- Questionnaire Text
- UnHarmonized Variables
Codes and Frequencies
WKSUNEM2 gives the number of weeks, in intervals, during which the respondent looked for during the preceding calendar year. In years after 1976, those on layoff are also included in this variable. Information on weeks of unemployment during the preceding year is available in single weeks, beginning in 1976, in the variable WKSUNEM1.
There is a significant discontinuity in universe in WKSUNEM2 between 1975 and 1976. Respondents on layoff are in universe for samples from 1976 and on, but are NOT in universe for samples prior to that year.
Along with changes in the variable universe, the degree of detail in WKSUNEM2 changes over time. For 1962 through 1967, five classifications are given: "1 to 4 weeks"; "5 to 10 weeks"; "11 to 14 weeks"; "15 to 26 weeks"; and "over 26 weeks." Beginning in 1968, the categories "27 to 39 weeks" and "40+ weeks" were added. Non-intervalled data in WKSUNEM1 were recoded for years after 1975 to provide full-time series data for WKSUNEM2.
Comparability with IPUMS-USA
The closest variable to WKSUNEM2 in IPUMS-USA is WKSUNEMP, available for the 1910 and 1980 censuses. Analysts who wish to study unemployment for the years surrounding 1980 may find the WKSUNEM1 variable more useful than WKSUNEMP because WKSUNEM1 provides data on single weeks of unemployment beginning in 1976. 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 data.
- 1962: Civilians age 14+ who worked between 1 week and 49 weeks last year and who were coded as "match" on the FEBMAR variable (pre-1968 samples do not include persons under age 14).
- 1963-1967: Civilians age 14+ who worked between 1 week and 49 weeks last year (pre-1968 samples do not include persons under age 14).
- 1968-1979: Civilians age 14+ who worked between 1 week and 49 weeks last year.
- 1980-1989: Civilians age 15+ who worked between 1 week and 49 weeks last year.
- 1990-1995: Persons age 15+ who worked between 1 week and 49 weeks last year.
- 1996-2022: Persons age 15+ who worked between 1 week and 51 weeks last year.
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