Department of Labor Logo United States Department of Labor
Dot gov

The .gov means it's official.
Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you're on a federal government site.


The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

Handbook of Methods Current Population Survey Overview

Current Population Survey: Overview


The Current Population Survey (CPS) is a monthly survey of U.S. households that is conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau for the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).


The CPS is the source of the national unemployment rate, along with a wide range of information about employment, unemployment, and people not in the labor force.

Quick Facts: Current Population Survey
Subject areas Hours, Unemployment, Employment
Key measures
  • Labor force
  • Unemployment
  • Employment
  • Unemployment rate
  • Usual weekly earnings
How the data are obtained Survey of households
Classification Demographic
Periodicity of data availability Monthly, Quarterly, Annual
Geographic detail National
Scope Civilian noninstitutional population
Key products

See the complete list of CPS news releases and reports online.

Program webpage
Last Modified Date: April 10, 2018