A computer edit and allocation process excludes all responses that should not be included in the universe and evaluates the consistency of the remaining responses. Class of worker responses are checked for consistency with the industry and occupation data provided for that respondent. Occasionally respondents do not report a response for class of worker, industry, or occupation. Certain types of incomplete entries are corrected using the Alphabetical Index of Industries and Occupations
). If one or more of the three codes (occupation, industry, or class of worker) is blank after the edit, a code is assigned from a donor respondent who is a "similar" person based on questions such as age, sex, educational attainment, income, employment status, and weeks worked. If all of the labor force and income data are blank, all of these economic questions are assigned from a "similar" person who had provided all the necessary data.
These data are used to formulate policy and programs for employment and career development and training. Companies use these data to decide where to locate new plants, stores, or offices.
Class of worker data have been collected during decennial censuses since 1910. Starting with the 2010 Census, class of worker data will no longer be collected during the decennial census. Long form data collection has transitioned to the American Community Survey. The American Community Survey began collecting data on class of worker in 1996. The questions on class of worker were designed to be consistent with the 1990 Census questions on class of worker. The 1996-1998 ACS class of worker question had an additional response category for "Active duty U.S. Armed Forces member." People who marked this category were tabulated as Federal government workers. A check box was added to the employer name questionnaire item in 1999 (Question 42 in 2013 ACS). This check box is to be marked by anyone "now on active duty in the Armed Forces..." This information is used by the industry and occupation coders to assist in assigning proper industry codes for active duty military.
Limitation of the Data
Beginning in 2006, the population in group quarters (GQ) was included in the ACS. Some types of GQ populations have class of worker distributions that are different from the household population. The inclusion of the GQ population could therefore have a noticeable impact on the class of worker distribution in some geographic areas with a substantial GQ population.
Data on occupation, industry, and class of worker are collected for the respondent's current primary job or the most recent job for those who are not employed but have worked in the last 5 years. Other labor force questions, such as questions on earnings or work hours, may have different reference periods and may not limit the response to the primary job. Although the prevalence of multiple jobs is low, data on some labor force items may not exactly correspond to the reported occupation, industry, or class of worker of a respondent.
Class of worker categories have remained consistent since the implementation of the American Community Survey in 1996. The 1996-1998 ACS class of worker question had an additional response category for "Active duty U.S. Armed Forces member" in order to assist industry and occupation coders in assigning proper industry codes for active duty military. People who selected this category were tabulated as Federal government workers. Active duty U.S. Armed Forces have been coded as Federal government workers from 1996 to 2011.
See also, Industry and Occupation.