2006-11-24 / Community

Census Bureau Updates Employment Numbers

Nearly 2,000 Census Bureau field representatives interviewed about 70,000 households across the nation during the week of November 12, 2006, for the Current Population Survey (CPS), sponsored by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Prior to the survey, local households selected in the nationwide sample will receive an informational letter from Census Bureau Director Louis. Some participants are interviewed by telephone and others are interviewed in person. Field representatives carry official identification.

Every month, Census Bureau field representatives ask selected households questions relevant to the U.S. labor force, such as employment status, hours worked, earnings, age, sex, race, marital status, educational attainment, occupation and industry. From those answers come estimates of the unemployment rate, released monthly by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

"The CPS is the primary source of information for state and local governments and businesses regarding the country's labor force," said Lester A. Farthing, director of the Census Bureau's New York regional office. "The survey also collects information on rates of voting and registration by a variety of characteristics, such as race, origin and age. The Census Bureau collects these data in the CPS every other November." The Census Bureau's monthly survey, which dates from 1942, is the longest running household survey in the country.

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