Status:Closed    Asked:Mar 22, 2018 - 01:00 PM

Labor force flows at the MSA level

I am looking to document labor force flows at the MSA level, using CPS data. In particular, I would like to examine how flows from "not in labor force" to "employed" have changed over time. I extracted LABFORCE to obtain flow data and METAREA to obtain associated MSA-level information. My questions are as follows:

(1) I do not see "employed" as an option within LABFORCE; I only see "Yes, in the labor force." Can I find "employed" elsewhere?

(2) My understanding is the METAREA identifiers track household geography. To track labor force flows, then, can I simply track an identifier's status from year to year? Again, my end goal is to find MSA-level data on individuals (or households) moving from "not in labor force" to "employed."

Thank you.

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Staff Answer


Jeff Bloem


I'll address each question one at a time.

(1) Categories indicating "employment" can be found in the EMPSTAT variable.

(2) You are correct that METAREA identifies the metropolitan area where the household resides. However, if I understand your objective correctly, I think what you will want to do is make use of the longitudinal capabilities of the CPS at the monthly level. The CPS follows a sampling pattern of including a household for 4 months, excluding them for 8, and then including them again for 4 more months. This allows for analysis of labor market flows from employed to unemployed for the same households over time. A helpful document with additional details for performing this task can be found in this paper.


Mar 23, 2018 - 07:55 AM

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Labor Force Participation for Last Year
Labor force for 39 weeks or more.
Labor Force by State and Year
Labor Force Participation by Age for the year 2014 looks very different
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