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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 reinstatement, with change, of a previously approved collection for which approval has expired collection 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.


Written comments must be submitted to the office listed in the Addresses section below on or before March 25, 2013.


Send comments to Nora Kincaid, 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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Nora Kincaid, BLS Clearance Officer, 202-691-7628 (this is not a toll free number). (See ADDRESSES section.)

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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; starting with round sixteen, the NLSY97 will be conducted on a biennial basis. Round sixteen interviews will occur from September 2013 to May 2014. 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, work experience, fertility, income, and program participation. 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, approximately 266 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 dataset that contains this type of information for this important population group. Without the collection of these data, an accurate longitudinal dataset 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 16 of annual interviews of the NLSY97. Respondents to the NLSY97 will undergo an interview of approximately 61 minutes 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 16 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 plans to record randomly selected segments of the main interviews during round 16. Recording interviews helps the BLS and NORC to ensure that the interviews actually took place and interviewers are reading the questions exactly as worded and entering the responses properly. Recording also helps to identify parts of the interview that might be causing problems or misunderstanding for interviewers or respondents. Each respondent will be informed that the Start Printed Page 5212interview 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.

The round 16 questionnaire will resemble the round 15 questionnaire with few modifications. Some of the modifications have been made because the interview will be conducted biennially rather than annually. The round 16 questionnaire will include questions about whether the respondent's parents owned a business, served a prison sentence or served in the military. A short section on childcare will be asked. Additional income questions on the Earned Income tax credit (EITC) and whether a spouse or partner received income from worker's compensation. A series of questions on personality traits will also be added in round 16. Personality traits will include task completion, pursuit of goals, diligence, hard work, dealing with setbacks, focus, and distractibility. These questions will allow researchers to measure non-cognitive skills which may be important measures of labor market success.

Round 16 will include a trial Internet collection of selected information used to locate respondents for interviews. Approximately 20 percent of the sample will be offered the opportunity to participate. The purpose of the trial is to determine whether Internet collection yields information of higher quality when compared to the current method of collecting the information as part of the interview. The Internet trial also will be used to assess respondent acceptance of Internet collection generally and whether such collection can reduce respondent burden without reducing the quality of the survey information.

As in prior rounds of the NLSY97, round 16 will include a pretest conducted several months before the main fielding to test survey procedures and questions and resolve problems before the main fielding begins.

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: Reinstatement, with change, of a previously approved collection for which approval has expired 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 (minutes)Estimated total burden (hours)
NLSY97 Pretest June-July150One-time15061152.5
NLSY97 R16 advance web test June-July 20131,000One-time1,00010166.7
Main NLSY97: September 2013-May 20147,400One-time7,400617,523.3
Validation interview: October 2013-June 2014147One-time14749.8

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 17th day of January 2013.

Eric Molina,

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

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[FR Doc. 2013-01392 Filed 1-23-13; 8:45 am]