ATUS Database Extraction Tools and Tips
This page provides guidance for extracting time-use data series from the American Time Use Survey (ATUS) through LABSTAT, the Bureau of Labor Statistics public database. Each of the available extraction tools for ATUS is described and instructions are provided.
The ATUS database webpage provides access to all the extraction tools, and can be found on the left-side navigation bar, under Browse ATUS.
The ATUS database contains mainly annual and some quarterly data series. The series correspond to the estimates presented in the annual ATUS News Release and the A-1 and A-2 tables. None of the ATUS estimates or data series are seasonally adjusted. To generate your own estimates using the ATUS microdata files, please visit the How to use ATUS microdata files page.
Table of Contents
Data Extraction Tools
This option provides a set of frequently requested ATUS statistics.
The number of years, table format, and output type can be changed by selecting More Formatting Options, in the upper right side of the displayed output.
This option provides historical time series corresponding to estimates appearing on the annual ATUS news release and A-1 and A-2 tables. It is a convenient way to extract historical data for those who may already be familiar with or interested in these estimates.
If you already know the series ID for the data you want, this option allows you to extract those series directly. Multiple series can be entered and retrieved at one time by using the series report tool.
Use this option to download text files from the database. This option is useful if large amounts of data are needed. The Flat files directory contains all the estimates and series IDs for all periods available through LABSTAT. Information about the files in this directory is in the tu.txt file in the same directory.
Additional information about ATUS data series available from LABSTAT
Most data series available from the database are easily found by using the Historical Tables tool or the Top Picks tool. Some additional data series are available from the Flat files directory or by using the Series Report tool. Without knowing what to look for, finding data series of interest can be time-consuming. ATUS staff are available to answer questions and help users find data series that are available, but may be difficult to find. Contact information is available at Contact ATUS.
All estimates available as time series use the ATUS 2006 statistical weighting method to ensure comparability over time. Some series available from LABSTAT may contain data that differ slightly from previously published estimates in the news releases, which were published using different weighting methods. (For more information about the ATUS statistical weights, see Chapter 7 of the ATUS User's Guide.) Cell suppression methods vary over time. All data series associated with the A-1 and A-2 tables use the ATUS 2010 cell suppression method for all years. Data series appearing on news release tables use different cell suppression methods, depending on when they were produced.
Standard errors are provided for ATUS estimates from LABSTAT. Care should be taken when evaluating potential trends or cycles across time periods, as seeming differences may not be statistically significant. Standard errors provide a measure of accuracy of an estimate.
Last Modified Date: October 18, 2016