The National Academies' Committee on National Statistics (CNSTAT) has published "Measuring Alternative Work Arrangements for Research and Policy" -- a study commissioned by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to make recommendations regarding the design of the Contingent Work Supplement (CWS) of the Current Population Survey (CPS). The report was prepared by an expert panel -- the Committee on Contingent Work and Alternative Work Arrangements, chaired by Susan Houseman, Upjohn Institute. The report, and a list of committee members, are available at https://www.nationalacademies.org/our-work/contingent-work-and-alternate-work-arrangements
The report says BLS should test new survey questions to be added to the CWS, including:
For those who did not report any work in the basic monthly CPS, the CWS should ask questions that probe into occasional work to supplement household income over a longer reference period.
For respondents reporting only one job, the CWS should ask about additional work activity, including if respondents did anything for pay beyond their main job over a longer reference period.
For respondents with more than one job, the CWS should ask about information on selected characteristics of the secondary jobs including whether the job is a self-employment or independent contractor arrangement, its hours and earnings, variability in hours, and the main reason for holding the second job.
For respondents who are employees of an organization, the CWS should expand questions about how work schedules are determined to identify unpredictable hours and earnings.
The report recommends that the CWS continue to ask questions about independent contractors and platform or app work. However, the questions should use a broad definition of independent contractors to better capture a variety of work arrangements, including informal jobs, in which the individual is not an employee.
Context -- In their respective FY2021 reports, the House Appropriations Committee and the Senate Appropriations Committee each support the conduct of the CWS every two years. If the budget passes without amendment, that will be the plan.