Daily Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices of the Federal Government


Census Bureau

Current Population Survey (CPS)--Annual Social and Economic Supplement (ASEC) for February, March, and April 2004

ACTION: Proposed collection; comment request.
SUMMARY: The Department of Commerce, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, invites the general public and other federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on proposed or continuing information collections, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13 (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)).
DATES: Written comments must be submitted on or before August 25, 2003.
ADDRESSES: Direct all written comments to Diana Hynek, Departmental Paperwork Clearance Officer, Department of Commerce, Room 6625, 14th and Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20230 (or via the Internet
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Requests for additional information or copies of the information collection instrument(s) and instructions should be directed to Michelle Schwab-Wiland, Census Bureau, FOB 3, Room 3340, Washington, DC 20233-8400, at (301) 763-3806.

I. Abstract

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.

II. Method of Collection

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.

III. Data

OMB Number:0607-0354.

Form Number:None. We conduct all interviewing on computers.

Type of Review:Regular.

Affected Public:Individuals or households.

Estimated Number of Respondents:78,000.

Estimated Time Per Response:25 minutes.

Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours:32,500.

Estimated Total Annual Cost:There are no costs to the respondents other than their time to answer the CPS questions.

Respondent's Obligation:Voluntary.

Legal Authority:Title 13, United States Code, Section 182; and Title 29, United States Code, Sections 1-9.

IV. Request for Comments

Comments are invited on:(a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden (including hours and cost) of the proposed collection of information; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

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.

Dated: June 20, 2003. Madeleine Clayton, Management Analyst, Office of the Chief Information Officer.