Nonsampling Errors: Although every effort is made in all phases of collection, processing, and tabulation to minimize errors, the data are subject to nonsampling errors such as inability to obtain data for every variable from all units in the population of interest, inaccuracies in classification, response errors, misinterpretation of questions, mistakes in keying and coding, and coverage errors. The Data Processing section describes our efforts to mitigate errors due to nonresponse, keying, reporting errors, etc.
Modal Distribution: Each respondent that received a mail questionnaire had the option of returning the paper questionnaire, reporting data using a website developed for reporting data electronically, or working directly with staff members to report over the phone, fax or email. In addition, some governments have developed alternative reporting arrangements, known as central collection. The following table shows the response rate by mode for state and local governments that reported to the Annual Survey of Public Employment & Payroll.
|State Governments||Local Governments|
Overall Unit Response Rate: The overall unit response rate to the 2011 Annual Survey of Public Employment & Payroll was 89.5 percent. All of the 50 state governments responded to the survey. In determining the unit response rate, a unit was determined to be a respondent if it provided information on all of the key variables for at least one function on the survey form. Key variables are full-time employees, full-time payroll, part-time employees, and part-time payroll. This unit response rate was calculated for each state as well as for the total U.S., and gives the percentage of the units in the eligible universe that actually responded to the survey.
For 2011, weighted item response rates are published for each item. This rate is calculated by dividing the weighted value of the item as reported by respondents by the weighted value of the item reported for respondents and imputations for nonrespondents.
Total Quantity Response Rate The Total Quantity Response Rate was also calculated for the key variables for each state. This response rate is computed separately for each key variable by summing the data provided by the respondents for the key variable and dividing this sum by the sum of the respondent data and the imputed data for the key variable. The result is multiplied by 100. Total Quantity Response Rates for total employment and total payroll for each state are available in the response rate files.
The Census Bureau's quality standard on releasing data products requires a 70 percent Total Quantity Response Rate (TQRR) for key variables. Although the unit response rates are well above the 60 percent Census Bureau’s quality standard, Colorado, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Rhode Island state and local estimates fail to meet the 70 percent TQRR standard for at least one key item. Most of the states are noncompliant on Part-time (PT) Payroll and/or PT Employment. There are nine states (Arkansas, Connecticut, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, New Jersey, New Mexico and Pennsylvania) that are noncompliant for at least one TQRR key item for the local estimates. Additionally, there are thirteen states (Colorado, Illinois, Kansas, Maryland, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, and Rhode Island) that are noncompliant for at least one TQRR key item for the state estimates. Most of these states are noncompliant on Part-time (PT) Payroll and/or PT Employment, but Nebraska and North Dakota are noncompliant on all key state variables. Files of the unit response rates and TQRRs for all states are available in the Response Rate Tables section.
Response Rate Tables
State & Local Response Rates [TXT, 6KB] Unit and Total Quantity response rates by state for state and local governments combined
Local Response Rates [TXT, 6KB] Unit and Total Quantity response rates by state for local governments