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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 with 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 extension 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 below 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 December 8, 2003.

ADDRESSES:

Send comments to Amy A. Hobby, BLS Clearance Officer, Division of Management Systems, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Room 4080, 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:

Amy A. Hobby, 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 (QCRs) 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. The State data are used to create the BLS 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 the 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 QCR 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. The Multiple Worksite Report (MWR) is designed to supplement the QCR when more detailed information is needed.

As a result of the MWR, improved establishment business identification data elements have been incorporated into and maintained on the Business Establishment List. The MWR collects 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 MWR if the sum of the employment in all of their secondary establishments is 10 or greater. The primary worksite is defined as the establishment with the greatest number of employees. Upon receipt of the first MWR form, each employer is requested to supply business location identification information. Thereafter, this reported information is computer printed on the MWR 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 Start Printed Page 58143locations across numerous States, has been reduced.

Comparable to the MWR, the function of the Report of Federal Employment and Wages (RFEW) is to collect employment and wage data for each installation of Federal agencies. The RFEW aids in the development and maintenance of business identification information by installation. The RFEW was modeled after the MWR 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 for statistical purposes each quarter from the private sector nor 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 for statistical purposes. Completion of the MWR is required by state law in 21 States.

II. Desired Focus of Comments

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

  • 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 help 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 MWR collection process. Employers who complete the MWR for multi-location businesses can now 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 agency, 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 the 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 small to medium size businesses.

Type of Review: Extension of currently approved collection.

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.

Form numberTotal respondentsRespondentTotal responsesAverage time per response (minutes)Total burden (hours)
BLS 3020 (MWR)116,172Non-Federal464,68822.2171,935
BLS 3021 (RFEW)2,074Federal8,29622.23,070
Totals118,246472,984175,004

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 information collection request; they also will become a matter of public record.

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Signed at Washington, DC, this 25th day of September, 2003.

Cathy Kazanowski,

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

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[FR Doc. 03-25515 Filed 10-7-03; 8:45 am]

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