CPS: Data by age, education, and other
The Current Population Survey (CPS)
is unique because it gathers data from individual
households rather than from employers. Workers report
about themselves and the people they live with. Because of
this, the CPS is able to show how
earnings vary by workers’ demographic characteristics,
including education level, age, sex, race, Hispanic or
Latino origin, and marital status.
For example, CPS
data show that median weekly earnings of full-time wage
and salary workers with a bachelor’s degree were $962 in
2006, compared with $595 for high school graduates with no
college courses. CPS data also are
broken down by workers’ full-time or part-time status,
union affiliation, and occupation and industry.
Limitations. As in the other
surveys, data from the CPS are
available only if the sample size is large enough—that
is, if enough of the people who are surveyed fit into a
particular occupation, industry, location, or demographic
group. Often, data are not available by detailed
occupation or for every type of worker because too few
people in that occupation or of that type were surveyed.
And because the CPS
relies on workers’ self-reporting or their proxy
reporting—when a respondent answers questions about
somebody else in the household—the earnings data that
this survey collects might not be as accurate as data in
other BLS surveys, which get their
information from employers.
Get the data. Data from the CPS
are available in quarterly news releases, the annual Employment
and Earnings, and other special summaries and reports.
These products are usually offered as hardcopies and
online. Tables can also be customized using an online
query tool. Additional data may be available by contacting
the program office:
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Division of Labor Force Statistics, Suite
2 Massachusetts Ave. NE.
Washington, DC 20212
Download the PDF
(766K) of the entire article.