Daily Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices of the Federal Government
The Census Bureau will conduct the Annual Social and Economic Supplement (ASEC), formally known as the Annual Demographic Survey, in conjunction with the February, March, and April 2004 CPS. The Census Bureau has conducted this supplement annually for over 50 years. The Census Bureau, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and the Department of Health and Human Services sponsor this supplement.
In the ASEC, we collect information on work experience, personal income, noncash benefits, health insurance coverage, and migration. The work experience items in the ASEC provide a unique measure of the dynamic nature of the labor force as viewed over a one-year period. These items produce statistics that show movements in and out of the labor force by measuring the number of periods of unemployment experienced by people, the number of different employers worked for during the year, the principal reasons for unemployment, and part-/full-time attachment to the labor force. We can make indirect measurements of discouraged workers and others with a casual attachment to the labor market.
The income data from the ASEC are used by social planners, economists, government officials, and market researchers to gauge the economic well-being of the country as a whole and selected population groups of interest. Government planners and researchers use these data to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of various assistance programs. Market researchers use these data to identify and isolate potential customers. Social planners use these data to forecast economic conditions and to identify special groups that seem to be especially sensitive to economic fluctuations. Economists use ASEC data to determine the effects of various economic forces, such as inflation, recession, recovery, and so on, and their differential effects on various population groups.
A prime statistic of interest is the classification of people in poverty and how this measurement has changed over time for various groups. Researchers evaluate ASEC income data not only to determine poverty levels but also to determine whether government programs are reaching eligible households.
Congressional passage of the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), or Title XXI, led to a mandate from Congress, in 1999, that the sample size for the CPS, and specifically the ASEC, be increased to a level whereby more reliable estimates can be derived for the number of individuals participating in this program at the state level. By administering the ASEC in February, March, and April, rather than only in March as in the past, we have been able to achieve this goal. The total number of respondents has not been upwardly affected by this change.
The ASEC is conducted at the same time as the Basic CPS by personal visits and telephone interviews, using computer-assisted personal interviewing and computer-assisted telephone interviewing.
Comments submitted in response to this notice will be summarized or included in the request for OMB approval of this information collection; they also will become a matter of public record.