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Absent from work last week

Codes and Frequencies

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ABSENT indicates 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.


Apart from the change in the universe of this variable, ABSENT is comparable over time.

Comparability with IPUMS-USA

The lower age limit for ABSENT differs for IPUMS-USA and IPUMS-CPS. The 1980, 1990, and 2000 censuses collected employment information on persons 16 and older, while earlier enumerations used an age limit of 14 and older. For the ABSENT variable, the CPS used an age limit of 15 beginning in 1988, and age 14 in earlier years. Because the CPS is designed to measure the labor force experience of civilians, members of the Armed Forces were not asked this question in the survey. Persons in the military are included in the census data on ABSENT.


  • 1962-1988: Civilians age 14+, not at work during the previous week.
  • 1989+: Civilians age 15+, not at work during the previous week.


Years Jan Feb ASEC Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
1962 – 1975 - - X - - - - - - - - - -
1976 – 2023 X X X X X X X X X X X X X
2024 X X - X X X X - - - - - -


This variable has no flags.