also known as,
The CPS is the only source of monthly estimates of total employment (both farm and nonfarm), nonfarm self-employed persons, domestics and unpaid helpers in nonfarm family enterprises, wage and salary employees, and estimates of total unemployment. Although the main purpose of the CPS is to collect information on the employment situation, a secondary purpose is to collect information (age, sex, race, marital status, educational attainment, and family structure) on the demographic status of the population. From time to time additional questions are included on such important subjects as health, education, income, and previous work experience. The statistics resulting from these questions serve to update similar information collected once every 10 years through the decennial census.
The Annual Demographic Files contain the basic labor force and demographic data described above, plus additional data on work experience, income, noncash benefits and migration.
Annual codebooks containing a description of the study, variable descriptions, and record layouts.
Annual files (although collected monthly datafiles are released annually), hierarchical in nature. Three record types are present: household, family and person level. Total number of observations and variables in datafiles vary from year to year.
The civilian noninstitutional population of the United States living in housing units and male members of the Armed Forces living in civilian housing units on military bases or in households not on military bases.
A national probability sample selected to represent the universe consisting of households (generally 50,000+), located in sample areas with coverage in every state and the District of Columbia. For a detailed description on sample design consult the codebooks.
Variables (300+, depending on year). Household and family variables include type of living arrangement, structure, size of unit, income, earnings, health, and locational and date items related to survey taken. Personal variables include for labor force data employment (farm and nonfarm workers, persons self-employed, unpaid workers, wage and salaried employees), occupation of worker and industry of employment, number of hours worked, major activity last week, and reason for not working. Variables for demographic data include age, sex, race, ethnicity, Spanish origin, marital and family status, household relationship, children, veteran status, years of school completed, and place of residence. Supplementary data include migration, after-tax money income and the value of non-cash benefits (food stamps, school lunch programs, employer-provided group health insurance plans, employer-provided pension plans, personal health insurance, Medicaid, Medicare, CHAMPUS or military health care and energy assistance). Data on employment and income refer to the preceding year, and demographic data refer to the time of the survey.
Geographic indicators for metropolitan and non-metropolitan, central city and non-central city, farm and non-farm, and MA size are included. Certain data items about the individuals surveyed are not reported to preserve confidentiality (items such as name, address, county of residence).
There are basic limitations in matching the Annual Demographic files across years. First, only fifty percent of the sample is included in two consecutive years. Second, the residents within the eligible housing units may have changed or appeared as noninterview records in one or both years. Third, because of changes in CPS procedures, the available information for matching housing units is not always identical. Fourth, it is possible that the residents of the housing unit have changed and additional matches should be performed to insure resident comparability. Several codebooks (1989, 1990, 1992) provide detailed descriptions of file matching.