Statistical Surveys:

Census Bureau Has Creditable Employment and Economic Data-Collection Procedures

IMTEC-86-8: Published: Mar 14, 1986. Publicly Released: Apr 14, 1986.

Additional Materials:


Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800

In response to a congressional request, GAO reviewed two Census Bureau statistical surveys: (1) the Current Population Survey (CPS) which reflects monthly employment, unemployment, and general labor-force characteristics; and (2) the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) which provides a continuing measure of individuals' and households' economic conditions, income sources, labor-force activity, and participation in federal benefit programs.

GAO reviewed: (1) questionnaire design; (2) interviewer selection, training, and supervision; and (3) quality control in gathering and reviewing data. GAO visited two Census Bureau regional offices and determined that: (1) each survey's questionnaire design, though reliable for compiling statistical estimates and making needed comparisons, could be redesigned to improve accuracy; (2) interviewer selection is based on reasonable criteria; (3) interviewer training is comprehensive and adequately covers the necessary skills; (4) supervisory and administrative quality controls for the data-collection and review activities are in place and operating to reasonably ensure data integrity; and (5) the regions are doing a creditable job of complying with the data-collection and review procedures. GAO noted two issues that could affect data quality, including: (1) attracting and retaining qualified interviewers; and (2) respondent participation.

Sep 30, 2020

Sep 29, 2020

Sep 25, 2020

Sep 23, 2020

Sep 10, 2020

Sep 8, 2020

Aug 31, 2020

Aug 27, 2020

Looking for more? Browse all our products here