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This variable is not available for any of the currently selected samples.


LOOKING indicates whether persons who did not work during the previous week had actively sought a job within the past four weeks.


Apart from the change in the universe of the variable, LOOKING is consistent over time.

Comparability with IPUMS-USA

The 1980 and 1990 census forms noted that "looking for work" included trying to start a business or professional practice. This was not specified by the CPS interview form. The lower age limit for LOOKING 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 a threshold of age 14. The LOOKING variable in the CPS applied to persons 14 and older prior to 1988 and 15 and older thereafter. 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 not included in the census data on LOOKING.


  • 1962: Civilians age 14+ not at work during the previous week (pre-1968 samples do not include persons under age 14).
  • 1968-1979: Civilians age 14+ not at work during the previous week.
  • 1980-1993: Civilians age 15+ not at work during the previous week.


Years Jan Feb ASEC Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
1962 - - X - - - - - - - - -
1968 – 1993 - - X - - - - - - - - -



Unharmonized Variables