Current Population Survey Series

Investigator(s): U.S. Bureau of the Census

The Current Population Survey (CPS) is a household sample survey conducted monthly by the Census Bureau to provide estimates of employment, unemployment, and other characteristics of the general labor force, estimates of the population as a whole, and estimates of various subgroups in the population. The March survey, Annual Social and Economic (ASEC) Supplement (prior to 2003 called the Annual Demographic Files) contain the core labor force information included in every Current Population Survey as well as data on income and work experience. Detailed demographic data representative of the noninstitutionalized United States civilian population, including members of the armed forces living in civilian housing units, are provided in the Annual Social and Economic (ASEC) Supplement as well. Additional surveys conducted during other months contain the core labor force and demographic information along with supplemental data on one or more specific topics. Supplement topics include after-tax money income (March), noncash benefit values (March), displaced workers, job tenure, occupational mobility, contingent (temporary) work, adult education, pension and retirement plan coverage, multiple job-holding and premium pay, marital history, fertility and birth expectations (June), volunteering (September), immigration, school enrollment (October), voting behavior (November), tobacco use, food security, and Internet and computer usage. A major redesign of the Current Population Survey was implemented in January 1994. The primary aim of the redesign was to improve the quality of the data derived from the survey by introducing a new questionnaire and modernized data collection methods.

See also the Current Population Survey Volunteer Supplement Series.