2009-02-19 / Local & State

Census To Update Statistics


Beginning February 15, nearly 2,000 Census Bureau field representatives will interview about 100,000 households across the nation for the annual Social and Economic Supplement (ASEC) to the monthly Current Population Survey (CPS).

Interviews for the CPSASEC, cosponsored by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Census Bureau, will take place during the weeks of February 15, March 15 and April 19.

Before the survey begins, households selected in the nationwide sample will receive an informational letter from the Census Bureau director. Some participants will be interviewed by telephone, and others will be interviewed in person by field representatives who carry official identification.

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

Results form the CPS-ASEC collected in February through April of each year enable the following high-profile indicators to be updated annually by the Census Bureau: median household income, official poverty rate and percentage of people without health insurance coverage.

"The monthly CPS is the primary source of information for state and local governments, and businesses regarding the country's labor force," said Fernando Armstrong, director of the Census Bureau's Philadelphia Regional Office. "the ASEC collects a wide range of socioeconomic characteristics data as part of the annual CPS program."

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