Comparing Labor Market Indicators from the CPS and ACS

Research Report

Comparing Labor Market Indicators from the CPS and ACS

November 30, 2003

Abstract

This paper compares labor market indicators from two large-scale household surveys: the Current Population Survey (CPS) and the American Community Survey (ACS). The CPS has been used to provide monthly estimates of household employment and unemployment for more than 50 years. The ACS is an annual survey, first conducted in 2000, and linked to the Decennial Census of 2000. The ACS sample of households is about ten times the size of the CPS sample, but the CPS has a more detailed battery of labor force questions. This paper focuses mainly on annual data from 2000 and 2001, but some data from 2002 are also examined.

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