In This Chapter

Chapter 1.
Labor Force Data Derived from the Current Population Survey

Changes Introduced in 2003

Several important changes were introduced into the survey in 2003. (For detailed information about these and other changes, see Bowler and others, 2003.)

New industrial and occupational classification systems
Information on the industry and occupation of the employed and unemployed is produced regularly from the CPS. The systems used to classify both industry and occupation were changed beginning with data published for January 2003. The 1990 Census Industrial Classification System was replaced by one based on the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). Occupational data are being collected using new classifications derived from the Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) in lieu of the 1990 Census Occupational Classification System.

Population controls based on the 2000 census
New population controls based on the 2000 decennial census were introduced in the CPS beginning with data for January 2003. The new controls were prepared by projecting forward the civilian noninstitutional population as enumerated on April 1, 2000, and are used for the age-sex-race-ethnicity groups in the second-stage estimation procedure, as discussed in the section on estimation below.

New race and ethnicity categories
As a result of a directive issued by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB), all government statistics on race and ethnicity, including those from the CPS, are undergoing changes. Probably the most notable change is that survey respondents are given the opportunity to report themselves in more than one racial category. The racial categories are: White; black or African American, Asian, American Indian or Alaska Native; and Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander. The questions used to obtain race and ethnicity in the CPS were modified to reflect the new directive, and publication tables were revised as well. Due to the limitations of the sample size, as well as the lack of population controls for the smaller race groups, data will be displayed for whites (no other race), blacks or African Americans (no other race), and Asians (no other race) only. In addition, the survey will continue to collect data on persons of Hispanic or Latino ethnicity. A direct question now is asked prior to the race questions to identify individuals as Spanish, Hispanic, or Latino; prior to 2003, the ethnicity of these persons was inferred from their country of origin. Under the OMB directive, Hispanic is still considered an ethnic, rather than a racial, category.

Redesigned CPS weighting
Modifications to basic and composite weighting procedures for the CPS also were implemented in January 2003. These changes were made based on a number of factors, including: BLS plans for publishing revised race categories at the State and national levels; making control-cell definitions more consistent across the second-stage weighting steps (State, ethnicity, and race), and between second-stage and composite weighting; precollapsing small cells to eliminate the "on-the-fly" collapsing algorithm that produces inconsistent results over time; and providing more stable monthly estimates for population subgroups of interest to users, including demographic population controls within each State.

Next: Sampling


Last Modified Date: April 17, 2003