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IND is a 4-digit numeric variable.
(Codes for 1962-1967 are 2 digits; each is preceded by two zeroes in the first positions.)
(Codes for 1968-2002 are 3 digits; each is preceded by a zero in the first position.)



IND reports the type of industry in which the person performed his or her primary occupation, which is recorded in the variables OCC (Occupation) and, after 1968, OCC1950 (Occupation, 1950 basis). "Industry" refers to the work setting and economic sector, while "occupation" relates to the worker's specific technical function.

For persons who were employed at the time of the survey, IND relates to the industrial sector in which the respondent worked during the preceding week. For unemployed persons and those not currently in the labor force, IND characterizes the industrial sector of the respondent's most recent job. The CPS interviewer collected information by asking what kind of work the person was doing, and Census Bureau staff coded the information into the CPS or census industrial classification. Researchers who wish to work with a consistent industrial coding scheme for 1968 forward should use the IND1950 variable. For general discussion of employment concepts, including the definition of those not in the labor force, see the documentation on EMPSTAT.


In addition to the universe changes mentioned above, the industrial coding scheme for the CPS changed over time. For 1962-1967, an industrial classification scheme with fewer than 50 codes was used. In 1968-1970, industry was coded using the 1960 census classification scheme; in 1971-1982, using the 1970 census classification scheme; in 1983-1991, using the 1980 census classification scheme; in 1992-2002, using the 1990 census classification scheme; and in 2003 forward, using the 2000 census classification scheme. IND provides the codes given in the original CPS data; IND1950, which recodes industry into a common format using the 1950 census classification scheme, provides comparability over time beginning in 1968.

Comparability with IPUMS-USA

Beginning in 1980, the census used age 16 as the lowest age cut-off for employment questions, while the CPS used a cut-off of age 15 beginning in 1980. 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 and ACS data on IND. While the CPS for 2003 forward uses almost the same industrial classification scheme as the 2000 census, the survey incorporates a few codes not included in the census. The CPS industry codes for 2003 and later years use four digits, rather than the three-digit scheme of census 2000. The final digit has a nonzero value for only a small number of codes not included in the census 2000 industry classification: wholesale electronic markets, agents, and brokers (4585); electronic auctions (5591); internet publishing and broadcasting (6675); and internet service providers (6692).


  • 1962-1967 (ASEC): Civilians age 14+ (pre-1968 samples do not include persons under age 14).
  • 1968-1988: Civilians age 14+ who: were currently employed; or had previously worked and were looking for work; or were not currently in the labor force but had worked in the preceding 5 years.
  • 1989+: Civilians age 15+ who: were currently employed; or had previously worked and were looking for work; or were not currently in the labor force but had worked in the preceding 5 years.


Years Jan Feb ASEC Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
1962 – 1975 - - X - - - - - - - - - -
1976 – 2019 X X X X X X X X X X X X X
2020 X X - X X X - - - - - - -



Unharmonized Variables