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Labor Force Statistics from the Current Population Survey

Updates and adjustments to Current Population Survey standard errors

Source: Editor's Note, Employment and Earnings, February 2005

The estimates of approximate standard errors and related factors that appear in tables 1-B, 1-C, and 1-D of the Household Data portion of the Explanatory Notes section in the February 2005 edition of Employment and Earnings were recently updated to incorporate more current data. During this update, a mistake was found in the program used to calculate the factors for the consecutive month-to-month change in table 1-D. This mistake was made during the last update of this information, which was published starting in October 2000. The mistake did not affect any of the employment or unemployment estimates themselves.

The corrected standard errors of the month-to-month change are higher for some series and lower for others. For example, the standard error of the consecutive month-to-month change in the total civilian labor force increased from 197,000 to 246,000, the standard error of the month-to-month change in total civilian employment increased from 212,000 to 265,000, the standard error for the month-to-month change in total unemployment decreased from 204,000 to 172,000, and the standard error for the month-to-month change for the unemployment rate fell from 0.14 percentage point to 0.12 percentage point.

These differences reflect both the effect of the correction and the use of more current data to calculate the measure, but the predominant effect is that of the correction. For updated factors, see Additional information about these changes may be obtained by emailing or by calling (202) 691-6378.


Last Modified Date: January 18, 2007