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Economic Definition of reference week. Defined.

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Term reference week Definition: The calendar week (Sunday through Saturday) containing the 12th day of the month, which is used in the Current Population Survey (CPS) as the time period for documenting the employment and labor force status of respondents. The estimation of the unemployment rate and other employment information generated by the CPS are based on activities of survey respondents during this week. The actual survey is conducted by interviewers working for the Bureau of the Census during the calendar week containing the 19th day, which is termed the survey week.


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