Frequently asked questions about data on veterans
1. Is the Current Population Survey (CPS) a survey of veterans?
No. The CPS is a monthly nationwide household survey of approximately 60,000 eligible households that provides the labor force statistics for the nation's civilian noninstitutional population. The CPS is best known as the source of the official unemployment rate for the nation.
2. How are veterans and nonveterans defined in the CPS?
In the CPS, veterans are defined as men and women who previously served on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces and who were civilians at the time they were surveyed.
Nonveterans are people who never served on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces.
3. How is veteran status determined in the CPS?
Veteran status is obtained from the response to the following question:
Did you ever serve on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces?
The legal definition of veteran status used by the military and other federal agencies (such as the Department of Defense or the Department of Veterans Affairs) differs from the definition used by the CPS. The CPS questionnaire does not ask if individuals have separation documents or a DD Form 214.
4. How is period of service for veterans defined?
The second monthly question asked of veterans each month identifies when a veteran served in the United States Armed Forces. In the CPS, veterans are classified into a service period based on their dates of service.
A veteran's period of service is obtained from the answers to the question:
When did you serve on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces?
The following service periods are used in the CPS:
5. How is active duty status determined?
The following individuals are considered as having served on active duty:
6. Are people currently serving on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces counted in the CPS?
No. People who are currently on active duty at the time of the survey are not included in the CPS labor force estimates.
7. Where can I find job resources for veterans?
The Department of Labor's Veterans' Employment and Training Services (VETS) prepares veterans for meaningful careers, provides them with employment resources, protects their employment rights, and promotes their employment opportunities. In addition, the CareerOneStop Veteran and Military Transition Center, which is sponsored by the Department of Labor, is a website for employment, training, and financial help after military service. Please visit their websites for additional information and assistance.
Last Modified Date: September 21, 2021