Business: How Unemployment Is Figured

During the third week in February, a pencil-wielding army of some 1,000 pollsters from the Bureau of the Census descended upon 50,000 households across the U.S. Their mission: to find out how many Americans were workIng and not working from Feb. 9 to Feb. 15. Information from the poll, called the Current Population Survey, was sent to Washington, fed into Census Bureau computers in Suitland, Md., and then turned over to the Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics. The end result of this complex process was last week's announcement by the BLS that...

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