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2022 American Community Survey 1-year estimates are now available.

graphical representation of a community highlighting employment status

We ask questions about whether a person worked last week and, if the answer is no, why he or she was not working. For those who were not working, we also ask whether he or she plans to return to work, and when they last worked.

These data are used in planning and funding government programs that provide unemployment assistance and services. These data also help evaluate other government programs and policies to ensure they fairly and equitably serve the needs of all groups, as well as enforce laws, regulations, and policies against discrimination in society.

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Questions as they appear on the form

We ask five questions about work to create a profile of the nation's labor force.

Results from these questions

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Employment status data help communities:

Infographic: Women at Work

Women at Work

[Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2017 American Community Survey 1-Year]

History of employment status questions

Labor force status questions originated with the 1890 Census. It was transferred to the ACS in 2005 when it replaced the decennial census long form.

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