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Flag to indicate whether originally reported wage was below the federal minimum

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SUBMINWAGE is a flag that indicates whether a respondent reported an hourly wage that was below the federal minimum. Beginning in April 2023, hourly earnings were rounded as a privacy protection measure. HOURWAGE2 reports how much the respondent earned per hour in the current job after rounding, for those workers paid an hourly wage (and coded as "2" in PAIDHOUR).

With the introduction of rounding for earnings in April of 2023, HOURWAGE2 can no longer be used to identify individuals with hourly earnings below the federal minimum wage; SUBMINWAGE can be used to identify these earners. SUBMINWAGE is available in months for which only rounded hourly wage data is available to indicate which respondents reported sub-minimum wage rates of pay. Note that from April 2023 to April of 2024 only CPS respondents in their fourth interview (MISH = 4) have their hourly earnings rounded, and thus may have non-zero values for SUBMINWAGE. For further information about the changes to earnings data beginning in April 2023 and rounding examples, see the Census Bureau's user note.

SUBMINWAGE is one of the Outgoing Rotation/Earner Study questions.


This variable has no comparability issues.


  • All persons.


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


This variable has no flags.

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