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REFERENCE WEEK, CURRENT POPULATION SURVEY:

The calendar week (Sunday through Saturday) containing the 12th day of the month, which is used in the Current Population Survey (CPS) as the time period for documenting the employment and labor force status of respondents. The estimation of the unemployment rate and other employment information generated by the CPS are based on activities of survey respondents during this week. The actual survey is conducted by interviewers working for the Bureau of the Census during the calendar week containing the 19th day, which is termed the survey week.
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 that are posed to the occupants inquire about their activities during the previous week, which is the reference week.

A complete week is used as the reference period (rather than a month or a day) because a week is long enough to exclude holidays and erratic, random, one-time aberrations, but short enough to give current employment status. It is also an easily defined time period.

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.

The reference week always includes the 12th day of the month to maintain consistency, to provide equal reporting periods, and to avoid monthly aberrations. Changing the reference week from month to month, would, at the very least, provide an inconsistent reporting period.

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Recommended Citation:

REFERENCE WEEK, CURRENT POPULATION SURVEY, AmosWEB Encyclonomic WEB*pedia, http://www.AmosWEB.com, AmosWEB LLC, 2000-2022. [Accessed: August 14, 2022].


Check Out These Related Terms...

     | Current Population Survey | survey 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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