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Usual hours worked per week, outgoing rotation groups


UHRSWORK is a 3-digit numeric variable.

998 = Don't Know
999 = NIU (Not In Universe)


UHRSWORKORG reports the total number of hours the respondent who is paid hourly usually works per week at their main job. UHRSWORKORG is one of the earner study/outgoing rotation group questions. Private wage or salaried workers are asked the periodicity for which they are paid. Workers who are paid by the hour, excluding those who are self-employed, are asked the hourly wage, and then are asked how many hours they usually work per week at that rate. Researchers should use the EARNWT weight with this variable.

Researchers should note that PAIDHOUR, which identifies workers paid hourly, is more inclusive than the universe for UHRSWORKORG. This stems from the fact that PAIDHOUR is the combination of two variables that assess hourly work status. The first establishes periodicity of pay, and the second asks if an hourly rate can be given instead if respondents did not report hourly pay. Only those who reported an hourly pay status in the first question are in universe for UHRSWORKORG.

UHRSWORKORG differs from UHRSWORKLY because the period of reference for UHRSWORKLY is the preceding year, whereas UHRSWORKORG refers to the current usual number of hours worked per week. Additionally, UHRSWORKORG differs from UHRSWORK1 in that UHRSWORK1 does not have the qualifier "at this rate" in the question. Note that for basic samples 1982-1988 and ASECs 1982-1987, the outgoing rotation usual hours question wording matches that of UHRSWORK1. Thus this variable is included in UHRSWORK1 for those years, not in UHRSWORKORG. AHRSWORK1 specifically gives the number of hours worked last week at the main job, regardless of whether this was the usual number of hours worked.

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

See the Hours Worked Variables Notes for an overview of the different actual and usual hours worked variables available.


This variable is comparable across available years.

According to Technical Paper 66, issued jointly by the Census Bureau and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, individuals eligible for the earner study are civilians age 15 and older in rotation groups 4 or 8 who are not self-employed.  In any given month, approximately 1/4 of the CPS sample is in the earner study and each household should appear in the earner study exactly twice. Based on documentation from Unicon and NBER, and after an inspection of the original CPS data, we recommend that users impose the CPS eligibility restrictions in any analyses of earner study variables.

Beginning in 1994, there are small numbers (less than 75 per month) of respondents in each month who are considered "Not in Universe" despite meeting known universe criteria.


  • 1989+: Employed civilians 15+ in outgoing rotation groups that were paid by the hour. Excludes self-employed persons.


Years Jan Feb ASEC Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
1989 – 1993 X X X X X X X X X X X X X
1994 – 2023 X X - X X X X X X X X X X
2024 X X - X X - - - - - - - -



Unharmonized Variables