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June 24 -- The Census Bureau, Commerce Department, invites public comments to OMB by July 23, 2021 on proposed revisions to the Household Pulse Survey (Phase 3.2).

The Household Pulse Survey was designed to meet a need for timely information associated with household experiences during the Covid-19 pandemic. The Department is committed to ensuring that the data collected by the Household Pulse Survey continue to meet information needs as they may evolve over the course of the pandemic. This notice serves to inform of the Department's intent to submit an emergency clearance request to OMB to make some revisions to the Household Pulse Survey questionnaire.

To ensure public burden is not increased, the revisions would reflect the removal of questions for which utility has declined over time, and the addition of topics based on public comment previously received and in consult with other Federal agencies. Removals include questions on Unemployment Insurance applications; Social Security Administration program receipt and application; Reasons for changed spending; Ride sharing/transit use; trips over 100 miles; Spending on groceries and prepared foods; Delayed and Forgone medical care; Child care; and K-12 computer use and internet access. Additionally, post-secondary education items will be held until closer to the fall terms. New questions focus on the Child Tax Credit; sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI); rent/mortgage arrears; utility arrears and restrictions; summer catchup education activities for K-12; preventive health care for children; and application for Medicaid or exchange coverage.

It is the Department's intention to commence data collection using the revised instrument on or about July 21, 2021. The Department invites the general public and other Federal agencies to comment on proposed, and continuing information collections, which helps us assess the impact of our information collection requirements and minimize the public's reporting burden.

The universe for the Household Pulse Survey is the approximately 140,000,000 housing units in the United States. For operational efficiency, only housing units linked to one or more email addresses or cell phone numbers will be eligible for the sample.  One respondent from each housing unit is selected to respond for him or herself.  The sample for each data collection cycle is approximately 1,040,000 housing units.

In Phase 1, the Census Bureau observed response rates in the range 6-7 percent for households who were invited to participate for the first time and asked to respond in a one-week period.  In Phase 2, we extended the response period to 13 days and sent additional reminders to respondents.  These efforts had the effect of increasing response rates to a range of 8.1 to 10.3 percent.  In Phase 3, we continued with the 13-day response period and observed a response rate of between 5.3 and 7.4 percent.  In Phase 3.1, we are currently observing a response rate of between 6.5 and 7.5 percent. Based on this experience, we are assuming a 7.5 percent response rate for Phase 3.2 and expect to receive 78,000 responses each data collection cycle.  Sample from each data collection cycle will be independent from the prior cycles.

Household Pulse Survey data tables: https://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/household-pulse-survey/data.html
Submission to OMB: https://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAViewICR?ref_nbr=202106-0607-003 Click on IC List for form, View Supporting Statement for technical documentation
FR notice inviting public comments to OMB: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2021/06/24/2021-13454/agency-information-collection-activities-submission-to-the-office-of-management-and-budget-omb-for

Point of contact: Jennifer Hunter Childs, Center for Behavioral Science Methods, Associate Director Research and Methodology         jennifer.hunter.childs@census.gov

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