Dataset Attributes

Collected by the Bureau of the Census on behalf of the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Access information
Raw microdata files for the monthly CPS can be found in several locations:


The CPS is designed to capture a monthly snapshot of the labor market. Primarily, the data are used to generate the Bureau of Labor Statistic’s monthly Employment Situation report, which yields information about labor market statistics such as full time and part time work, labor force participation, and the unemployment rate.

These data are often used by researchers to assess labor market conditions, study subsets of the population, and track workers over time.

Collection mechanism
The CPS is an address based survey and data for the monthly CPS are collected via phone or in person interviews to members living in the household at the time of the survey.

Terms and conditions
The CPS monthly microdata files are free for the public to use and cite appropriately. However, CPS data obtained from IPUMS must be cited and attributed to IPUMS. The data on the IPUMS website have been modified from the original raw format.


CADRE hosts both technical and core concept documentation on this website. The Bureau of Labor Statistics and Census Bureau host standard documentation for the CPS. Technical documentation and frequently asked questions are also available.

Coming Soon

  • A larger collection of documentation, frequently asked questions, and tips and tricks for using CPS data; and
  • A searchable database of research papers that use CPS data as an input dataset.

For more information, or to be notified when changes are made to this exhibit, please contact