Request for Comment

CourtLabor Department,Labor Statistics Bureau
Citation87 FR 12733
Published date07 March 2022
Record Number2022-04712
Federal Register, Volume 87 Issue 44 (Monday, March 7, 2022)
[Federal Register Volume 87, Number 44 (Monday, March 7, 2022)]
                [Notices]
                [Pages 12733-12735]
                From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
                [FR Doc No: 2022-04712]
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                DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
                Bureau of Labor Statistics
                Request for Comment
                AGENCY: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Department of Labor.
                ACTION: Request for comments.
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                SUMMARY: The Department of Labor through the Bureau of Labor Statistics
                (BLS) is currently soliciting comments concerning the planning,
                development, and implementation of a new National Longitudinal Survey
                of Youth (NLSY) cohort.
                DATES: Written comments must be submitted by the methods listed in the
                ADDRESSES section of this notice on or before May 6, 2022.
                ADDRESSES: You may submit written comments by one of the following
                methods:
                 On-line: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for
                submitting comments.
                 Email: [email protected].
                FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Safia Abdirizak, Economist, Bureau of
                Labor Statistics, [email protected].
                SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:
                I. Background
                 BLS is currently developing plans for a new NLSY cohort. The BLS
                provided Congress with a 5-year development plan, which would culminate
                in fielding a first round of collection in 2026. This development plan
                is available in section IV below and at https://www.bls.gov/nls/nlsy26.htm. As part of this process, BLS is committed to engaging with
                new and experienced users of NLSY data to maximize the eventual utility
                of the new NLSY cohort. This request for information is one avenue of
                this engagement plan. The development of a new NLSY cohort will build
                upon BLS experience and analysis of its two ongoing NLSY cohorts.
                1. National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 (NLSY79)
                 The NLSY79 sample is composed of 12,686 young men and women who
                were born in the years 1957 to 1964. Data were first collected in 1979,
                when sample members were ages 14-22. In December 2021, BLS completed
                round 29 of data collection with NLSY79 sample members who were ages 55
                to 63. BLS has followed this cohort of late Baby Boomers for over 40
                years, recording their lives from their teens into their 50s and early
                60s.
                2. National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997 (NLSY97)
                 The NLSY97 began over 20 years ago with the collection of data from
                a sample of 8,984 youths who were born in the years 1980 to 1984. The
                sample members were ages 12-16 as of December 31, 1996. In Fall 2021,
                BLS began round 20 of data collection for this cohort with sample
                members ages 36 to 41.
                 More information about the ongoing NLSY cohorts is available at
                https://www.bls.gov/nls/.
                 The longitudinal approach of the NLSY cohorts provides data to
                economists, sociologists, and other researchers in government,
                academia, and private organizations to answer such questions as how
                wages change over time, how schooling and training contribute to the
                development and maintenance of skills to obtain and keep good jobs over
                one's career, how individuals navigate work and family
                responsibilities, and how individuals plan for retirement as their
                careers come to an end. To continue building on these longstanding
                strengths of the NLSY cohorts, BLS envisions that a new youth cohort
                would cover a broad range of topics related to labor market outcomes
                for a new generation entering the labor force.
                 Respondents in previous NLSY cohorts have been asked a core set of
                questions that provide extensive information on employment, training,
                education, income, assets, marital status, fertility, health, attitudes
                toward work, experiences with the criminal justice system, household
                composition, and occupational and geographical mobility. In addition,
                the previous cohorts were administered cognitive assessments. BLS
                anticipates that the new youth cohort will cover these same topics and
                include assessments of cognitive and non-cognitive skills, thus
                enabling the study of educational experiences, achievement, cognitive
                and non-cognitive skills, and the transition from school to work;
                training programs and training in the workplace; the value of early-
                career job exploration; geographic mobility; relationships between the
                workplace and the well-being of the family and family transitions; drug
                and alcohol use; juvenile delinquency and criminal behavior; fertility
                and childbearing; and employment and earnings of workers.
                 As with past NLSY cohorts, a new cohort would collect detailed
                information about each job held, including start and stop dates for
                each job and characteristics of each job such as wages, hours,
                occupation, and industry. Information about periods when no jobs are
                held would also be collected. Detailed information would be collected
                on education and training, and events such as marriage and divorce, as
                well as fertility, all of which affect labor market choices.
                 More information about the NLSY26 cohort and current BLS plans is
                available at https://www.bls.gov/nls/nlsy26.htm.
                II. Current and Planned Engagement
                 In October 2020, the National Science Foundation funded a ``Shaping
                a New National Longitudinal Survey of Youth''
                [[Page 12734]]
                conference, which brought together academics from many disciplines,
                leaders from federal agencies, and independent researchers to share
                information about previous achievements of the NLSY cohorts, identify
                emerging and ongoing needs for studying upcoming workforce generations,
                and discuss how a new cohort could meet those needs. The conference
                served as a building block for additional stakeholder and user outreach
                for planning the NLSY26 cohort.
                 In addition, BLS has begun extensive consultation with stakeholders
                in government, academia, research and policy organizations, users of
                NLS products, and relevant advisory committees. BLS has consulted with
                members of its NLS Technical Review Committee and conducted outreach
                meetings with several government agencies including the Department of
                Justice, National Institute for Child Health and Human Development,
                Department of Health and Human Services, and the National Center for
                Educational Statistics.
                 BLS is currently planning for several additional outreach
                activities. First, BLS plans to engage with stakeholder organizations,
                such as the Council of Professional Associations on Federal Statistics
                (COPAFS), the Association of Public Data Users (APDU), the American
                Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR), the American
                Statistical Association (ASA), the American Economic Association (AEA),
                Population Association of America (PAA), and others, to inform them of
                BLS's current plans. This engagement will also be used to encourage
                their members to submit feedback to this Federal Register Notice and
                other future planned activities. In addition, BLS is planning to issue
                a user survey, host focus groups on various topics, and make available
                informational materials to enable feedback and insight from the
                stakeholder community's broad range of knowledge and interest. Each
                part of the current plan is described further below.
                 Informational Materials. NLSY informational materials will contain
                items to support organizations or individuals interested in learning
                more about the current NLSY cohorts and upcoming plans for the NLSY26
                cohort. The materials will include sample email templates that entities
                can use to encourage their constituents to submit input, as well as
                presentations and fact sheets on a variety of content areas to support
                a discussion that would yield feedback. Users can submit feedback
                through the user survey and/or this Federal Register Notice.
                 User Survey. This survey will be designed to gain information from
                a wide range of stakeholders and data users while imposing a low burden
                on respondents. The proposed survey will ask about users' satisfaction
                with past questionnaire content and data access, as well as their
                priorities for a new youth cohort to inform BLS of anticipated research
                needs in the future. The user survey is available at the link below:
                https://www.bls.gov/nls/nlsy26.htm.
                 Focus Groups. A series of focus groups will be conducted to gather
                more detailed input and provide greater community engagement. These
                focus groups will include introductory information about NLSY cohorts
                to be accessible to a wide audience. The BLS will tailor the
                discussions towards survey features that are relevant to the associated
                user communities. These focus groups will seek feedback from both
                targeted stakeholders and user groups. BLS will conduct a series of six
                virtual sessions regarding: (1) Childhood and Family Retrospective; (2)
                Physical Health, Environment, and Climate; (3) Mental Health; (4)
                Employment, Jobs, and the Future of Work; (5) Innovations in
                International Surveys; and (6) Think tanks/Research organizations/Non-
                profits. Each session will involve 7 to 9 participants, representing a
                range of stakeholders and users with expertise in the session topic
                areas. These sessions may cover survey content and survey objectives,
                as well as usability and accessibility of data files for a new youth
                cohort.
                III. Additional Information-Gathering Activities
                 In tandem with the user engagement activities described above, the
                BLS is conducting several activities to gather information that is
                relevant to its development of a new NLSY cohort. BLS has funded four
                content panels to provide opportunities for experts in different
                subject areas to make sure that emerging ideas, best practices, and
                relevant examples are brought forward for consideration for an NLSY26.
                Four panels are scheduled in FY2022 regarding: (1) Family and Early
                Childhood Retrospectives; (2) K-12 Education and Cognition; (3) Health
                and Environment; and (4) Department of Defense Initiatives and
                Assessments. Each panel is expected to have 4-7 members who will meet
                several times over the course of 3-5 months before determining their
                recommendations.
                 BLS has also funded a retrospective analysis of data from the
                NLSY79 and NLSY97 cohorts. This analysis will document past usage of
                different topics and variables, examine the publications that resulted
                from this usage, and compare the NLSY cohorts to other major
                longitudinal surveys and other BLS household surveys to identify areas
                of overlap.
                 Finally, BLS has funded a study to evaluate alternative (non-
                survey) data sources that may potentially be incorporated in the new
                NLSY cohort to improve accuracy, increase granularity, provide
                information on new topics, and/or reduce respondent burden. This study
                will include a broad scan to identify potentially useful sources,
                analyses to develop potential use cases, and information-gathering to
                allow assessment of the feasibility and value of each use case.
                IV. NLSY26 Development Plan
                 As submitted to Congress, the following 5-year development plan
                would yield implementation of a new NLSY cohort in Fiscal Year 2026.
                ------------------------------------------------------------------------
                 FY Major tasks
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                2020................. Planning.
                2021................. Stakeholder outreach, including conferences and
                 web seminars; and continue planning, including
                 content panels, assessments of sample frames,
                 dissemination needs, and vendor capabilities.
                2022................. Continue content panels and other design
                 activities (including sampling, survey,
                 materials, dissemination).
                2023................. Complete content panels, continue design, and
                 begin survey development (sampling, survey,
                 questionnaire, materials, dissemination, and
                 systems work).
                2024................. Continue survey and systems development and begin
                 pretesting preparations.
                2025................. Pretest fielding, revisions to systems and the
                 survey resulting from the pretest, and
                 preparation for round 1 screening and data
                 collection to occur in 2026.
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                [[Page 12735]]
                V. Desired Focus of Comments
                 As BLS pursues the current and planned engagement and information-
                gathering activities described above to support development of a new
                NLSY cohort, BLS is also interested in hearing directly from the public
                in response to this FRN. BLS is particularly interested in comments and
                recommendations on the following aspects of the new NLSY cohort:
                 Questionnaire content
                 Survey methodology
                 Sampling
                 Data dissemination
                 The BLS welcomes comments on any aspect of the above areas and is
                especially interested in comments on:
                 Research questions that a new cohort of the National
                Longitudinal Surveys program would address at different points in the
                life course.
                 The distinctive role of NLSY cohorts among the range of
                survey and non-survey data sources.
                 Factors that inform researchers' choice of data sources.
                 Modifications in the coverage of specific topics compared
                to previous NLSY cohorts. This could include any gaps in the current
                data, `must keep' elements in the current data, or elements that are
                less valuable.
                 Uses of data from a new NLSY cohort that BLS should
                anticipate and prioritize (e.g., training of young researchers,
                benchmarking specialized samples, policy analysis, cross-cohort
                comparisons, basic research on human behavior, etc.).
                 Design and implementation features of a new NLSY cohort
                that users will find most valuable (e.g., accessible public use files,
                frequency of data collection, availability of biometric measures,
                oversamples of specific populations, linkage possibilities to selected
                administrative data, ease of use of data, alignment with other surveys,
                etc.).
                 New social and economic trends that are important to
                consider in designing a new NLSY cohort.
                 Any other issues BLS should consider in developing a new
                NLSY cohort.
                 In addition, BLS is open to hearing from the public about how to
                improve its current stakeholder engagement plans to promote equitable
                and diversified feedback as a new NLSY cohort is developed.
                 Comments submitted in response to this notice will be summarized
                and made available at https://www.bls.gov/nls/nlsy26.htm.
                 Signed at Washington, DC, on March 1, 2022.
                Eric Molina,
                Acting Chief, Division of Management Systems.
                [FR Doc. 2022-04712 Filed 3-4-22; 8:45 am]
                BILLING CODE 4510-24-P
                

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