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Household Data (A tables)
Establishment Data (B, C, and D tables)
Unemployment Insurance Data (E tables) Seasonal Adjustment
The statistics in this periodical are compiled from three major sources: (1) Household interviews, (2) reports from employers, and (3) administrative statistics of unemployment insurance systems.
Data based on household interviews are obtained from a sample survey of the population 16 years of age and over. The survey is conducted each month by the Bureau of the Census for the Bureau of Labor Statistics and provides comprehensive data on the labor force, the employed and the unemployed, including such characteristics as age, sex, color, marital status, occupations, hours of work, and duration of unemployment: The survey also provides data on the characteristics and past work experience of those not in the labor force. The information is collected by trained interviewers from a sample of about 47,000 households, representing 461 areas in 923 counties and independent cities, with coverage in 50 States and the District of Columbia. The data collected are based on the activity or status reported for the calendar week including the 12th of the month.
Data based on establishment records are compiled each month from mail questionnaires by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in cooperation with State agencies. The establishment surveys are designer' to provide detailed industry information on nonagricultural wage and salary employment, average weekly hours, average hourly and weekly earnings, and labor turnover for the Nation, States, and metropolitan areas. The employment, hours, and earnings series are based on payroll reports from a sample of establishments employing about 30 million nonagricultural wage and salary workers. The data relate to all workers, full- or part-time, who received pay during the payroll period which includes the 12th of the month. Based on a somewhat smaller sample, labor turnover data relate to actions occurring during the entire month.
Data based on administrative records of unemployment insurance systems furnish a complete count of insured unemployment among the three-fourths of the Nation's labor force covered by unemployment insurance programs. Weekly reports, by State, are issued on the number of initial claims, the volume, and rate of insured unemployment under State unemployment insurance programs, and the volume under programs of unemployment compensation for Federal employees, ex-servicemen, and railroad workers. These statistics are published by the Manpower Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, in "Unemployment Insurance Claims."
RELATION BETWEEN THE HOUSEHOLD AND ESTABLISHMENT SERIES
The household and establishment data supplement one another, each providing significant types of information that the other cannot suitably supply. Population characteristics, for example, are readily obtained only from the household survey
whereas detailed industrial classifications can be reliably derived only from establishment reports.
Data from these two sources differ from each other because of differences in definition and coverage, sources of information, methods of collection, and estimating procedures. Sampling variability and response errors are additional reasons for discrepancies. The major factors which have a differential effect on levels and trends of the two series are as follows:
Coverage. The household survey definition of employment comprises wage and salary workers (including domestics and other private household workers), self-employed persons, and unpaid workers who worked 15 hours or more during the survey week in family-operated enterprises. Employment in both agricultural and nonagricultural industries is included. The payroll survey covers only wage and salary employees on the payrolls of nonagricultural establishments.
Multiple jobholding. The household approach provides information on the work status of the population without duplication since each person is classified as employed, unemployed, or not in the labor force. Employed persons holding more than one job are counted only once and are classified according to the job at which they worked the greatest number of hours during the survey week. In the figures based on establishment records, persons who worked in more than one establishment during the reporting period are counted each time their names appear on payrolls.
Unpaid absences from jobs. The household survey includes among the employed all persons who had jobs but were not at work during the survey week-that is, were not working but had jobs from which they were temporarily absent because of illness, bad weather, vacation, labor-management dispute, or because they were taking time off for various other reasons, even if they were not paid by their employers for the time off. In the figures based on payroll reports, persons on leave paid for by the company are included, but not those on leave without pay for the entire payroll period.
For a comprehensive discussion of the differences between household and establishment survey employment data, see Gloria P. Green's article "Comparing Employment Estimates from Household and Payroll Surveys," Monthly Labor Review, December 1969. Reprints of this article are available upon request from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Hours of work
The household survey measures hours actually worked whereas the payroll survey measures hours paid for by
but not at work are excluded from the hours distributions and the computations of average hours. In the payroll survey, employees on paid vacation, paid holiday, or paid sick leave are included and assigned the number of hours for which they were paid during the reporting period.
period. There are also wide differences in sampling techniques and collecting and estimating methods, which cannot be readily measured in terms of impact on differences in level and trend of the two series.
COMPARABILITY OF THE HOUSEHOLD DATA WITH OTHER SERIES
Unemployment insurance data. The unemployed total from the household survey includes all persons who did not have a job at all during the survey week and were looking for work or were waiting to be called back to a job from which they had been laid off, regardless of whether or not they were eligible for unemployment insurance. Figures on unemployment insurance claims, prepared by the Manpower Administration of the Department of Labor, exclude persons who have exhausted their benefit rights, new workers who have not earned rights to unemployment insurance, and persons losing jobs not covered by unemployment insurance systems (agriculture, some State and local government, domestic service, self-employment, unpaid family work, and religious organizations).
In addition, the qualifications for drawing unemployment compensation differ from the definition of unemployment used in the household survey. For example, persons with a job but not at work and persons working only a few hours during the week are sometimes eligible for unemployment compensation but are classified as employed rather than unemployed in the household survey.
For an examination of the similarities and differences between State insured unemployment and total unemployment, see "Measuring Total and State Insured Unemployment" by Gloria P. Green in the June 1971 issue of the Monthly Labor Review. Reprints of this article may be obtained upon request.
Agricultural employment estimates of the Department of Agriculture. The principal differences in coverage are the inclusion of persons under 16 in the Statistical Research Service (SRS) series and the treatment of dual jobholders who are counted more than
COMPARABILITY OF THE PAYROLL EMPLOYMENT DATA WITH OTHER SERIES
Statistics on manufactures and business, Bureau of the Census. BLS establishment statistics on employment differ from employment counts derived by the Bureau of the Census from its censuses or annual sample surveys of manufacturing establishments and the censuses of business establishments. The major reasons for some noncomparability are different treatment of business units considered parts of an establishment, such as central administrative offices and auxiliary units, the industrial classification of establishments, and different reporting patterns by multiunit companies. There are also differences in the scope of the industries covered, e.g., the Census of Business excludes professional services, public utilities, and financial establishments, whereas these are included in BLS statistics.
County Business Patterns. Data in County Business Patterns (CBP), published jointly by the U.S. Departments of Commerce and Health, Education, and Welfare, differ from BLS establishment statistics in the treatment of central administrative offices and auxiliary units. Differences may also arise because of industrial classification and reporting practices. In addition, CBP excludes interstate railroads and government, and coverage is incomplete for some of the nonprofit activities.
Employment covered by State unemployment insurance programs. Most nonagricultural wage and salary workers are covered by the unemployment insurance programs. Beginning in January 1972, coverage was expanded to include employees of small firms and selected nonprofit activities who had not been covered previously. However, certain activities, such as interstate railroads, parochial schools, churches and most State and local government activities are not covered by unemployment insurance whereas these are included in BLS establishment statistics.
COLLECTION AND COVERAGE
Household data (A tables)
Statistics on the employment status of the population, the personal, occupational, and other characteristics of the employed, the unemployed, and persons not in the labor force, and related data are compiled for the BLS by the Bureau of the Census in its Current Population Survey (CPS). A detailed description of this survey appears in Concepts and Methods Used in Manpower Statistics from the Current Population Survey, BLS Report 313. This report is available from BLS on request.
These monthly surveys of the population are conducted with a scientifically selected sample designed to represent the civilian noninstitutional population. Respondents are interviewed to
obtain information about the employment status of each member of the household 16 years of age and over. Separate statistics are also collected and published for 14 and 15 year olds. The inquiry relates to activity or status during the calendar week, Sunday through Saturday, which includes the 12th of the month. This is known as the survey week. Actual field interviewing is conducted in the following week.
Inmates of institutions, members of the Armed Forces, and persons under 14 years of age are not covered in the regular monthly enumerations and are excluded from the population and labor force statistics shown in this report. Data on members of the Armed Forces, who are included as part of the categories "total noninstitutional population" and "total labor force," are obtained from the Department of Defense.
interview. About 1,700 of these households are visited but interviews are not obtained because the occupants are not found at home after repeated calls or are unavailable for other reasons. This represents a noninterview rate for the survey of about 4 percent. In addition to the 47,000 occupied units, there are 7,500 sample units in an average month which are visited but found to be vacant or otherwise not to be enumerated. Part of the sample is changed each month. The rotation plan provides for three-fourths of the sample to be common from 1 month to the next, and one-half to be common with the same month a year ago.
Employed persons comprise (a) all those who during the survey week did any work at all as paid employees, in their own business, profession, or farm, or who worked 15 hours or more as unpaid workers in an enterprise operated by a member of the family, and (b) all those who were not working but who had jobs or businesses from which they were temporarily absent because of illness, bad weather, vacation, labor-management dispute, or personal reasons, whether or not they were paid by their employers for the time off, and whether or not they were seeking other jobs.
Each employed person is counted only once. Those who held more than one job are counted in the job at which they worked the greatest number of hours during the survey week.
Included in the total are employed citizens of foreign countries, temporarily in the United States, who are not living on the premises of an Embassy.
Excluded are persons whose only activity consisted of work around the house (such as own home housework, and painting or repairing own home) or volunteer work for religious, charitable, and similar organizations.
Unemployed persons comprise all persons who did not work during the survey week, who made specific efforts to find a job within the past 4 weeks, and who were available for work during the survey week (except for temporary illness). Also included as unemployed are those who did not work at all, were available for work, and (a) were waiting to be called back to a job from which they had been laid off; or (b) were waiting to report to a new wage or salary job within 30 days.
Duration of unemployment represents the length of time (through the current survey week) during which persons classified as unemployed had been continuously looking for work. For persons on layoff, duration of unemployment represents the number of full weeks since the termination of their most recent employment. A period of 2 weeks or more during which a person was employed or ceased looking for work is considered to break the continuity of the present period of seeking work. Average duration is an arithmetic mean computed from a distribution by single weeks of unemployment.
Unemployed persons by reasons for unemployment are divided into four major groups. (1) Job losers are persons whose employment ended involuntarily who immediately began looking for work and persons on layoff. (2) Job leavers are persons who quit or otherwise terminated their employment voluntarily and immediately began looking for work. (3) Reentrants are persons who previously worked at a full-time job lasting 2 weeks or longer but who were out of the labor force prior to beginning to look for work. (4) New entrants are persons who never worked at a full-time job lasting 2 weeks or longer.
efforts to find a job, sometime during the 4-week period preceding the survey week. Jobseekers do not include persons unemployed because they (a) were waiting to be called back to a job from which they had been laid off or (b) were waiting to report to a new wage or salary job within 30 days. Jobseekers are grouped by the methods used to seek work, including going to a public or private employment agency or to an employer directly, seeking assistance from friends or relatives, placing or answering ads, or utilizing some "other" method. Examples of the "other" category include being on a union or professional register, obtaining assistance from a community organization, or waiting at a designated pick-up point.
The civilian labor force comprises the total of all civilians classified as employed or unemployed in accordance with the criteria described above. The "total labor force" also includes members of the Armed Forces stationed either in the United States or abroad.
The unemployment rate represents the number unemployed as a percent of the civilian labor force. This measure can also be computed for groups within the labor force classified by sex, age, marital status, color, etc. The job-loser, job-leaver, reentrant, and new entrant rates are each calculated as a percent of the civilian labor force; the sum of the rates for the four groups thus equals the total unemployment rate.
Participation rates represent the proportion of the noninstitutional population that is in the labor force. Two types of participation rates are published: The total labor force participation rate, which is the ratio of the total labor force and the total noninstitutional population; and the civilian labor force participation rate, which is the ratio of the civilian labor force and the civilian noninstitutional population. Participation rates are usually published for sex-age groups, often cross-classified by other demographic characteristics such as color and educational attainment.
Not in labor force includes all civilians 16 years and over who are not classified as employed or unemployed. These persons are further classified as "engaged in own home housework," "in school," "unable to work" because of long-term physical or mental illness, and "other." The "other" group includes for the most part retired persons, those reported as too old to work, the voluntarily idle, and seasonal workers for whom the survey week fell in an "off" season and who were not reported as unemployed. Persons doing only incidental unpaid family work (less than 15 hours) are also classified as not in the labor force. For persons not in the labor force, data on previous work experience, intentions to seek work again, desire for a job at the time of interview, and reasons for not looking for work are compiled on a quarterly basis. As of January 1970, the detailed questions for persons not in the labor force are asked only in those households that are in the fourth and eighth months of the sample, i.e., the "outgoing" groups, those which had been in the sample for 3 previous months and would not be in for the subsequent month. Between 1967 and 1969, the detailed not-in-labor force questions were asked of persons in the first and fifth months in the sample, i.e., the "incoming" groups.
Occupation, industry, and class of worker for the employed apply to the job held in the survey week. Persons with two or more jobs are classified in the job at which they worked the greatest number of hours during the survey week. The unemployed are classified according to their latest full-time civilian job lasting 2 weeks or more. The occupation and industry groups used in data derived from the CPS household interviews are defined as in the 1970 Census of Population.
is available upon request.
The class-of-worker breakdown specifies "wage and salary workers," subdivided into private and government workers, "self employed workers," and "unpaid family workers." Wage and salary workers receive wages, salary, commission, tips, or pay in kind from a private employer or from a government unit. Self employed persons are those who work for profit or fees in their own business, profession, or trade, or operate a farm. Unpaid family workers are persons working without pay for 15 hours a week or more on a farm or in a business operated by a member of the household to whom they are related by blood or marriage.
Hours of work statistics relate to the actual number of hours worked during the survey week. For example, a person who normally works 40 hours a week but who was off on the Columbus Day holiday would be reported as working 32 hours even though he was paid for the holiday.
For persons working in more than one job, the figures relate to the number of hours worked in all jobs during the week. However, all the hours are credited to the major job.
The distribution of employment by hours worked relate to persons "at work" during the survey week. At-work data differ from data on total employment because the latter include persons in zero-hours worked category, "with a job but not at work." Included in this latter group are persons who were on vacation, ill, involved in a labor dispute, or otherwise absent from their jobs for voluntary, noneconomic reasons.
Persons who worked 35 hours or more in the survey week are designated as working "full time;" persons who worked between 1 and 34 hours are designated as working "part time." Part-time workers are classified by their usual status at their present job (either full time or part time) and by their reason for working part time during the survey week (economic or other reasons). "Economic reasons" include: Slack work, material shortages, repairs to plant or equipment, start or termination of job during the week, and inability to find full-time work. "Other reasons" include: Labor dispute, bad weather, own illness, vacation, demands of home housework, school, no desire for full-time work, and full-time worker only during peak season. Persons on full-time schedules include, in addition to those working 35 hours or more, those who worked from 1-34 hours for noneconomic reasons and usually work full time.
Full- and part-time labor force. The full-time labor force consists of persons working on full-time schedules, persons involuntarily working part time (part time for economic reasons), and unemployed persons seeking full-time jobs. The part-time labor force consists of persons working part time voluntarily and unemployed persons seeking part-time work. Persons with a job but not at work during the survey week are classified according to whether they usually work full or part time.
Labor force time lost is a measure of man-hours lost to the economy through unemployment and involuntary part-time employment and is expressed as a percent of potentially available man-hours. It is computed by assuming: (1) That unemployed persons looking for full-time work lost an average of 37.5 hours, (2) that those looking for part-time work lost the average number of hours actually worked by voluntary part-time workers during the survey week, and (3) that persons on part time for economic reasons lost the difference between 37.5 hours and the actual number of hours they worked.
White and Negro and other races are terms used to describe the color or race of workers. The Negro and other races
includes all persons who are observed in the enumeration process to be other than white. At the time of the 1970 Census of Population, 89 percent of the Negro and other races population group were Negro; the remainder were American Indians, Eskimos, Orientals, and other nonwhite. Tables in this volume which contain these data utilize the word "color" to so indicate. The term "Negro" is used in tables when the relevant data are provided for Negroes exclusively.
Spanish origin refers to persons who identified themselves in the enumeration process as Mexican, Puerto Rican living on the mainland, Cuban, Central or South American or other Spanish origin or descent. According to the 1970 Census, approximately 98 percent of their population is white.
Major activity: going to school and major activity: other are terms used to describe whether the activity of young persons during the reference week was primarily one of going to school or not. Statistics on major activities are published every month in table A-5 for 16-21 year-olds by employment status, color, sex, and, if unemployed, whether seeking full- or part-time work.
Household head. One person in each household is designated as the head. The head is usually the person regarded as the head by the members of the group. If a husband and wife family occupy the unit, the husband is designated as the head. The number of heads, therefore, is equal to the number of households.
Vietnam-era veterans are those who served in the Armed Forces of the United States after August 4, 1964. Tables for veterans in this volume are limited to men in the civilian noninstitutional population; i.e., veterans in institutions and females are excluded.
Nonveterans are males who never served in the Armed
Raised lower age limit
Beginning with data for 1967, the lower age limit for official statistics on persons in the labor force was raised from 14 to 16 years. At the same time, several definitions were sharpened to clear up ambiguities. The principal definitional changes were: (1) Counting as unemployed only persons who were currently available for work and who had engaged in some specific jobseeking activity within the past 4 weeks; an exception to the latter condition is made for persons waiting to start a new job in 30 days or waiting to be recalled from layoff, in the past, the current availability test was not applied and the time period for jobseeking was ambiguous; (2) counting as employed persons who were absent from their jobs in the survey week because of strikes, bad weather, etc. and those who were looking for other jobs; previously, these persons had been classified as unemployed; (3) sharpening the questions on hours of work, duration of unemployment, and self employment in order to increase their reliability.
These changes did not affect the unemployment rate by more than one-fifth of a percentage point in either direction, although the distribution of unemployment by sex was affected. The number of employed was reduced about 1 million because of the exclusion of 14- and 15-year-olds. For persons 16 years and over, the only employment series appreciably affected were those relating to hours of work and class of worker. A detailed discussion of the changes and their effect on the various series is