal/State cooperative effort which compiles monthly employment data, quarterly wage data, and business identification information from employers subject to State Unemployment Insurance (UI) laws. These data are collected from State Quarterly Contribution Reports submitted to State Employment Security Agencies (SESAs). The States send micro-level employment and wages data, supplemented with the names, addresses, and business identification information of these employers, to the BLS. These States' data are used to create the BLS business establishment sampling frame, known as the Business Establishment List. This file represents the best source of detailed industrial and geographical data on employers and is used as the sampling frame for most BLS surveys. The Business Establishment List includes individual employers' employment and wages data along with associated business identification information that is maintained by each State to administer the UI program as well as the Unemployment Compensation for Federal Employees (UCFE) program.

The ES-202 Report, produced for each calendar quarter, is a summary of these employer (micro-level) data by industry at the county level. Similar data for Federal Government employees covered by the UCFE Program also are included in each State report. These data are submitted by all 50 States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands to the BLS which then summarizes these macro-level data to produce totals for the States and the Nation. The ES-202 Report provides a virtual census of nonagricultural employees and their wages, with about 47 percent of the workers in agriculture covered as well.

For employers having only a single physical location (worksite) in the State and, thus, operating under a single assigned industrial and geographical code, the data from the States' UI accounting files are sufficient for statistical purposes. Such data, however, are not sufficient for statistical purposes for those employers having multiple establishments or engaged in different industrial activities within the State. In such cases, the employer's Quarterly Contributions Report reflects only Statewide employment and wages and is not disaggregated by establishment or worksite. Although data at this level are sufficient for many purposes of the UI Program, more detailed information is required to create a sampling frame and to meet the needs of several ongoing Federal/State statistical programs. As a result of the Multiple Worksite Report, improved establishment identification data elements have been incorporated into and maintained on the Business Establishment List. Establishment identification data elements that are included in the Business Establishment List are a physical location address, secondary name (trade name, division, subsidiary, etc.), and reporting unit description (store number, plant name or number, etc.) for each worksite of multi-establishment employers.

Employers with more than one establishment reporting under the same UI account number within a State are requested to complete the Multiple Worksite Report if the sum of the employment in all of their secondary establishments is ten or greater. The primary worksite is defined as the establishment with the greatest number of employees. Upon receipt of the first Multiple Worksite Report form, each employer is requested to supply business location identification information. Thereafter, this reported information is computer printed on the Multiple Worksite Report each quarter. The employer is requested to verify the accuracy of this business location identification information and to provide only the employment and wages for each worksite for that quarter. By using a standardized form, the reporting burden on many large employers, especially those engaged in multiple economic activities at various locations across numerous States, has been reduced.

Comparable to the Multiple Worksite Report, the function of the Report of Federal Employment and Wages is to collect employment and wage data for each installation of federal agencies. The Report of Federal Employment and Wages aids in the development and maintenance of business identification information by installation. The Report of Federal Employment and Wages was modeled after the Multiple Worksite Report and is used only to collect data from Federal agencies covered by the UCFE program.

No other standardized report is available to collect current establishment-level employment and wages data by SESAs each quarter from the private sector nor from State and local governments. Also, no other standardized report currently is available to collect installation-level federal employment and wages data each quarter by SESAs.Start Printed Page 56337

II. Desired Focus of Comments

The Bureau of Labor Statistics is particularly interested in comments which:

  • Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility;
  • Evaluate the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;
  • Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and
  • minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submissions of responses.

III. Current Action

The BLS has taken steps to reduce employer reporting burden by developing a standardized format for employers to use to send these data to the States in an electronic medium. The BLS also established an Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) Collection Center to improve and expedite the Multiple Worksite Report collection process. Employers who complete the Multiple Worksite Report for multi-location businesses now can submit employment and wages information on any electronic medium (tape, cartridge, diskette, or computer-to-computer) directly to the data collection center, rather than to each State separately. The data collection center then distributes the appropriate data to the respective States. The BLS also has been working very closely with firms providing payroll and tax filing services for employers as well as developers of payroll and tax filing software to include this electronic reporting as either a service for their clients or a new feature of their system. In addition, the BLS is developing a web-based system to collect these data from businesses of small to medium size.

The confidentiality statement used on the MWR survey form is as follows:

The information collected on this form by the BLS and the State agencies cooperating in its statistical programs will be used for statistical and Unemployment Insurance program purposes, and other purposes in accordance with law.

Type of Review: Revision.

Agency: Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Title: Multiple Worksite Report (MWR) and the Report of Federal Employment and Wages (RFEW).

OMB Number: 1220-0134.

Frequency: Quarterly.

Affected Public: Business or other for-profit institutions, not for-profit institutions, Federal Government, and State, local or tribal government.

Number of Respondents: 114,767.

Estimated Time Per Response: 22.2 Minutes.

Total Burden Hours: 169,855 Hours.

Form No.Total respondentsRespondentTotal responsesAverage time per response (in minutes)Total burden (hours)
BLS 3020 (MWR)112,783Non-Federal451,13222.2166,919
BLS 3021 (RFEW)1,984Federal7,93622.22,936
Totals114,767459,068169,855

Total Burden Cost (capital/startup): $0.

Total Burden Cost (operating/maintenance): $0.

Comments submitted in response to this notice will be summarized and/or included in the request for Office of Management and Budget approval of the ICR; they also will become a matter of public record.

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Signed at Washington, DC, this 12th day of September 2000.

W. Stuart Rust, Jr.,

Chief, Division of Management Systems, Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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[FR Doc. 00-23926 Filed 9-15-00; 8:45 am]

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