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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 revision 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 February 25, 2008.


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, 202-691-7628. (This is not a toll-free number.)

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Amy A. Hobby, BLS Clearance Officer, 202-691-7628. (See ADDRESSES section.)

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I. Background

The CPS has been the principal source of the official Government statistics on employment and unemployment for over 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 monthly data on total employment and unemployment, with the Employment Situation report containing data from this survey being a Primary Federal Economic Indicator (PFEI). 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, and with what success, the various components of the American population are participating in the economic life of the Nation.

The labor force data gathered through the CPS are provided to users in the greatest detail possible, in conjunction 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. Beginning in 2009, a breakdown by disability status will also be possible. Through such breakdowns, one can focus on the employment situation of specific population groups as well as on general trends in employment and unemployment. Information of this type can be obtained only through demographically oriented surveys such as the CPS.

The basic CPS data also are used as an important platform on which 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. Specifically, they are the basis for much of the monthly Employment Situation report, a PFEI. They provide a monthly, nationally representative measure of total employment, including farm work, self-employment and unpaid family work; other surveys are generally restricted to the nonagricultural wage and salary sector, or provide less timely Start Printed Page 73380information. 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 most other surveys are devoid of demographic information. Many groups, both in the government and in the private sector, are eager to analyze this wealth of demographic and labor force data for the populations of persons with and without disabilities.

II. Current Action

Office of Management and Budget clearance is being sought for the Current Population Survey (CPS). Questions are being added to the instrument in June 2008 to gather information on disability status of household members. The new questions ask if anyone in the household is deaf or has a serious difficulty hearing; if anyone is blind or has serious difficulty seeing, even when wearing glasses; if anyone has serious difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions because of a physical, mental, or emotional condition; if anyone has serious difficulty walking or climbing stairs; if anyone has difficulty dressing or bathing; and if anyone has difficulty doing errands alone such as visiting a doctor's office or shopping because of a physical, mental, or emotional condition. When an affirmative answer is received, a follow up question is asked to determine which of the household members is/are affected. These new questions may be used in conjunction with the other demographic and labor force data collected in the CPS to examine the characteristics of the population of persons with disabilities and to make comparisons to the population of persons without disabilities and other groups.

These six new questions will be asked of all households in June 2008 to generate baseline data and will thereafter be asked only of households in months 1 and 5 of the interview cycle and of replacement households. Because of the initial June collection, burden hours will be higher in 2008 than in later years. In 2008, total burden for the labor force section of the CPS will be 84,000 hours (of which 7,000 hours are for the disability questions.) In 2009 and 2010, burden will fall to 82,600 hours (of which 5,600 hours are for the disability questions.)

III. 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.
  • 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.

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.

Type of Review: Revision of a currently approved collection.

Agency: Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Title: Current Population Survey (CPS).

OMB Number: 1220-0100.

Affected Public: Households.

Total Respondents: 55,000 per month.

Frequency: Monthly.

Total Responses: 660,000.

Average Time per Response: 7.6 minutes.

Estimated Total Burden Hours: 84,000 hours.

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

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

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Signed at Washington, DC, this 19th day of December, 2007.

Cathy Kazanowski,

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

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[FR Doc. E7-24995 Filed 12-26-07; 8:45 am]