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U.S. Census Bureau to conduct interviews week of March 14

Date: 3/10/2010

BOSTON On Feb. 14, more than 2,500 U.S. Census Bureau field representatives began to interview about 100,000 households across the nation for the monthly Current Population Survey (CPS) Annual Social and Economic Supplement (ASEC).

Interviews for the CPS-ASEC, co-sponsored by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Census Bureau, will take place during the weeks of March 14 and April 18. This is not to be confused with the 2010 Census, which will be sent out in mid-March.

Before the survey begins, households selected in the nationwide sample will receive an informational letter from the Census Bureau director. Some participants will be interviewed by telephone, and others will be interviewed in person by field representatives who carry official identification.

Every month, Census Bureau field representatives ask selected households questions relevant to the U.S. labor force, such as their employment status, hours worked, earnings, age, sex, race, marital status, educational attainment, occupation and industry. These answers produce estimates of the unemployment rate released monthly by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Results from the CPS-ASEC collected in February through April of each year enable the following high-profile indicators to be updated annually by the Census Bureau: median household income, official poverty rate and percentage of people without health insurance coverage.

"The monthly CPS is the primary source of information for state and local governments, and businesses regarding the country's labor force," said Kathleen Ludgate, director of the Census Bureau's Boston Regional Office. "The ASEC collects a wide range of socioeconomic characteristics data as part of the annual CPS program."

The Census Bureau's monthly Currently Population Survey which dates from 1942 is the longest-running household survey in the country. More information about this survey can be found at