Department of Labor Logo United States Department of Labor
Dot gov

The .gov means it's official.
Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you're on a federal government site.


The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

Measuring the effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic using the Current Population Survey

BLS analysis using the Current Population Survey

Beginning with data for March 2020, BLS has prepared additional material to supplement the Employment Situation news release. These frequently asked questions are published at the same time as the Employment Situation and contain an analysis of the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on that month's estimates.

The news release will always contain a link to that month's FAQs, and all of the files will be available here.

Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on The Employment Situation:

New Current Population Survey questions to measure impact of coronavirus pandemic

BLS plans to add five new questions to the Current Population Survey (CPS), the monthly household labor force survey that provides information about employment and unemployment in the United States. These questions will help us understand the effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on the labor market.

The questions will be added to the May CPS and also collected in subsequent months.

Data from these new questions will not be available when the regular May estimates from the household survey are published in the May 2020 Employment Situation news release on June 5, 2020.

BLS will update this page as information regarding these new questions becomes available.

What are the new questions used to measure the effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic?

These questions appear at the end of the basic monthly labor force questions:

Introduction. I now have a few questions related to work activities affected by the coronavirus-COVID-19 pandemic. Efforts to contain the coronavirus have included business and school closures, social distancing, and other disruptions. The following questions refer to the last 4 weeks. By the last 4 weeks I mean the 4 week period ending last Saturday.

(Asked about all employed people age 16 and over)

Q1. At any time in the LAST 4 WEEKS, did you telework or work at home for pay BECAUSE OF THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC?

  • Yes
  • No

(Asked about all people age 16 and over)

Q2. At any time in the LAST 4 WEEKS, were you unable to work because your EMPLOYER CLOSED OR LOST BUSINESS due to the coronavirus pandemic?

  • Yes (go to Q3)
  • No (go to Q4)

(Asked if “yes” is the response to Q2)

Q3. Did you receive any pay from your EMPLOYER for the hours you DID NOT work in last 4 weeks?

  • Yes
  • No

(Asked about all people age 16 and over who are not in the labor force)

Q4. Did the coronavirus pandemic prevent you from looking for work in the LAST 4 WEEKS?

  • Yes
  • No

(Asked about all household members, including children)

Q5. At any time in the last 4 weeks, did you or anyone in your household need medical care for something other than coronavirus, but not get it because of the coronavirus pandemic? Please include all adults and children in the household.

  • Yes (go to Q5a)
  • No

(Asked if “yes” is the response to Q5)

Q5a. Who was that?

Last Modified Date: May 7, 2020