Current Population Survey

The Current Population Survey (CPS) is a statistical survey conducted by the United States Census Bureau for the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The BLS uses the data to provide a monthly report on the Employment Situation. This report provides estimates of the number of unemployed people in the United States. A readable Employment Situation Summary is provided monthly. Available annual estimates include employment and unemployment in large metropolitan areas. In addition, private think tanks and other organizations use the CPS data for their own research.

The CPS began in 1940, and responsibility for conducting the CPS was given to the Census Bureau in 1942. In 1994 the CPS was redesigned. CPS is a survey that is: employment-focused, enumerator-conducted, continuous, and cross-sectional. CPS is a monthly survey of about 60,000 households. The BLS increased the sample size by 10,000 as of July 2001. The sample represents the civilian noninstitutional population. The survey asks about the employment status of each member of the household 15 years of age or older in the calendar week containing 19th day of the month. Based on responses to a series of questions on work and job search activities, each person 16 years and over in a sample household is classified as employed, unemployed, or not in the labor force.

Read more about Current Population SurveyMethodology, Employment Classification, 1994 Revisions, Data Available, CPS Annual Social and Economic Supplement (ASEC)- The March Supplement

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