INCLONGJ reports the net amount (prior to deductions) that the respondent earned from the job held for the longest time during the preceding calendar year. Whether such income derived from wages or salary or from self-employment in a business or farm is specified in SRCEARN.
Most income variables included in IPUMS-CPS report the total amount earned from a specific source (e.g., wages and salary) during the preceding calendar year. INCLONGJ, by contrast, does not necessarily include income earned during the entire calendar year. Imagine that an individual worked at one job for eight months, earning $10,000 in wages, and then worked for four months at two different jobs, earning an additional $5000 in wages. Wages from the longest-held job (in this case, $10,000) would be reported in INCLONGJ. Wage and salary income from the two jobs other than the longest-held job (in this case, $5,000) would be reported in OINCWAGE. Total earnings from wages for this person (in this case, $15,000, accrued in three different jobs) would be reported in INCWAGE. If, however, a wage-earner worked at a single job during the preceding calendar year, the amounts reported in INCLONGJ and INCWAGE would be the same.
Amounts are expressed as they were reported to the interviewer; users must adjust for inflation using Consumer Price Index adjustment factors.
Along with the effects of inflation, INCLONGJ may be affected by changes in question wording and reporting practices. For wage and salary earners, for 1988-1994, interviewers asked, "How much did you earn from this employer before deductions?" whereas from 1995 forward, they asked, "How much did you earn from this employer before taxes and other deductions?" For persons whose longest job consisted of self-employment in a business or farm, the wording was consistent, referring to "net earnings after expenses."
Beginning in 1994, individuals could report their earnings in monthly, weekly, or bi-weekly amounts, together with the number of such pay periods, rather than as an annual sum. This change in reporting practices probably increased the precision and accuracy of the income figures for INCLONGJ beginning in 1994, by reducing rounding and estimation.
As noted above, income from wages and salary accrued from other jobs (not the job held for the longest period) during the previous calendar year are reported in OINCWAGE. Other income from self-employment in a business or farm, if such self-employment did not constitute the longest job held by the individual during the preceding calendar year, are reported in OINCBUS and OINCFARM, respectively.
The specific occupation and industry of the job that an individual held for the longest time during the previous calendar year are reported in OCCLY and INDLY, respectively. The same information, recoded into the 1950 Census occupation and industry codes to increase comparability over time, is given in OCC50LY and IND50LY.
- Persons age 15+.
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