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Proposed Collection, Comment Request

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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 Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages Program. 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.


Written comments must be submitted to the office listed in the Addresses section of this notice on or before May 23, 2011.


Send comments to Carol Rowan, BLS Clearance Officer, Division of Management Systems, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Room 4080, 2 Massachusetts Avenue, NE., Washington, DC 20212. Written comments also may be transmitted by fax to 202-691-5111 (this is not a toll free number).

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Carol Rowan, BLS Clearance Officer, 202-691-7628 (this is not a toll free number). (See ADDRESSES SECTION.)

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I. Background

The Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) program, a Federal/State cooperative effort, produces monthly employment and quarterly wage information. It is a by-product of quarterly reports submitted to State Workforce Agencies (SWAs) by employers subject to State Unemployment Insurance (UI) laws. The collection of these data is authorized by 29 USC 1, 2. The QCEW data, which are compiled for each calendar quarter, provide a comprehensive business name and address file with employment and wage information for employers subject to State UI laws. Similar data for Federal Government employers covered by the Unemployment Compensation for Federal Employees program also are included. These data are submitted to the BLS by all 50 States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. The BLS summarizes these data to produce totals for all counties, Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs), the States, and the nation. The QCEW program provides a virtual census of nonagricultural employees and their wages, with about 55 percent of the workers in agriculture covered as well.

The QCEW program is a comprehensive and accurate source of data on the number of establishments, monthly employment, and quarterly wages, by industry, at the six-digit North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) level, and at the national, State, MSA, and county levels. The QCEW series has broad economic significance in measuring labor trends Start Printed Page 16000and major industry developments, in time series analyses and industry comparisons, and in special studies such as analyses of establishments, employment, and wages by size of establishment.

II. Current Action

Office of Management and Budget clearance is being sought for the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) program.

The QCEW program is the only Federal statistical program that provides information on establishments, wages, tax contributions and the number of employees subject to State UI laws and the Unemployment Compensation for the Federal Employees program. The consequences of not collecting QCEW data would be grave to the Federal statistical community. The BLS would not have a sampling frame for its establishment surveys; it would not be able to publish as accurate current estimates of employment for the U.S., States, and metropolitan areas; and it would not be able to publish quarterly census totals of local establishment counts, employment, and wages. The Bureau of Economic Analysis would not be able to publish as accurate personal income data in a timely manner for the U.S., States, and local areas. Finally, the Department of Labor's Employment Training Administration would not have the information it needs to administer the Unemployment Insurance Program.

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: Extension of a currently approved collection.

Agency: Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Title: Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) Program.

OMB Number: 1220-0012.

Affected Public: State Governments.

Total Respondents: 53.

Frequency: Quarterly.

Total Responses: 212.

Average Time per Response: 4,866 hours.

Estimated Total Burden Hours: 1,031,680 hours.

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 16th day of March 2011.

Kimberley Hill,

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

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[FR Doc. 2011-6600 Filed 3-21-11; 8:45 am]