Update May 1, 2020: OMB has approved the Bureau of Labor Statistics request of April 20 to add five questions to the Current Population Survey (CPS), between May and October, on the effects of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) -- with the term of clearance that BLS cognitively test the questions in parallel with data collection. The questions are:
1. At any time in the LAST 4 WEEKS, did (you/name) telework or work at home for pay BECAUSE OF THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC?
2. At any time in the LAST 4 WEEKS, were (you/name) unable to work because (your/his/her) EMPLOYER CLOSED OR LOST BUSINESS due to the Coronavirus pandemic?
3. Did (you/name) receive any pay from (your/his/her) EMPLOYER for the hours (you/he/she) DID NOT work in last 4 weeks?
4. Did the Coronavirus pandemic prevent (you/name) from looking for work in the LAST 4 WEEKS?
5. At any time in the last 4 weeks, did you or anyone in your household need medical care for something other than Coronavirus, but not get it because of the Coronavirus pandemic? Please include all adults and children in the household.
5a. Who was that? (Asked if “yes” is the response to question 5)
The COVID-19 questions will be included after the basic CPS questions for the months of May through October 2020. There will be no special or separate sample of respondents that will receive the questions.
These questions will allow policy makers to evaluate how the impacts of COVID-19 on the job market are changing over time. In addition, these data will be tied to the key measures produced by the CPS, including the national unemployment rate and the labor force participation rate. These are among the first labor market indicators to appear each month, so having these questions on COVID-19 included in the CPS will provide a timely picture into the impact of the illness. Economic data will be used to inform policy decisions related to Americans affected by the pandemic.
BLS staff in the CPS program have discussed how to measure the impact of COVID-19 using the CPS with staff from the Census Bureau and National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS).
BLS commits to publishing a 60-day Federal Register Notice (FRN) within 30 days of OMB approval seeking comments on the additional questions. That 60-day FRN would also announce a potential revision to the CPS Basic Labor Force clearance if a period of collection beyond 180 days is deemed necessary.
The BLS submission to OMB is available at https://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAViewICR?ref_nbr=202004-1220-008
Click IC List for survey questions. Click View Supporting Statement and Other Documents for description of purpose, development process, and methods.