Iteration of Second‐Stage and Composite Procedures in the Current Population Survey

Samantha Cruz, Edwin L. Robison, and Tamara S. Zimmerman


Labor force estimates of the U.S. civilian noninstitutional population are derived through a number of weighting steps in the Current Population Survey (CPS) estimation procedure. Currently, the weight for each interviewed person includes a second-stage ratio adjustment. This second- stage estimation process uses Iterative Proportional Fitting (IPF), or raking, in order to simultaneously match three sets of independent population controls and to create second-stage weights. Upon completion of the second-stage process, the weights are subjected to a composite estimation process which also uses a three-way rake to match composite population controls; but the procedure does not reproduce all second-stage controls. This paper explores more complex raking methods to determine if a single set of weights can be produced that simultaneously preserves all second-stage and composite controls.