Labor Department Undercounts Poor, Uninsured and Non-Employed
August 24, 2006
Contact: John Schmitt, 202-293-5380 x113; 202-986-9230
Dan Beeton, 202-293-5380 x 104; 202-256-6116 (cell)
Washington, D.C.: An analysis of the nation's most important labor-market survey concludes that official estimates of the number of Americans living in poverty and without health insurance may significantly underestimate the true number of poor and uninsured. According to the study, conducted by the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR), the measurement problems with the Current Population Survey (CPS) have been growing, making it difficult to assess changes in economic well being over time.
“The share of Americans covered by the country's most important survey of labor-market conditions has been declining over time,” said John Schmitt, Senior Economist at CEPR and a co-author of this report. “The group that is falling out of the survey is economically marginalized, less likely to have a job, less likely to have health-insurance, and more likely to be poor.”
Among the study's main findings:
The full paper is available here.
The Center for Economic and Policy Research is an independent, nonpartisan think tank that was established to promote democratic debate on the most important economic and social issues that affect people's lives. CEPR's Advisory Board of Economists includes Nobel Laureate economists Robert Solow and Joseph Stiglitz; Richard Freeman, Professor of Economics at Harvard University; and Eileen Appelbaum, Professor and Director of the Center for Women and Work at Rutgers University.