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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 revision of the “National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997.” 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 below on or before June 3, 2008.

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, 202-691-7628. (This is not a toll free number.)

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Amy A. Hobby, BLS Clearance Officer, 202-691-7628. (See ADDRESSES section.)

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background

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; the twelfth round of annual interviews will be conducted from September 2008 to May 2009. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) contracts with the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) at the University of Chicago 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, employment programs, and school-to-work transitions. 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, more than 70 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 data set that contains this type of information for this important population group. Without the collection of these data, an accurate longitudinal data set could not be provided to researchers and policymakers, thus adversely affecting the DOL's ability to perform its policy- and report-making activities.

II. Current Action

The BLS seeks approval to conduct round 12 of annual interviews of the NLSY97. Respondents to the NLSY97 will undergo an interview of approximately one hour 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 12 interviews, about 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.

The BLS proposes to record randomly selected segments of the main interviews and all validation interviews during round 12. Recording interviews can help the BLS and NORC to ensure that the interviews actually took place and that interviewers are reading the questions exactly as worded and entering the responses properly. Recording also can help to identify parts of the interview that might be causing problems or misunderstanding for interviewers or respondents. The BLS and NORC will not release any variables that are developed from the recording of the interviews to anyone not associated with the NLS program at the BLS or its contractors. Each respondent will be informed that the interview may be recorded for quality control, testing, and training purposes. If the respondent objects to the recording of the interview, the interviewer will confirm to the respondent that the interview will not be recorded and then proceed with the interview. Start Printed Page 18574

During round 12, the BLS proposes to modify the financial and in-kind incentives offered to respondents to encourage greater cooperation both in the current round and in future rounds. The changes to the round 12 incentive structure are based on the results of an incentive experiment conducted during rounds 10 and 11. Other changes in round 12 include asking the political participation questions that were asked previously in rounds 8 and 10. The round 12 questionnaire includes an item in the health section and in the interviewer remarks section asking the respondent and interviewer, respectively, to code the respondent's skin color on a scale from 0 to 10. This information is useful for studying workplace discrimination and for assessing the risk of certain health conditions.

III. 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.
  • 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.

Type of Review: Revision of a currently approved collection.

Agency: Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Title: National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997.

OMB Number: 1220-0157.

Affected Public: Individuals or households.

FormTotal respondentsFrequencyTotal responsesAverage time per response (min.)Estimated total burden (hours)
Main Round 12 Interview7,350Annually7,350607,350
Round 12 Validation Interview147Annually147410
Totals7,4977,4977,360
The difference between the total number of respondents and the total number of responses reflects the fact that about 147 respondents will be interviewed twice, once in the main round 12 survey and a second time in the validation interview.

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 31st day of March, 2008.

Kimberley Hill,

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

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[FR Doc. E8-6965 Filed 4-3-08; 8:45 am]

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