Current Population Survey: Overview


The Current Population Survey (CPS) is a monthly survey of U.S. households that is conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau for the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).


The CPS is the source of the national unemployment rate, along with a wide range of information about employment, unemployment, and people not in the labor force.

Quick Facts: Current Population Survey
Subject areas Hours, Unemployment, Employment
Key measures Labor force, Unemployment, Employment, Unemployment rate, Usual weekly earnings
How the data are obtained Survey of households
Classification system Demographic
Periodicity of data availability Monthly, Quarterly, Annual
Geographic detail National
Scope Civilian noninstitutional population
Key products

See the complete list of CPS news releases and reports online.

Program webpage

Last Modified Date: April 10, 2018