The United States Census Bureau is part of the U.S. Department of Commerce, whose function is to promote and cultivate economic activity and growth in the U.S. The census collects essential information about the U.S. economy through a series of surveys so that it can interpret data and provide the public with a summary of recent trends in the economy.
This is also useful to economists and organizations which need the information to analyze trends and inform clients and regular citizens of the state of the economy.
The Census Bureau tallies statistics like the total population, the labor participation rate (the percent of the population participating in the labor force), the percent of the population employed and the number of net new jobs added or lost in a given month.
More broadly, the census bureau also provides data on employment trends in varying demographics and geographies. It provides information on the housing market as well as income and poverty, which are two key issues for the health of the economy and the political election cycle. Changes to policy on these dynamics can influence the growth of the economy, which would eventually be reflected implicitly in corporate earnings.
Of course, the Census Bureau is best known for its Decennial Census. That’s the survey that counts every person living in the United States and five U.S. territories. Its results help determine how billions of dollars in federal funding is recommended to flow into states and communities for the next decade. We’ll be diving into the 2020 Census in a future explainer.
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Most of the information collected by the Census Bureau is done through surveys, some of which are online and some of which are door-to-door, with census employees knocking on the doors of residences for basic information.
So the next time someone from the Census Bureau knocks on your door, try to answer. The census needs your information and so does the market.
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