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Proposed Collection; Comment Request

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The Department of Labor, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, conducts a pre-clearance consultation program to provide the general public and Federal agencies with an opportunity to comment on proposed and/or continuing collections of information in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA95) [44 U.S.C. 3506(c) (2)(A)]. This program helps to ensure that requested data can be provided in the desired format, reporting burden (time and financial resources) is minimized, collection instruments are clearly understood, and the impact of collection requirements on respondents can be properly assessed. Currently, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) is soliciting comments concerning the proposed extension of the “Current Population Survey (CPS).” A copy of the proposed information collection request (ICR) can be obtained by contacting the individual listed below in the Addresses section of this notice.


Written comments must be submitted to the office listed in the Addresses section below on or before May 14, 2002.


Send comments to Amy A. Hobby, BLS Clearance Officer, Division of Management Systems, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Room 4080, 2 Massachusetts Avenue, NE., Washington, DC 20212, telephone number 202-691-7628 (this is not a toll free number).

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I. Background

The CPS has been the principal source of the official Government statistics on employment and unemployment for nearly 60 years. The labor force information gathered through the survey is of paramount importance in keeping track of the economic health of the Nation. The survey is the only source of data on total employment and unemployment, with the monthly unemployment rate obtained through this survey being regarded as one of the most important economic indicators. Moreover, the survey also yields data on the basic status and characteristics of persons not in the labor force. The CPS data are used monthly, in conjunction with data from other sources, to analyze the extent to which the various components of the American population are participating in the economic life of the Nation and with what success.

The labor force data gathered through the CPS are provided to users in the greatest detail possible, consistent with the demographic information obtained in the survey. In brief, the labor force data can be broken down by sex, age, race and ethnic origin, marital status, family composition, educational level, and other characteristics. Through such breakdowns, one can focus on the employment situation of specific population groups as well as on the general trends in employment and unemployment. Information of this type can be obtained only through Start Printed Page 11717demographically oriented surveys such as the CPS.

The basic CPS data also are used as an important platform to base the data derived from the various supplemental questions that are administered in conjunction with the survey. By coupling the basic data from the monthly survey with the special data from the supplements, one can get valuable insights on the behavior of American workers and on the social and economic health of their families.

There is wide interest in the monthly CPS data among Government policymakers, legislators, economists, the media, and the general public. While the data from the CPS are used in conjunction with data from other surveys in assessing the economic health of the Nation, they are unique in various ways. They provide a measurement of total employment, including farm work, self-employment and unpaid family work, while the other surveys are generally restricted to the nonagricultural wage and salary sector. The CPS provides data on all jobseekers, and on all persons outside the labor force, while payroll-based surveys cannot, by definition, cover these sectors of the population. Finally, the CPS data on employment, unemployment, and on persons not in the labor force can be linked to the demographic characteristics of the many groups that make up the Nation's population, while the data from other surveys are usually devoid of demographic information.

II. Desired Focus of Comments

The Bureau of Labor Statistics is particularly interested in comments that:

  • Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility;
  • Evaluate the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;
  • Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and
  • Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submissions of responses.

III. Current Action

Office of Management and Budget clearance is being sought for the Current Population Survey (CPS).

Type of Review: Extension of a currently approved collection.

Agency: Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Title: Current Population Survey (CPS).

OMB Number: 1220-0100.

Affected Public: Households.

Total Respondents: 57,000 per month.

Frequency: Monthly.

Total Responses: 684,000.

Average Time Per Response: 7 minutes.

Estimated Total Burden Hours: 79,800 hours.

Total Burden Cost (capital/startup): $0.

Total Burden Cost (operating/maintenance): $0.

Comments submitted in response to this notice will be summarized and/or included in the request for Office of Management and Budget approval of the information collection request; they also will become a matter of public record.

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Signed at Washington, DC, this 5th day of March, 2002.

Jesus Salinas,

Acting Chief, Division of Management Systems, Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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[FR Doc. 02-6235 Filed 3-14-02; 8:45 am]