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Census Bureau updating information on nation’s veterans

The nation had 24.3 million veterans as of 2001, of whom 1.6 million were women and 2.2 million had a service-connected disability. Have these numbers increased, decreased or stayed the same since then? The Census Bureau’s monthly Current Population Survey (CPS), which began in 1942 and is the largest and longest-running household survey in the country, will yield an answer to these and other questions about the nation’s military veterans. “The survey collects information on veterans status by a variety of characteristics, such as age, sex, race, Hispanic origin, period of service, labor force status and disability status,” said James Holmes, director of the Census Bureau’s Atlanta regional office. The Census Bureau collects these data in the CPS every other August. The statistics are used to analyze the characteristics of disabled veterans, measure the effectiveness of current veterans’ benefits programs and help plan future programs and facilities for veterans. Census Bureau field representatives also ask about the characteristics of the country’s labor force. Data are collected on employment, unemployment, hours of work, earnings, age, sex, race, marital status, educational attainment, occupation and industry. From these data comes the monthly unemployment rate, which the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) is scheduled to release on Sept. 5, 2003.
The field representatives carry official identification cards. Sponsored by the BLS and the Census Bureau, the CPS will be conducted this year by the Census Bureau during the week of Aug. 17, 2003. At that time, nearly 2,000 Census Bureau field representatives will conduct interviews of about 78,000 households nationwide.