OFCCP orders contractors to use updated census data

New population stats released by U.S. Census Bureau.

Affirmative action plans developed on or after January 1, 2022, must rely on newly released census data. The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs has announced that federal contractors are required to use the 2014-2018 EEO Tabulation starting with 2022 AAPs.

Executive Order 11246 requires the development of AAPs for females and minorities. Among other things, contractors are required to compare availability data with workforce representation to determine whether placement goals for females and minorities are appropriate. The regulations implementing E.O. 11246 provide that, in conducting this comparison, contractors must “use the most current and discrete statistical information available.” 41 C.F.R. § 2.14(d). Now that the latest census information is available for use, contractors must use it when preparing annual AAPs.

The OFCCP has also posted FAQs on the 2014-2018 EEO Tabulation and contractors’ use of the data. One point discussed in the FAQs is the racial category labeled “Balance of not Hispanic or Latino.” This encompasses individuals of non-Hispanic ethnicity who identified either as two or more races or as a race that is not one of the government's categories, i.e., African American/Black, Asian, etc. Contractors are required to include this category when calculating overall availability of minorities.

The OFCCP also says that contractors “should” consider various factors when establishing reasonable recruitment areas, including "worksite geography," "residence geography," and "worksite-to-residence commuting flows." 

  • Worksite geography is where individuals worked at the time of the census survey.
  • Residence geography is where individuals lived at the time of the census survey.
  • Worksite-to-residence commuting flows provide information on where people work and where they live (in other words, their commutes). 

Contractors will also be faced with fewer census occupational codes from which to choose. Instead of updating the occupational codes to correspond with the types of jobs found in today’s workforce, the government reduced the 488 codes to 237. The Census Bureau has, however, provided a "crosswalk" from the old codes to the new codes. (At the link, scroll down to "Changes to Occupations.")

As an example of the changes, the table shows that the new “Other financial specialists” occupational category is now comprised of the following previous occupational codes:

  • Appraisers and assessors of real estate (prior code 0810)
  • Personal financial advisors (prior code 0850)
  • Insurance underwriters (prior code 0860)
  • Financial examiners (prior code 0900)
  • Credit counselors and loan officers (prior code 0910)
  • Tax preparers (prior code 0940)
  • Financial specialists, all other (prior code 0950)

Contractors should familiarize themselves with this data and consult with their AAP software vendors or preparers to ensure this new census data is incorporated into 2022 AAPs. 

Our Affirmative Action Alert blog focuses on the latest news and topics affecting federal contractors and subcontractors and their compliance with affirmative action and other employment-related laws and regulations.  With breaking news, quick updates, and headlines on the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs and affirmative action issues, this blog is a great resource for in-house counsel, HR managers, and other compliance professionals.  Our blog is a companion to Constangy’s Affirmative Action newsletters, which address significant legislative, regulatory, and administrative proposals and changes.  Subscribe to both to stay current on these important topics!

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