New Census Data is Now Available

One of the main components in calculating the estimated availability of minorities and females in Af...

One of the main components in calculating the estimated availability of minorities and females in Affirmative Action Plans is the external availability. Contractors use the Equal Employment Opportunity Tabulation data from the American Community Survey conducted by US Census Bureau as a benchmark to calculate this availability percentage, and inform where they set placement goals for their affirmative action plans.

While most people in the affirmative action compliance community refer to the data for calculating availability as the “census” data, it is not from the decennial census that we would normally think of. The decennial census is sent out to every person living in the United States every 10 years. Most of us filled out this survey for the 2020 Decennial Census. However, the last file available to calculate availability for affirmative action plans that used the decennial census data was released in 2000.

Beginning in 2010 the decennial census stopped collecting content relevant for the EEO Tabulation. Instead, the EEO Tabulation was developed from five years of data from the American Community Survey. The American Community Survey (ACS) is sent every month of every year to a sample of the population. The ACS is a longer form that asks more questions than the decennial census including questions on education and employment, among other topics, and provides demographic data by geographic region, occupation code, and industry.

Most companies are currently using the 2006-2010 Tabulation, developed from five years of ACS data, to calculate the availability for their Affirmative Action Plans. In March 2021, a new EEO Tabulation became available covering the 5-years, 2014-2018. Many contractors were eagerly awaiting the 2014-2018 ACS tabulation data so their AAPs could be as relevant and accurate as possible. With the 2006-2010 ACS tabulation now over 10 years old, communicating the results of the affirmative action plans to stakeholders is often challenging with many not seeing the current market align with the data. Over time, the population shifts, not only demographics by geography but also by occupation and skills. This new file will allow contractors to calculate availability percentages for their AAPs that are more current with the labor market. These changes to the availability percentages may also impact where companies set placement goals as they begin comparing their current employment of minorities and females to the new estimated availabilities.

As we learn more about the updated file compared to the 2006-2010 ACS tabulation it will be interesting to see how the occupation codes have changed, as well as race and gender changes by occupation and geography. Berkshire will be hosting a webinar on July 14th to take a closer look at the new ACS tabulation data to discuss major changes between the new file and the previous one, as well as directly compare data from the 2 files to see the difference.

You can register for the webinar by clicking on the link below:

We hope you can join us for this webinar to learn more about the 2014-2018 EEO Tabulation.

Katie Johnson, PHR, SHRM-CP, HR Consultant
Katie Johnson, PHR, SHRM-CP, HR Consultant
Katie Johnson, PHR, SHRM-CP is a Senior HR Consultant at Berkshire Associates Inc. With a comprehensive understanding of the inner workings of Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), Katie regularly advises her clients in the area of affirmative action and diversity.

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