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April 16 -- The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) invites the public to comment to OMB by May 17, 2021 on the proposed Veterans Supplement to the Current Population Survey (CPS) for 2021-2023. This annual August supplement is co-sponsored by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and by the U.S. Department of Labor's Veterans Employment and Training Service (VETS). It is expected that approximately 7,100 eligible veterans will participate in the survey.
 
The CPS has been the principal source of official Government statistics on employment and unemployment since 1940 (75 years). The Veterans Supplement provides information on the labor force status of veterans with a service-connected disability, combat veterans, past or present National Guard and Reserve members, and recently discharged veterans. Also, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Vietnam veterans are identified by location of service. Data are provided by period of service and a range of demographic characteristics. The supplement also provides information on veterans' participation in various transition and employment and training programs.

In order to make the information for the supplement more relevant, twenty-four questions are proposed for addition starting with the 2021 Veterans Supplement. New questions include items about veterans' transition from Active Duty to civilian employment, details about working with service-connected disabilities, awareness of VA benefits, and work duties while in the Armed forces. In addition, many questions were revised; most of these changes were made to streamline or clarify language or to update questions to use more current terms. Finally, ten questions are proposed for elimination; these little-used questions include detailed questions about veterans' experiences with Transition Assistance Program workshops, strategies for obtaining employment (networking, etc.), and whether veterans receive a monthly check from the VA for a service-connected disability. The revised questionnaire underwent cognitive testing and expert review.  
 
CPS Veterans Supplement, Census Bureau: https://www.census.gov/data/datasets/2019/demo/cps/cps-veterans.html  
BLS Employment Situation of Veterans 2020: https://www.bls.gov/news.release/vet.nr0.htm
CPS Veterans Supplement submission to OMB: https://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAViewICR?ref_nbr=202101-1220-004 Click on IC List for survey instrument, View Supporting Statement for technical documentation  
FR notice inviting public comment: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2021/04/16/2021-07812/agency-information-collection-activities-submission-for-omb-review-comment-request-veterans
 
Point of contact: Dorinda Allard, Office of Employment and Unemployment Statistics, BLS  (202) 691-6470 Allard.Dorinda@bls.gov
 
For AEA members wishing to submit comments to OMB, "A Primer on How to Respond to Calls for Comment on Federal Data Collections" is available at https://www.aeaweb.org/content/file?id=5806

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