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Technical Note

he estimates in this report were obtained from the Current Population Survey (CPS), a national month- ly sample survey of approximately 60,000 house- holds, that provides a wide range of information on the la- bor force, employment, and unemployment. Earnings data are collected from one-fourth of the CPS monthly sample. The survey is conducted for the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statis- tics (BLS) by the U.S. Census Bureau, using a scientifically selected national sample with coverage in all 50 States and the District of Columbia. T

Material in this report is in the public domain and, with appropriate credit, may be reproduced without permission. This information is available to sensory-impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone: (202) 691-5200; Federal Relay Service: 1 (800) 877-8339.

Concepts and definitions Civilian noninstitutional population. Included are persons 16 years of age and older residing in the 50 States and the Dis- trict of Columbia who are not confined to institutions, such as nursing homes and prisons, and who are not on active duty in the Armed Forces.

Employed persons. All persons who, during the refer- ence week, (a) did any work at all (at least 1 hour) as paid employees, worked in their own business, profession, or on their own farm, or worked 15 hours or more as unpaid work- ers in an enterprise operated by a member of the family, and (b) all those who were not working but who had jobs or busi- nesses from which they were temporarily absent because of vacation, illness, bad weather, childcare problems, maternity or paternity leave, labor-management dispute, job training, or other family or personal reasons, whether or not they were paid for the time off or were seeking other jobs.

Unemployed persons. All persons who had no employment during the reference week, were available for work, (except for temporary illness), and had made specific efforts to find employment sometime during the 4-week period ending with the reference week. Persons who were waiting to be recalled to a job from which they had been laid off need not have been looking for work to be classified as unemployed.

Duration of unemployment. This represents the length of time (through the reference week) that persons classified as unemployed had been looking for work. For persons on lay- off, duration of unemployment represents the number of full


weeks they had been on layoff. Mean duration is the arithme- tic average computed from single weeks of unemployment; median duration is the midpoint of a distribution of weeks of unemployment.

Reason for unemployment. Unemployment also is catego- rized according to the status of individuals at the time they began to look for work. The reasons for unemployment are divided into four major groups:

1. Job losers, comprising (a) persons on temporary layoff, who have been given a date to return to work or who expect to return within 6 months (persons on layoff need not be looking for work to qualify as unem- ployed), (b) permanent job losers, whose employment ended involuntarily and who began looking for work, and (c) persons who completed temporary jobs, who began looking for work after the jobs ended.

2. Job leavers, persons who quit or otherwise termi- nated their employment voluntarily and immediately began looking for work.

3. Reentrants, persons who previously worked but who were out of the labor force prior to beginning their job search.

4. New entrants, persons who had never worked.

Labor force. This group comprises all persons classified as employed or unemployed in accordance with the criteria described above.

Unemployment rate. This represents the number of unem- ployed person as a percent of the labor force.

Participation rate. This represents the proportion of the pop- ulation that is in the labor force.

Employment-population ratio. This represents the proportion of the population that is employed.

Not in the labor force. Included in this group are all persons in the civilian noninstitutional population who are neither employed nor unemployed. The marginally attached are per- sons not in the labor force who wanted and were available for work and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months (or since the end of their last job if they held one within the past 12 months). They were not counted as unem- ployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks

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