|Dataset Full Name||Current Population Survey|
The Current Population Survey (CPS) is a survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau for the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to provide workforce measurements including employment, unemployment, earnings, and hours of work. It collects a variety of demographic characteristics including age, sex, race, marital status, and educational attainment, as well as occupation and industry of employment. Supplemental questionnaires are occasionally fielded to produce estimates on various topics including school enrollment, income, previous work experience, health, employee benefits, and work schedules. A disability supplement was fielded in May 2012.
A work limitation disability screener question was first included in 1981 in the March Supplement. A variation on the ACS six-question disability sequence was added in June 2008. The 2014 redesign of the March Supplement included a rephrasing of the work limitation disability question that will be used going forward.
|Key Terms||Nationally Representative, Household Population, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS, U.S. Census Bureau, Survey, Employment|
|Sponsoring Agency/Entity||Jointly sponsored by the U.S. Census Bureau & Department of Labor (DOL)||Health Conditions/Disability Measures|
ACS 6 question disability series: Ambulatory disability, Cognitive disability, Hearing disability, Independent living disability, Self-care disability, Visual disability
|Measures/Outcomes of Interest|
|Topics||Employment, Labor force activity, Earnings||Sample|
Household population (civilian noninstitutional population 15 years of age and older)
|Sample Size/Notes||60,000 households (monthly)|
|Unit of Observation||Individual|
|Geographic Coverage||United States|
|Geographic specificity||State and 12 of the largest metropolitan statistical areas||Data Collection|
|Data Collection Mode||Survey|
|Data Collection Frequency||
Monthly (Basic Monthly Survey) Annual (March Supplement)
Variable (topical supplements)
|Strengths and Limitations|
|Strengths||Current data (collected and released on a monthly basis). Detailed employment questions and a relatively large survey sample. Various topical supplemental surveys are fielded, including a disability supplement in May 2012. The March Annual Social and Economic (ASEC) Supplement includes detailed income data and a work limitation question -- the longest running disability-related question available in U.S. data. In 2014, the ASEC health insurance questions were redesigned, including a rephrasing of the work limitation item going forward.|
|Limitations||No health measures. Some question the use of the work limitation screener question as a disability identifier. A six-item disability sequence, similar to ACS sequence, is included from June 2008 onwards. Note that with the 2014 ASEC redesign, the phrasing of the work limitation item changed from: “Q59A. (Do you/Does anyone in the household) have a health problem or disability which prevents (you/them) from working or which limits the kind or amount of work (you/they) can do?” to "Q59AR. At any time in PRIOR_YEAR (did you/did anyone in the household) have a disability or health problem which prevented (you/them) from working, even for a short time, or which limited the work (you/they) could do?” The 2014 rewording causes a break in the work limitation time series; the current variable cannot be compared with its original form in previous years.||Data Details|
U.S. Census Bureau:
Bureau of Labor Statistics:
|Data Access Requirements||Public Use Dataset|
Disability employment data tables:
Basic Monthly CPS
|Similar/Related Dataset(s)||Selected papers|
Overview of the CPS ASEC and its traditional work limitation question (prior to 2014 redesign):
U.S. Census Bureau: Methodology:
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