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This is a 4-digit numeric variable.

9999 = N.I.U. (Not in Universe).


WKXPNS reports the annual expenses associated with going to work and earning a wage. This variable is imputed by the Census Bureau with data from the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) which collects information on work expenses. Specifically, the Census Bureau uses 85 percent of the median weekly expenses for anyone over 18 in the SIPP and multiplies this fixed dollar amount by the number of weeks respondents reported working in the year in the CPS (WKSWORK1).

Additionally, WKXPNS is capped at a person's total yearly earnings. For example, if a person reported working 52 weeks in the past year and earned less than the maximum value of WKXPNS, their value of WKXPNS will be equal to their total yearly earnings.

Additional information about work-related expenses and the calculation of median work expenses from the SIPP can be found in this paper.

Amounts are expressed as they were calculated in each year; users must adjust for inflation using Consumer Price Index adjustment factors.


The fixed value of median weekly expenses changes annually.

In 2006 and 2007, there are several cases where WKXPNS is equal to zero even though the number of weeks worked and earnings are both greater than zero. Since this variable is taken as given by the Census Bureau, these individuals are still considered part of the universe and the user should decide how to handle them when conducting analysis.


  • Persons age 18+ or household status identified as householder or spouse of householder in primary family, or reference person of unrelated subfamily or spouse of unrelated subfamily reference person in unrelated subfamily, where WKSWORK1 and total earnings are greater than zero.


Years Jan Feb ASEC Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
2006 – 2023 - - X - - - - - - - - -


This variable has no flags.

Unharmonized Variables