Status:Closed    Asked:Apr 17, 2017 - 04:15 AM

How many counties are represented in the restricted use CPS data?

This question is meant to clarify an answer you gave to a previous question (see attached below).

I am interested in how many counties would be represented in the restricted-use CPS data, and if much of the data for these counties, even if present in the restricted-use data, would be unusable because the sample size is too small.

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Staff Answer


Jeff Bloem


I'm not certain how many counties are included in each of the monthly CPS samples, but I suspect that not all counties make it into each sample and in some counties the samples size is likely quite small. This suspicion is supported by the details of the CPS sample design. Namely, that the CPS samples are multi-stage stratified samples. The first stage of sampling involves dividing each U.S. state into "primary sampling units" (PSUs), most of which comprise a metropolitan area, a large county, or a group of smaller adjacent counties. The CPS consists of independent samples in each state and the District of Columbia. Within each state, the PSUs are grouped into homogenous strata with respect to labor force and other social and economic characteristics that are highly correlated with unemployment. One PSU is sampled per stratum, where the probability of selection for each PSU in the stratum is proportional to its population. In the second stage of sampling, a systematic sample of housing units is drawn from within each chosen PSU.


Apr 17, 2017 - 09:31 AM

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