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Current Population Survey (CPS)


The Current Population Survey is sponsored by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and quantifies the national and state unemployment rates each month. None or ten of the twelve interview months have a supplement to the labor force questions. The average workload is 9,500 cases per month. The CPS interviews households for four consecutive months, then the household sleeps for eight months before being interviewed again for an additional four consecutive months.


The Current Population Survey collects up-to-date employment and unemployment information each month. The CPS interviews the civilian occupants of 60,000 randomly selected addresses across the United States. Field Representatives conduct interviews at those households each month, for 4 consecutive months during the 19th of each month (and again during those same months of the following year).

The Census Bureau collects this information and the results are published by U.S. Department of Labor/Bureau of Labor Statistics. You probably have heard on the radio or have seen on television something like: "According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the civilian unemployment rate for last month was 7.2 percent ." Although the Census Bureau is not cited as the source of that information, the monthly unemployment rate along with other details comes from the data collected by the Current Population Survey.


Interview Period:
The week of the 19th each month through the following week.
Coverage Area:
All of Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri and Wisconsin.



Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Field Training and Career Development Office | | Last Revised: May 15, 2014