|Sponsor:||U.S. Department of Labor (DoL)/Bureau of Labor Statistics and U.S. Department of Commerce/Bureau of the Census|
|Description:||The Current Population Survey (CPS) is the primary source of information on the labor force characteristics of the U.S. population. The sample is selected to represent the civilian noninstitutional population. Respondents are interviewed to obtain information about the employment status of each member of the household 15 years of age and older. Data collected include employment; unemployment; earnings; hours of work; a variety of demographic characteristics including age, sex, race, marital status, and educational attainment; occupation, industry, and class of worker. Supplemental questions are often asked on a variety of topics including school enrollment, income, previous work experience, health, employee benefits, and work schedules.|
|Relevant Policy Issues:||Income Status, Unemployment Rates, Economic Opportunity, and Demographic and Economic Indicators.|
|Unit of Analysis:||Individual|
|Identification of AI/AN/NA:||Participants were asked to respond to the question on race by indicating one or more of six race categories. The six race categories are:
Responses to the race item are recoded into multiple race categories for analytic purposes. Those categories that include AI/AN or NH/PI are listed below:
|AI/AN/NA Population in Data Set:||Responses to the race item were recoded into the multiple race categories. The following categories reflect the unweighted counts for AI/AN/NA respondents in the April, March, and February 2006 CPS:
February 2006 (N = 136,294)
March 2006 (N = 135,028)
April 2006 (N = 136,405)
|Geographic Scope:||The geographic scope of the study is national.
There are several geographic variables on the data sets that could be useful for analysis. They include:
|Date or Frequency:||The CPS is a rotating panel survey that has been conducted monthly for over 50 years. A panel survey is a survey in which similar measurements are made on the same sample at different points in time, and in a rotating panel survey, part of the sample is changed each month. For the CPS, each monthly sample is divided into eight representative subsamples or rotation groups. A given rotation group is interviewed for a total of 8 months, divided into two equal periods. It is in the sample for 4 consecutive months, leaves the sample during the following 8 months, and then returns for another 4 consecutive months. In each monthly sample, one of the eight rotation groups is in the first month of enumeration, another rotation group is in the second month, and so on. Under this system, 75 percent of the sample is common from month to month and 50 percent is common from year to year for the same month. This procedure provides a substantial amount of month-to-month and year-to-year overlap in the sample, thus providing better estimates of change and reducing discontinuities in the data series without burdening any specific group of households with an unduly long period of inquiry.|
|Aggregation:||Public release cross-sectional data are available for each month of data collection and smaller scope cross-wave tables of data are also publicly available. It is possible to combine the cross-sectional data sets to obtain cross-wave data sets that would contain information not available in the cross-wave data sets that are currently provided. The overall count of members of the AI/AN/NA population in an aggregated data set, however, would not increase dramatically as the CPS is a panel survey with about 75 percent overlap between samples from month to month.|
|Data Collection Methodology:||The mode of data collection for the CPS is both telephone and in-person interviewing.|
|Participation:||Optional, without incentives|
|Response Rate:||Nonresponse rates are less than 9 percent for the monthly CPS for September 2003 through September 2004.|
|Sampling Methodology:||The CPS sample is a multistage stratified sample of approximately 72,000 households. Of these households, approximately 56,000 housing units from 792 sample areas were interviewed. The CPS samples housing units from lists of addresses obtained from the 1990 Decennial Census of Population and Housing. These lists are updated continuously for new housing built after the 1990 census. The first stage of sampling involves dividing the United States into primary sampling units (PSUs) most of which comprise a metropolitan area, a large county, or a group of smaller counties. Every PSU falls within the boundary of a state. The PSUs are then grouped into strata.|
|Analysis:||Effective sample size, design effects, and standard errors for estimates are discussed in detail in the following publication: Technical Paper 63RV: Current Population Survey - Design and Methodology (http://www.census.gov/prod/2002pubs/tp63rv.pdf).|
|Authorization:||The information collected in the CPS is authorized by the following:
Title 13, U.S. Code, Section 182 (Authorizes the Census Bureau to collect statistical information); Title 29, U.S. Code, Sections 1-9 (Authorizes the Bureau of Labor Statistics to collect labor force statistics); Title 38, U.S. Code, Section 219 (Authorizes the Census Bureau to collect information for the Department of Veterans Affairs); and Public Laws 89-10, 92-318, 93-380 (Authorizes the Census Bureau to collect information on education).
|Strengths:||The CPS data sets contain a large number of AI/AN/NA respondents. They include information on key policy issues. There are multiple years of data available.|
|Limitations:||Aggregation of the monthly data to obtain a longitudinal data set would require the expertise of a skilled statistician.|
|Access Requirements and Use Restrictions:||CPS data are available to the public at no cost.|
|Contact Information:||Information on the CPS is available at http://www.bls.census.gov/cps/.
Email inquiries can be submitted via the Ask a Question tab on the ask.census.gov webpage. (https://ask.census.gov/cgi-bin/askcensus.cfg/php/enduser/std_alp.php).
Telephone inquiries can be made at (301) 763-3806.
Basic monthly data for May 2004 through April 2006 are currently available from DataFerrett. DataFerrett is a data mining tool that accesses data stored in TheDataWeb (a network of online data libraries) through the Internet. DataFerrett must be installed as an application on a personal computer or used as a java applet with an Internet browser (http://dataferrett.census.gov/). Older data are available via file transfer protocol (ftp) from the CPS website: http://www.bls.census.gov/ferretftp.htm.
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