The Current Population Survey is a vital source of information about employment and earnings, employment characteristics, job search activities, as well as students ages 15 and up, family composition, disability, insurance coverage, and citizenship. The survey collects demographic information from respondents, including race, sex, and other personal data. The survey does not currently collect data about respondents’ sexual orientation or gender identity.
Adding questions about sexual orientation and gender identity to the Current Population Survey would enhance the quality and utility of the information collected. These measures would provide important and unique information about the employment characteristics and economic well-being of LGBT people.
The comment explains that the Current Population Survey collects information about same-sex married and cohabitating couples but not about respondents’ sexual orientation or gender identity. As a result, the data cannot be used to examine the employment and economic characteristics of the 9 million LGBT people who are not part of a same-sex couple. Including measures to identify LGBT people in the survey is particularly important in light of existing research showing that LGBT people are more likely to experience poverty, unemployment, and economic vulnerability compared to non-LGBT people.