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NORC’s expertise in gathering data and developing measures to accurately assess workers’ career trajectories and the financial health of American households is unparalleled.

Economic recessions, technological change, and changing patterns of household formation are among a host of factors altered the way employers and workers find and relate to one another, the way the education system prepares people for productive careers, and the way families spend and save money. Policy makers need timely data on the conditions facing workers and consumers. 

NORC has extensive expertise in gathering data and developing measures to accurately assess the state of our economy and the effects of economic policy on workers and consumers. Our researchers lead the development of major national and international surveys assessing labor markets, work conditions, and consumer finances with the support of external experts in government and academia. 

The two National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY) cohorts follow teenagers in 1979 and 1997 over the course of their work lives. The NLSY cohorts are the primary longitudinal surveys funded by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. The NLSY data is heavily used by economists, sociologists, and social demographers to study the transition from school-to work, economic mobility, family formation, and gender and racial inequality, among other topics. Comparing the experiences of the 1979 and 1997 NLSY cohorts has been particularly important for understanding how economic and social changes are shaping individuals’ work trajectories. 

The General Social Survey (GSS) has studied the social and economic lives of Americans since 1972. The GSS is the primary survey funded by the U.S. government's National Science Foundation in the discipline of sociology, alongside the American National Election Studies (ANES) for political science, and the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID) for economics. The GSS includes extensive questions on work conditions that extend beyond what is available on other nationally representative surveys. These include questions related to benefits, control over the work process, schedule flexibility, and employer-employee relations in the workplace. 

The Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF) collects data on the wealth of Americans families. The SCF is sponsored by the Federal Reserve. The SCF provides a unique view into the debt--including student loans, medical debt, mortgages—held by U.S. households as well as household assets like stocks, real estate, and pensions. This survey provides important data for tracking wealth inequality over time across households by race, education, gender, and for other marginalized populations. 

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Workers, Consumers & the Economy Experts

Highlighted Projects

Development of a Rural Recovery Ecosystem Index

The nation’s first-ever county-level index of a community’s substance use recovery ecosystem


HRSA Federal Office of Rural Health Policy

Entrepreneurship in the Population: Indiana (EPOP-IN)

Understanding views and experiences with business ownership and self-employment in Indiana


Central Indiana Corporate Partnership (CICP)

The General Social Survey

The most rigorous, widely used data on the attitudes, opinions, and behaviors of the American public


The National Science Foundation

Developing Retirement Modules for NCSES Workforce Surveys

The first detailed look at the retirement pathways and experiences of the nation’s STEM workforce


National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics

Gasoline and Diesel Fuel Price Surveys

Weekly data collection of the nation’s regular gasoline and on-highway diesel fuel prices


U.S. Energy Information Administration

Life Experiences and Well-Being in Adults Study

A wide-ranging survey includes religious activities, social relationships, and economic factors


National Institutes of Health

Entrepreneurship in the Population (EPOP)

Tracking the U.S. population’s experiences with and interest in entrepreneurship and self-employment


Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation

Survey of Consumer Finances

The only fully representative source of data on the financial condition of U.S. households


Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System

National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979

One of the nation’s preeminent surveys of labor force participation from teen years to retirement


U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Stock Trading During COVID-19

FINRA-sponsored survey finds racial and ethnic differences in trading attitudes and behavior


Financial Industry Regulatory Authority

Worker Voice Study

Measuring how workers feel about their employment situation


Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Sloan School of Management

National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997

A new, younger cohort of the nation’s preeminent survey of labor force participation from teen years to retirement


U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Statewide Health Information Network of New York’s Satisfaction Survey

Evaluating health care and community organizations’ use and opinions about the statewide health information network


New York eHealth Collaborative (NYeC)