July 1, 2002

Data from the Decennial Census of 2000 for use in constructing Affirmative Action Plans is not expected to be released until the fall of 2003.

The Bureau of the Census has contracted with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) for the development of files for use in Affirmative Action Plans. The primary file, corresponding to the (EEO File) for the 1990 Census, will have counts for the civilian labor force by Occupation, Sex, and Race/Ethnicity. Additional files will be prepared by each of Industry Category, Education Level, Age Group, and Income Level.

Occupation, Industry, and Race/Ethnicity groups have been updated. It is expected that there will be more extensive data suppression, due to both more stringent standards and the new multiple-race categories.

Revised EEO-1 Categories to be Implemented

An expanded set of EEO-1 categories developed by the EEOC have been proposed to replace the nine EEO-1 categories currently in use. It is expected that the revised categories will be approved in time to be used in preparing the Year 2000 Census data files discussed above. The 15 proposed categories are:

            Senior Level Officials and Managers
            Other Officials and Managers
            Science and Engineering Related Professionals
            Health Professionals
            Other Professionals
            Sales Occupations
            Clerical and Administrative Support Occupations
            Service Occupations, except Protective
            Protective Service Occupations
            Mechanics, Repairers, and Construction Craft Workers
            Precision Production Occupations
            Transport and Material Moving Operatives
            Other Operatives
            Laborers, Helpers, and Material Handling Occupations

Revised Race Categorization for AA/EEO Usage After 2001

The Original Racial/Ethnic Categories

The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) originally used five racial/ethnic categories for reporting purposes:

         1. American Indian/Alaskan Native
         2. Asian/Pacific Islander
         3. Black or African American
         4. Hispanic or Latino
         5. White

Each individual is reported in a single category. These categories are consistent with the longstanding EEO-1 Report and other EEO-x requirements of the EEOC, as well as the Equal Opportunity (EO) Surveys sent out by the OFCCP in 2000-2001.

         EEO-1: Private employers
         EEO-3: Local unions
         EEO-4: State and local governments
         EEO-5: Elementary and secondary public schools
         EEO-6: Institutions of higher education

Further, the Affirmative Action Requirements, as revised by the OFCCP in November 2000, state that these categories should be used in the required organizational display/workforce analysis until alternative instructions are issued.

Revisions to Federal Standards for Race and Ethnicity

In 1997 the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued new standards for maintaining, collecting and presenting data on race and ethnicity for all Federal reporting purposes. These new standards were first implemented nationally in the 2000 Census. They are expected to be adopted by other Federal agencies, such as the OFCCP and the EEOC, in their reporting rules for the private sector.

The revised standards have five categories for reporting race:

         1. American Indian/Alaska Native
         2. Asian
         3. Black or African American
         4. Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander
         5. White

They also have two categories for reporting ethnicity:

         1. Hispanic or Latino
         2. Not Hispanic or Latino

Data reporting both race and ethnicity together use six categories (the five race categories and Hispanic or Latino). Perhaps of greater importance, respondents may select more than one racial designation.   The standards will be applied to civil rights and other compliance reporting from the public and private sectors.

2000 Census

To implement the OMB directive, the 2000 Census asked two questions concerning race and ethnicity.   The first asked if the individual was Spanish/Hispanic/Latino or not, and if yes, which of four Hispanic choices applied to them. The second question asked respondents to check one or more of fifteen race categories:

Black, African American or Negro
American Indian or Alaska Native
Asian subcategories
Pacific Islander subcategories
Some other race.

American Indians and Alaska Natives were asked to provide the names of their tribes and those checking "some other race" were asked to provide their races.

The race data collected by the 2000 Census are to be provided in seven categories: the six categories for single race and an additional category for all 57 possible combinations of two or more races. (Note: Hispanicity is not a component of these definitions.)

EEO data from the 2000 Census reporting the civilian labor force by occupation has not yet been released and it is unknown yet which, or how many, race/ethnic categories will be provided.

Federal Sector Requirements

The most recent EEOC regulations, effective November 1999, state that Federal agencies are to collect and maintain employment information using "only those categories of race and national origin prescribed by the Commission".

2002 EO Surveys

According to the current EO Survey instructions, beginning January 1, 2002, the OFCCP may ask companies to capture and record data using expanded racial categories for both Hispanics and Asians/Pacific Islanders. Hispanics would be identified as Hispanic (White) or Hispanic (all other races), while Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders would be distinguished from Asians.

This change would appear to be an implementation of the 1997 OMB standards for race and ethnicity; however, the OFCCP has not yet provided guidance as to how to report individuals who consider themselves to be of more than one race.

2002 EEO-x Reports and Affirmative Action Plans

It has not yet been announced when the EEOC and OFCCP will require companies to adopt these revised racial and ethnic designations in EEO-x reports and Affirmative Action Plans, nor how to report those of more than one race. A February 2001 letter sent by the OFCCP to those receiving EO Surveys states "[companies] do not have to start collecting the revised race and ethnic data now. We will provide you with guidance when that requirement goes into effect."

In its 1997 notice, OMB directed Federal programs to adopt the new standards "as soon as possible, but not later than January 1, 2003".

Revised January 23, 2002


January 25, 2002
In a personal communication with the EO Survey office, we have been advised that for the next mailing of EO Surveys, companies will still be allowed to report their personnel activity using the five current race/ethnicity categories. The new standards will not be required until officially authorized by the OFCCP.

Read the September 27, 2002 Update.

e-mail :
Revised 2/27/2003