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Feb 26 -- The Bureau of Labor Statistics, Department of Labor, invites public comments to OMB by March 27, 2024 regarding the proposed revised Current Population Survey (CPS) Disability Supplement.

The CPS Disability Supplement will provide information on labor force participation rates for people with disabilities; the use of and satisfaction with programs that prepare people with disabilities for employment; the work history, barriers to employment, and workplace accommodations reported by persons with a disability; and the effect of financial assistance programs on the likelihood of working. Because the Disability Supplement is part of the CPS, the same detailed demographic information collected in the CPS will be available about respondents to the supplement.

The purpose of this request for review is for the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to obtain clearance for the Disability Supplement to the Current Population Survey (CPS), scheduled to be conducted in July 2024.  This supplement was last conducted with the July 2021 CPS. As part of the CPS, the supplement will survey individuals ages 16 to 75 from a nationally representative sample of approximately 60,000 eligible U.S. households.  The supplement will be sponsored by the Department of Labor's Chief Evaluation Office (CEO).

The results of this supplement will increase our understanding of the labor market challenges facing persons with a disability.  The data are necessary for the Department of Labor and others in planning, funding, and evaluating policies and programs designed to help those with a disability.

Since the supplement was last collected in 2021, work patterns have changed, policies have changed, and assistive technologies have advanced. The revised questions will provide valuable and updated information on the labor force situation of people with disabilities. The sponsor would like to identify individuals with health conditions or difficulties that limit their ability to work, to complement data collected by the six disability questions currently included in the basic CPS, which ask a series of yes or no questions about whether a person:
-- Is deaf or has serious difficulty hearing
-- Is blind or has serious difficulty seeing (even with the assistance of corrective lenses)
-- Has serious difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions
-- Has serious difficulty walking or climbing stairs
-- Has difficulty dressing or bathing
-- Has difficulty doing errands alone

A number of questions are thus being added to the 2024 Supplement to identify individuals with a work-limiting health condition or difficulty and to classify or identify these conditions. Questions also will be asked to determine if work-limiting conditions or disabilities are temporary. The supplement will continue to include questions about barriers to employment and workplace accommodations. Questions about participation in specific assistance programs, the receipt of financial assistance, working from home, and others will be dropped to accommodate the new focus.

This supplement will gather information on the labor force status of people with disabilities and work-limiting health conditions or difficulties. Information will be collected to broadly categorize their disability or work-limiting health condition or difficulty and to specifically determine if the conditions are related to autism or long-term COVID-19 symptoms. Information about accommodations in the workplace and challenges that make it difficult to do one’s job will be collected from employed people with disabilities or work-limiting health conditions and, for comparison, this information also will be collected from people without these conditions or difficulties. The survey also will gather data on barriers to employment faced by those who are not employed. Since the supplement was last collected in 2021, work patterns have changed due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Having updated information will be valuable in determining how employment barriers have changed for people with disabilities. The modified questionnaire will allow some comparisons to historic data, but also provide new insight on the work-related challenges faced by people who have work-limiting health conditions or difficulties.

Data gathered in this supplement will help measure the effectiveness of disability employment policies and assist policy makers in developing future policies that further the goals of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990.

2021 CPS Disability Supplement data release (March 2022): https://www.bls.gov/news.release/dissup.htm
Census CPS Disability Supplement: https://www.census.gov/data/datasets/time-series/demo/cps/cps-supp_cps-repwgt/cps-disability.html
BLS submission to OMB: https://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAViewICR?ref_nbr=202311-1220-001 Click IC List for information collection instrument, View Supporting Statement for technical documentation. Submit comments through this webpage.
FRN: https://www.federalregister.gov/d/2024-03760

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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