Census Bureau to Update Employment, Income, Poverty and Health Insurance Numbers

OAK BROOK, Ill., Feb. 12 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Beginning Feb. 18, 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 CPS-ASEC, which is co-sponsored by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Census Bureau, will take place during the weeks of Feb. 18, March 18 and April 15, 2007.

Before the survey, local households selected in the nationwide sample will receive an informational letter from Census Bureau Director Louis Kincannon. Some participants are interviewed by telephone and others are 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 from the CPS-ASEC also enable the following high-profile indicators to be updated: median household income, official poverty rate and percentage of people without health insurance coverage.

“The CPS is the primary source of information for state and local governments, and businesses regarding the country’s labor force,” said Stanley D. Moore, director of the Census Bureau’s Chicago regional office. “The ASEC collects a wide range of socioeconomic characteristics data as part of the annual CPS program.”

The Census Bureau’s monthly Current Population Survey — which dates from 1942 — is the longest-running household survey in the country.