Parent Category: HireCentrix News
Changes to data collected on unemployment duration
Effective with data for January 2011, the Current Population Survey (CPS) will be modified to allow respondents to report longer durations of unemployment. Presently, the CPS accepts unemployment durations of up to 2 years;
any response of unemployment duration greater than this is entered as 2 years. Starting with data for January 2011, respondents will be able to report unemployment durations of up to 5 years. This change will likely affect estimates of average (mean) duration of unemployment. The change will not affect the estimate of the number of unemployed persons and will not affect other data series on the duration of unemployment.
There has been an unprecedented rise in the number of persons with very long durations of unemployment during the recent labor market downturn. Nearly 10 percent of unemployed persons had been looking for work for about 2 years or more in the third quarter of 2010. Because of this increase, BLS and the Census Bureau are updating the CPS instrument to accept reported unemployment durations of up to 5 years. This upper bound was selected to allow reporting of considerably longer durations while limiting the effect of erroneous extreme values (outliers).
The new upper bound of 5 years for reported unemployment duration is being phased in over the first 4 months of 2011, as the duration question is only asked of a portion of those unemployed in any given month. (The question is asked of unemployed persons who were not interviewed in the prior month and the newly unemployed. Duration is updated automatically for unemployed respondents who remain unemployed the following month.) By April 2011, all households will have been able to report the new duration upper limit.
Impacts on published estimates
Because of the existing upper limit, BLS cannot determine how many individuals currently have unemployment durations of longer than 2 years. However, given the historically large number of persons classified as unemployed for very long periods, it seems likely that at least some of these individuals may have been unemployed for significantly longer periods than 2 years.
This suggests that current BLS measures of average (mean) duration of unemployment may understate the "true" average duration by some amount, and that increasing the upper limit for reported duration may result in a higher average (mean) duration of unemployment. Only the average (mean) duration of unemployment will be affected in any substantive way by this change in data collection. The median duration of unemployment will not be affected by this change, nor will distributions of unemployment by weeks unemployed.
BLS will incorporate the new data into the existing official, published data on unemployment duration beginning with data for January 2011. Consequently, there will be a break in series for average (mean) duration of unemployment effective in January 2011, though the full effects of the break in series will not be evident until April 2011, when the entire CPS sample has been able to report the new upper limit of 5 years. BLS also will tabulate, for research purposes, average duration of unemployment data that replicate the current 2-year upper limits. This will allow BLS to gauge the effects of the new upper limit on the average duration of unemployment. These tabulations will be produced through June 2011 and posted on this website.
Public use microdata
Currently, the CPS public use microdata files (produced by the Census Bureau) contain variables on duration that are restricted by the upper bound of 2 years. After the completion of data collection for April 2011—at which point the 5-year upper bound will be fully phased in—the Census Bureau will produce additional variables for the public use files that reflect the 5-year upper bound. (The existing 2-year upper bound variables will continue to be available on the public use microdata files.) The Census Bureau also will evaluate whether the higher upper bound creates any respondent confidentiality issues. CPS public use microdata files containing variables with the new duration upper bound will not be available until after the completion of this confidentiality review. As a result, the release of the public use files for April 2011 and subsequent months may be delayed. Public use files prior to April 2011 will not be revised to include the new variables.
Last Modified Date: November 05, 2010
Hiring Our Heroes Employment Fairs - Ongoing - | NationwideTuesday, 19 February 2013 00:00
Global Energy Career Expo Aberdeen 2013 | Aberdeen, United KindgomWednesday, 12 June 2013 10:00
Add Your Event for Free | OnlineThursday, 13 December 2012 00:00
Gateway Analytics Network : Business Planning & Analysis 2013 | InterContinental Buckhead Atlanta, 3315 Peachtree Road NE, Atlanta, GA 30326Thursday, 23 May 2013 08:00
Did you know...
The 77 million people that make up the US small business workforce would rank as the 17th most populous country in the world, just ahead of Iran;
Recruiting / HR Jobs
We have 758 guests and no members online
* The Lounge Podcast *
Read More Articles
- BurnishYour Brand by Sculpting with Social
- 5 Wage and Hour Mistakes Most Employers Make
- H.R, Employers, Recruiters - are you familiar with the O*Net Resource Center?
- Storyboard Your Recruiting Script
- Which comes first? The candidate or the client, the Chicken or the Egg?
- I’m an HR hater today
- I am a Victim !!!!