Related BLS programs | Related articles
October 1995, Vol. 118, No. 10
John E. Bregger and Steven E. Haugen
I n 1994, the Current Population Survey (CPS) introduced a totally revamped questionnaire and modernized data collection system. The principal aim of this redesign was to obtain more accurate and reliable information on the labor force activities of the population. For the most part, the basic concepts and definitions used in the measurement of employment and unemployment remained intact. Some labor market measures, however, were fundamentally altered, either because of definitional changes or because of improved measurement of existing concepts. At the same time, several new data series were created from additional information collected in the new survey.1
The redesign of the survey and associated changes in the measurement of certain labor market concepts required changes in the publication of some CPS data. In particular, publication of the range of unemployment measures based on varying definitions of unemployment and the labor force, better known as the alternative unemployment indicators, U-1 through U-7, was temporarily suspended, pending research into the effects of the new survey on these measures and into the possibility of modifying the range by using newly collected data.
This article provides a brief history of the old range of alternative measures, U-1 through U-7, and reviews the impact of the redesigned CPS on the pre-1994 series. Its principal purpose is to introduce a new set of measures. The revised set includes several of the former measures, but some important new ones are presented that take advantage of fresh data collected in the redesigned survey.
This excerpt is from an article published in the October 1995 issue of the Monthly Labor Review. The full text of the article is available in Adobe Acrobat's Portable Document Format (PDF). See How to view a PDF file for more information.
Read abstract Download full text in PDF (637K)
1 For information on the redesigned CPS, see Sharon R. Cohany, Anne E. Polivka, and Jennifer M. Rothgeb, "Revisions in the Current Population Survey Effective January 1994," Employment and Earnings, February 1994, pp. 13-37.
Within Monthly Labor Review Online:
Welcome | Current Issue | Index | Subscribe | Archives
Exit Monthly Labor Review Online:
BLS Home | Publications & Research Papers