Current Population Survey (CPS) Respondents

How Your Data Are Used

The Current Population Survey (CPS) is the source of the nation’s unemployment rate that you may read or hear about monthly in the news, and is the primary source of information on the labor force characteristics of the U.S. population. The survey results provide estimates for the nation as a whole and are used in developing statistics for individual states and other geographic areas.

Data from the CPS are used by policymakers and analysts as important indicators of our nation’s economic situation. They are also used by business, the media, students, academics, and the general public.

In order to obtain an accurate measurement of the U.S. labor force, it is important that everyone who has been selected for the survey participates.

CPS data allow us to answer these types of questions:

Visit the CPS data homepage for more information published by BLS from the CPS on a monthly, quarterly, and annual basis.

Learn more about How the Government Measures Unemployment.

Browse CPS data on the labor force, employed, unemployed, persons not in the labor force, hours of work, earnings, and other demographic and labor force characteristics.