Questionnaire Content & How to Obtain Copies of the Questionnaire

Most of the survey's core questions on demographic and employment characteristics have remained the same since the survey's inception.

Supplemental questions, however, are often added to the NAWS to obtain data requested by federal agencies. Since fiscal year 1999, there have been supplemental questions on occupational injuries, musculoskeletal problems, respiratory health, exposure to pesticides, access to child care services, mental health, and other topics. Supplemental questions are usually administered for at least two years.

The survey's core questions include the following:

Demographic Characteristics of the Respondent and Household: Using a household grid, the interviewer records basic demographic information about the respondent and all household members, including age, gender, relationship to respondent, place of birth, education level, and the month and year the worker first entered the United States (if foreign-born). Respondents report their race and ethnicity, primary language, and ability to read and speak English.

Employment and Migration: Using a work grid, the interviewer compiles a 12-month retrospective employment and migration profile that covers the primary crop and farm task, type of non-agricultural work if employed off the farm, periods of unemployment, and time spent outside of the United States. Interviewers determine where the respondent was during every week of the previous year.

Earnings, Benefits, and Worksite Characteristics: The NAWS collects information on hourly earnings, including payment method (piece or hourly), monetary bonuses and insurance benefits (health insurance, workers' compensation and unemployment insurance), and availability of water and toilets at the worksite.

Health, Safety, and Housing: The NAWS gathers information on medical history, use of health services, safety training, and the location and type of housing, including whether the respondent rents from the employer or a non-employer, owns the home, etc.

Income and Assets, Social Services, and Legal Status: Respondents are asked a series of questions on personal and family income, assets in and outside of the United States, use of social services, and legal status.

English and Spanish versions of the questionnaire can be obtained by contacting Daniel Carroll, Office of Policy Development and Research, Employment and Training Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Ave NW, Room N-5641, Washington, DC 20210; email: ; phone: 202-693-2795.