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Feb 15 -- The Census Bureau invites comments to OMB by March 18, 2024 regarding the proposed Phase 4.1 of the Household Pulse Survey under the High-Frequency Surveys Program.

Phase 4.1 includes new questions on inclusion in the arts as well as reinstated Medicaid and Unemployment Insurance items. There are also revisions to response options for the long COVID duration and food benefit receipt questions. It is the Department's intention to commence data collection using the revised instrument on or about April 2, 2024.

The Census Bureau developed the Household Pulse Survey as an experimental endeavor in cooperation with five other federal agencies. The survey was designed to produce near real-time data in a time of urgent and acute need to inform federal and state action.  Starting in March 2020, the coronavirus pandemic has introduced extraordinary social and economic changes for American households. Since its rapid launch in April 2020, the Household Pulse Survey has collected data on the experiences of American households as the coronavirus pandemic prompted business and school closures, and widespread stay-at-home orders, and later as businesses and schools started to reopen. These data were released frequently, guiding the response and recovery from the pandemic. The HPS continues to be a collaborative undertaking and is fielded in partnership with 18 federal agency partners. The High-Frequency Surveys (HFS) Program comprises surveys that provide a platform to produce estimates that support data-driven decisions in a rapid, efficient, and independent manner. More specifically, the purpose of the HFS program is to produce and disseminate data in near real time to support rapidly emerging or changing program or policy needs. The HFS includes statistical products designed to provide information on emerging issues as quickly as possible and was established as a natural progression from the creation of the Household Pulse Survey. The products under this program, including the HPS, typically have smaller sample sizes and response rates than other Census surveys, but are timelier and more flexible.

The launch of revised content described in this package will be considered a new data collection cycle under Phase 4 as approved by OMB (e.g., Phase 4.1, Phase 4.2, Phase 4.3, etc.). Starting with Phase 4.1, each data collection cycle will consist of approximately four data collection periods utilizing continuous data collection. The Census Bureau will continue its engagement with OMB, other agencies, and stakeholders to determine the content for additional collection cycles to remain responsive to evolving data needs. It is anticipated that the Household Pulse Survey content will be reviewed every few months or as the need and relevance of the existing content changes. To facilitate the introduction of new content and a new data collection cycle, the Census Bureau may take a short break in data collection. Such breaks will be communicated via the Census Bureau’s website.

Household Pulse Survey Phase 4.1 will serve as an experimental endeavor in cooperation with other federal agencies to produce near real-time data to understand the effects of current events, including health events, natural disaster events, or other social or economic events facing the nation or a significant portion of the nation. The Household Pulse Survey has been developed in close consult with the following agencies: the Census Bureau (Census); the Office of Management and Budget (OMB); the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Economic Research Service (ERS) and Food and Nutrition Service (FNS); the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS); the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS); the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Maternal and Child Health Bureau (HRSA/MCHB); the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES); the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD); the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS); the Department of Defense (DOD); the National Institute on Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH); the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD); the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA); the White House Council of Economic Advisors (CEA) and Domestic Policy Council (DPC); the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB); the Department of Health and Human Services, Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (HHS/ASPE), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).

Household Pulse Survey: https://www.census.gov/householdpulsedata
Census submission to OMB: https://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAViewICR?ref_nbr=202402-0607-003 Click IC List for data collection instruments, View Supporting Statement for newly added technical documentation. Submit comments through this webpage.
FRN: https://www.federalregister.gov/d/2024-03188

For AEA members wishing to submit comments, "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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