Status:Closed    Asked:Mar 21, 2017 - 02:34 PM

Employment Status Codes (EMPSTAT) Code Question

If I'm not mistaken EMPSTAT is the IPUMS CPS variable corresponding to Census/BLS CPS PEMLR -- Census/BLS calls it the monthly labor force recode.

The actual codes for the two are very similar except unemployed.

IPUMS' EMPSTAT breaks unemployed down to Unemployed, experienced worker (21) and Unemployed, new worker (22).

Census/BLS's PEML breaks unemployed down to Unemployed, on layoff (3) and Unemployed, looking (4).

Is the IPUMS classification for unemployed in EMPSTAT correct? Is experienced worker the same as layoff and new worker the same as looking? Or does IPUMS break down unemployed between those who have had jobs in the past and those entering the labor force for the first time?


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Staff Answer


Jeff Bloem


In IPUMS CPS, EMPSTAT isn't quite the same as the BLS variable PEMLR. IPUMS CPS actually breaks down many of the codes available in PEMLR. LABFORCE is a binary variable indicating if the respondent is in the labor force. ABSENT identifies whether persons who did not work during the previous week had a job or business from which they were temporarily absent and, if so, whether they were absent due to a layoff or for some other reason. LOOKING is a binary variable indicates whether persons who did not work during the previous week had actively sought a job within the past four weeks.

I hope this helps.


Mar 22, 2017 - 09:14 AM

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