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the quality and currency of these cross-walks are uneven. The latest revision of the SOC is expected to alleviate the need for these cross-walks.
U.S. Bureau of the Census Classified Index of Occupations and Industries Employment information is collected as part of the decennial census. Questions are asked of a sample of the census population about the job title of each family member and the duties of the job. Their responses are coded by Census Bureau staff using its Classified Index of Occupations and Industries. Since the census data are available only every 10 years, the Current Population Survey (CPS) was established; this survey is conducted monthly by trained interviewers who visit a carefully selected sample of households to obtain responses from a household member, whose responses are coded by Census Bureau staff using the alphabetical Index of Industries and Occupations (U.S. Department of Commerce, 1990b). Dempsey (1993) characterizes the CPS data as, until recently, the largest and single most important source of comprehensive data on employment by occupation and still the primary source of local data and information on worker characteristics. He lists the strengths of the CPS as historical continuity (over 50 years of monthly surveys), provision of detailed information about adult workers, and the use of interviewers, which provides the opportunity to explain the meaning of questions and otherwise enhance the quality of the data collected. However, he notes that the CPS sample is too small to provide data on specific occupations on a monthly basis.
Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) The OES program is conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and state employment security agencies to obtain counts of wage and salary employment in all nonagricultural establishments. The Bureau of Labor Statistics provides technical guidance and support as well as survey design, and the state agencies collect the data from business establishments. The survey is conducted so that the entire economy is covered within a 3-year cycle. The classification system used by the OES is compatible with the SOC, but not identical.