The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) makes some part of its enforcement data available to the public. The data can be accessed here. The data is provided in two parts, one dataset that consists of closed Compliance Evaluations and another dataset called Compliant Investigations data. The first dataset contains the information on the evaluations that OFCCP has initiated and the second dataset contains the information on investigations that has been triggered by a complaint from an employee or a group of employees. In this post I will take a quick look at the former of these two datasets to see what we can learn from this data.

The closed compliance evaluations dataset consists of 21,538 data points. The data is presented by compliance evaluations closed within each OFCCP fiscal year and also within each calendar year. In this post I will be evaluating the data presented by calendar year.

Out of the total of 21,538 evaluations listed in this dataset, 679 audits closed in 2009.1 2010 shows 5,154 audits closed, the largest annual number of audits closed during this time period. In the subsequent years, the total number of audits closed was 3,880 in 2011; 4,151 in 2012; 3,956 in 2013; 3,710 in 2014; and 8 so far in 2015.During the 2009 to 2015 time period, 16,355 out of the total 21,538 closed audits, or almost 76%, received a Notice of Compliance. The remaining 5,183, or almost 24%, received a Notice of Non-Compliance from the OFCCP. Out of the 5,183 closed audits that received a non-compliance notice, 4,690, or almost 22%, resulted in a Conciliation Agreement; 470, or about 2%, resulted in a Financial Agreement; and 23, or less than about 0.11%, resulted in a Consent Decree.

When the number of establishments that could not obtain a Notice of Compliance from the OFCCP are examined year by year, we notice that the likelihood of receiving a non-compliance notice from the OFCCP changed substantially across different years. In 2009 the OFCCP issued a non-compliance notice to 143, or 21%, of the 679 establishments evaluated that year. In 2010 the number of non-compliance notices was 963, or 19%, of the 5,154 establishments evaluated that year. In 2011 the number of non-compliance notices was 1,191, or 31%, of the 3,880 establishments evaluated that year. In 2012 the number of non-compliance notices increased to 1,400, or 34%, of the 4,151 establishments evaluated that year. In 2013 the number of non-compliance notices decreased to 911, or 23%, of the 3,956 establishments evaluated that year. In 2014 the number of non-compliance notices decreased even further to 574, or 15%, of the 3,710 establishments evaluated that year. So far in the current year, only 1 non-compliance notice has been issued out of 8 establishments evaluated, or 13%. The trend line in the next graph indicates that the OFCCP’s non-compliance notices peaked in 2012 and since then the trend has been downward.

During the 2009 to 2015 time period, the percent of Non-Compliance Notices issued by the OFCCP also varied substantially across different states. Among the states that had 100 or more OFCCP audits, in South Carolina, 45% of the 192 establishments audited received non-compliance notices. In New Jersey, 43% of the 589 audits; in the state of Washington, 38% of 504 audits; in Hawaii, 37% of 277 audits; and in Alabama, 37% of 477 audits received non-compliance notices. The OFCCP proportionally issued its lowest rate of non-compliance notices in the states of New Mexico, 2% of 107 audits; Colorado, 7% of 551 audits; Oklahoma, 9% of 243 audits; Utah, 9% of 226 audits; and Texas, 9% of 1,570 audits.

The OFCCP’s closed compliance evaluation dataset also provides The North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code for each establishment.2 The NAICS codes enable one to categorize the establishments by their respective industry.

The review of the closed compliance dataset indicates that the manufacturing industry received the highest number of audits closed during the 2009-2015 time period. The manufacturing industry received 4,637 audits, which constituted about 23% of the audits that closed during this time period.

The industry with the next highest number of audits was the Professional, Scientific and Technical industry, which had 3,283 closed audits, or 16% of all closed audits, during the time period. The Construction industry was third, with a total of 2,332 closed audits, or about 12% of all closed audits. The Health Care and Social Assistance industry was the next highest, with 2,175 closed audits, or about 11% of all closed audits. The Administrative and Support industry had 1,654 closed audits, or about 8% of all closed audits.

When the number of establishments that could not obtain a Notice of Compliance from the OFCCP are examined for each industry, we notice that the likelihood of receiving a non-compliance notice from the OFCCP is different across different industries. In the Construction industry, the likelihood of receiving a non-compliance notice is substantially higher than other industries. Among 2,332 closed audits in the Construction industry, the OFCCP issued 1,200 notices of non-compliance, representing 51% of closed audits. As stated earlier, the OFCCP has issued non-compliance notices for about 24% of all establishments during this time period across all industries. This means the rate of non-compliance notices among Construction industry establishments was more than double the overall rate among all closed audits. The rate of non-compliance notices issued by the OFCCP across all other industries ranged from the 26% non-compliance rate in the “Administrative and Support”, “Health Care and Social Assistance”, and “Transportation and Warehousing” industries to an 8% non-compliance rate in the “Finance and Insurance” industry.

I will review the data provided in the OFCCP’s “compliant investigations” dataset in another post.

1. The number of audits closed in 2009 looks low because this data set appears to include only the closed audits in the 2009 portion of fiscal year 2010. The OFCCP’s fiscal year runs from October 1 through September 30 of the next year; therefore, the 679 audits closed in 2009 include only those that were closed in October, November, and December of 2009.
2. In the compliance evaluations dataset, 1,365 establishments out of 21,538 did not have a correct NAICS code. Therefore, in this next section I have only examined 20,173 establishments.