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Government Employment & Payroll

Data Quality: 2007

Nonsampling Error: 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 section on Data Processing 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 Census of Governments Survey of Government Employment and for the governments that reported to the Census of Governments Local Government Directory Survey (G-30).

State Governments Local Governments G-30 Respondents
Web 21.3% 29.5% 20.0%
Paper 19.8% 50.4% 79.3%
Central Collection 55.0% 1.2% 0%
Other 4.0% 18.9% 0.7%

Overall Unit Response Rate: The overall unit response rate to the 2007 Census of Government Employment was 88.5 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. 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.

Overall Unit Response Rate= Number of units who reported all key variables for at least one function X 100
Number of units in the eligible universe

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 full-time equivalent and total payroll for all function codes are available in the downloadable excel files.

Total Quantity Response Rate for key variable= Sum of response data for key variable X 100
Sum of all data for key variable

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

State & Local Excel Spreadsheets [EXCEL, 402KB] – Data and response rates by government function for each state for state and local governments combined

Local Excel Spreadsheets [EXCEL, 368KB] – Data and response rates by government function for each state for local governments


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Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Government Employment & Payroll | 1 (800) 642-4901| govs.employ@census.gov |  Last Revised: May 08, 2012