March 23, 2018 

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The calendar week (Sunday through Saturday) containing the 19th day of the month that is used to conduct the Current Population Survey (CPS). This is the time period in which CPS interviews contact occupants of 60,000 households included in the survey. The survey questions posed by the interviewers then refer to the employment activities of the respondents during the previous calendar week, which is the termed the reference week. The activities of survey respondents during the reference week are the source of information used to estimate the unemployment rate and other employment information generated by the CPS.
In essence, about 1,500 census survey takers set forth bright and early Sunday morning during the survey week to canvas the country side. Over the course of the next seven days, each survey taker conducts a relatively detailed interview with the occupants of about 40 households. The questions posed to the occupants inquire about their activities during the previous week, during the reference week.

The survey week immediately follows the reference week to ensure that respondents have an accurate recollection of their employment status. Should too much time pass between the survey week and the reference week, respondents might understandably forget what they did.


Recommended Citation:

SURVEY WEEK, CURRENT POPULATION SURVEY, AmosWEB Encyclonomic WEB*pedia,, AmosWEB LLC, 2000-2018. [Accessed: March 23, 2018].

Check Out These Related Terms...

     | Current Population Survey | reference week, Current Population Survey | unemployment rate | Bureau of Labor Statistics | labor force | civilian labor force | unemployment rate, measurement problems | alternative unemployment rates | employment rate | employment-population ratio | labor force participation rate | employed persons | unemployed persons | not in the labor force |

Or For A Little Background...

     | unemployment | macroeconomic problems | macroeconomic goals | factors of production | full employment | business cycles | contraction | expansion | recession | circular flow |

And For Further Study...

     | unemployment sources | natural unemployment | unemployment problems | unemployment reasons | unemployment, production possibilities | full employment, production possibilities | macroeconomic sectors | Bureau of Labor Statistics | gross domestic product | macroeconomic markets | resource markets | inflation | stabilization policies | government functions | underground economy | business cycle indicators | inflation |

Related Websites (Will Open in New Window)...

     | Current Population Survey Home Page | Bureau of Labor Statistics | Bureau of the Census |

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