by the eighth week,” even though the master schedule allowed 10 weeks for completion.
The Bureau’s recruitment strategy and imposition of stretch goals for nonresponse follow-up were very successful in terms of timely completion of the workload. Every local office attracted at least three applicants for each enumerator position to be filled, and about 80 percent of the offices achieved their recruiting goal, which was to hire twice as many enumerators as they were likely to need. Pay for enumerators that exceeded locally prevailing wages together with effective regional office management were strong determinants of local office recruiting performance (Hough and Borsa, 2003:8,9, citing Westat, 2002b). A midstream assessment of nonresponse follow-up concluded that it was going well in most offices (U.S. General Accounting Office, 2000c). A large percentage of offices finished within the stretch-goal target of 8 weeks, and all offices finished within 9 weeks—a week ahead of schedule. The timely completion of nonresponse follow-up was a major achievement of the 2000 census, which an evaluation commissioned by the Census Bureau attributed primarily to the success in recruiting sufficient numbers of qualified applicants and retaining enumerators as long as they were needed (Hough and Borsa, 2003:12, citing Westat, 2002a).
One might expect that the success in completing nonresponse follow-up ahead of schedule, and, similarly, in fielding a more focused coverage improvement follow-up effort than in 1990 (see Appendix C.3), would contribute to fewer duplicates and other types of erroneous enumerations in 2000 than in 1990. In 1990, questionnaires for occupied housing units with later check-in dates (the date of entering the Census Bureau’s processing system) were more likely to include erroneous enumerations than were returns checked in earlier. Specifically, the percentage of erroneous enumerations increased from 2.8 percent for questionnaires checked in through April 1990 (largely mail returns), to 6.6 percent, 13.8 percent, 18.8 percent,