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Income from unemployment benefits


999999 = N.I.U. (Not in Universe)

The Census Bureau applies different disclosure avoidance measures across time for individuals with high income in this variable. Detailed explanations of these methods, topcodes, and replacement value and swap value thresholds are available here.


INCUNEMP indicates how much pre-tax income (if any) the respondent received from state or federal unemployment compensation, Supplemental Unemployment Benefits (SUB), or union unemployment or strike benefits during the previous calendar year.

Amounts are expressed as they were reported to the interviewer; users must adjust for inflation using Consumer Price Index adjustment factors.


Apart from the effect of inflation, this variable is largely consistent for 1988 forward. From 1988 to 1994, respondents reported a single figure for the year. Beginning in 1995, respondents could report amounts for smaller time intervals, such as weekly, bi-weekly, twice monthly, or monthly, along with the number of payments.

For 1962-1967, the value of income from unemployment or strike benefits is subsumed in the INCUNERN variable, which encompasses all income from sources other than wages and salaries (INCWAGE), nonfarm businesses (INCBUS), and farms (INCFARM).

For 1968-1987, the value of state and federal unemployment compensation is included in the INCGOV variable, on income from unspecified government programs. Union unemployment or strike benefits is included in the INCALOTH variable, covering income from alimony, child support, and other unspecified sources for the same period.

Comparability with IPUMS-USA

The census forms for 1960-2000 mentioned unemployment compensation but did not separately tally income from this source. Income from unemployment compensation and strike benefits was included in the residual INCOTHER (other income) variable.


  • Persons age 15+.


Years Jan Feb ASEC Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
1988 – 2023 - - X - - - - - - - - -



Unharmonized Variables