Overview

The Current Population Survey, a monthly household survey conducted by the Bureau of the Census for the Bureau of Labor Statistics, provides a comprehensive body of information on the employment and unemployment experience of the Nation's population, classified by age, sex, race, and a variety of other characteristics.

Frequently requested information

Current news releases

Data available

  • Employment status of the civilian noninstitutional population 16 years and over by age, sex, race, Hispanic or Latino ethnicity, educational attainment, marital status, and veteran status.
  • Employed persons by occupation, industry, self employment, hours of work, full- or part-time status, and reasons for working part time.
  • Employed multiple jobholders by occupation, industry, and full- or part-time status of multiple jobs.
  • Unemployed persons by occupation and industry of last job, duration of unemployment, and reason for unemployment.
  • Discouraged workers and other persons not in the labor force.
  • Special topics such as the labor force status of particular subgroups of the population such as displaced workers and persons with disabilities. Data are also available on job tenure, school enrollment of workers, and volunteering.
  • Information on weekly and hourly earnings by demographic characteristics, occupation, educational attainment, union affiliation, and full- and part-time employment status.

Coverage

  • Civilian noninstitutional population 16 years and older.

Source of data

  • Current Population Survey, a sample of 60,000 households; data are collected by personal and telephone interviews. Basic labor force data are gathered monthly; data on special topics are gathered in periodic supplemental surveys.

Reference period

  • Monthly, calendar week (Sunday through Saturday) which includes the 12th day of the month.

Forms of publication

Uses

  • Economic indicators.
  • Most comprehensive measure of national employment and unemployment.
  • Primary source of data on employment status and characteristics of the labor force, emerging trends, and changes.
  • Measure of potential labor supply.
  • Determining factors affecting changes in labor force participation of different population groups.
  • Evaluation of wage rates and earnings trends for specific demographic groups.

Other labor force topics and fact sheets:

Methodology

 

Last Modified Date: July 10, 2014