Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The U.S. Census Current Population Survey and Disability Numbers

Census enumerator
The US unemployment rate is something that everyone hears lately. The data, taken from the U.S. Census' monthly Current Population Survey and released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, is a sobering reminder of how many people are out of work. Beyond just the unemployment numbers, the CPS also surveys the hours of work done, earnings, employee benefits, health, and other supplemental questions. Reading Disability Blog, I was surprised to find that several of these supplemental questions focus on disability, providing the public with valuable data on the number of people who have disabilities in the U.S.

There is one question related to people who are hard of hearing: "Is {person} deaf or does {person} have serious difficulty hearing?" This question, along with six others that cover a spectrum of other disabilities, has been present in the Current Population Survey since June of 2008. Two years is not very long, but currently the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Department of Labor are working on processing the data gathered into something meaningful for employers and citizens.

A sobering note from the blog post: "Only 34.5 percent of individuals with disabilities ages 16 to 64 are participating in the labor force compared to 77.3 percent of persons with no disability!"


  1. Another great article. I like that you are very honest and direct to the point.

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  2. Nice work, really convenient way of conducting the census. Keep it up.


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