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EMPSTAT
Employment status

Description

EMPSTAT indicates whether the respondent was a part of the labor force -- working or seeking work -- and, if so, whether the person was currently unemployed. The second digit preserves additional related information available for some years but not others. See LABFORCE for a dichotomous variable that identifies whether a person participated in the labor force or not and is available for all years in the IPUMS.

Codes and Frequencies




Can't find the category you are looking for? Try the Detailed codes

Comparability

  • Overview: None of the questionnaires actually used the term "labor force." Instead, they asked respondents a series of questions designed to determine which category best described their employment status. The labor force categories in EMPSTAT were subsequently constructed from the responses to these questions.
The categories, defined below, of "in the labor force," "employed," "unemployed," and "not in the labor force" are fairly, but not perfectly, comparable across years. The universe changed considerably between 1910 and 1940, and there was a shift in the age of respondents between 1970 and 1980. Users can create a comparable universe across all years except 1910 by limiting their analysis to adults age 16+. Other factors that may in some cases limit comparability are discussed below.

User Caution: If an analysis includes 1910, the universe must be restricted to employees who were not institutional inmates, to make 1910 comparable with other years (i.e., exclude persons coded as 13 in RELATE). In addition, in 1910, users should consult CLASSWKR for information on whether the respondent was an employee, self-employed, or an employer, to help clarify the universe of employees for that year.

The 2000 Census estimates of the number of employed persons is about 5% lower than the official CPS based estimates while the Census estimates of the number of unemployed persons is about 50% higher than the official CPS based estimate. These discrepancies have been linked to errors in the scanning of forms from non-institutional Group Quarters. More information can be found in the Notes and Errata for the 2000 Census. Furthermore, questionnaire differences between CPS and Census, and changes between 1990 and 2000 Census may also have contributed to these employment discrepancies among non-Group Quarters individuals. An evaluation of linked respondents between the 2000 Census and the CPS found that non-Group Quarters individuals who were recorded as employed in the CPS and not employed in the Census were disproportionately young or older workers (16-24 and 65+), and had less education (HS degree or less).

Starting with the 2008 ACS, the Census Bureau implemented changes to the survey questionnaire to bring ACS estimates of labor force statistics closer to estimates from other data sources. Researchers should use caution when comparing employment questions across the 2007-2008 period.
  • Reference period: In each year, respondents were asked whether the relevant questions applied to them over a specific period of time. In 1910, respondents were to report their employment status on the day the census was taken: April 15, 1910. In 1930, respondents were to report their employment status on the previous regular working day. In later years, respondents were to report their employment status as it applied to a "reference week." In these years, persons who did any amount of work for pay or profit during any portion of the reference week were considered employed, even if they no longer considered themselves employed by the end of the week. In 1910, many persons who had a job for only part of the week would have been considered unemployed. (see CLASSWKR for information on whether the respondent was an employee, self-employed, or an employer)
In 1940, the reference week was March 24-30 (the census was taken on April 1). In later years, it was the "previous week"--which would not have been the same for all respondents, since the census or survey was taken over a period of time.
  • Definitions:
Labor force: In all years, the labor force essentially consists of all persons defined as "employed" or "unemployed:"
Employed persons: Prior to 1940, persons were considered employed if they were at work on the reference day (the reference day in 1910 was April 15th; the reference day in 1930 was the most recent regular working day). From 1940 onward, persons were considered employed if they worked at least one hour for pay or profit during the reference period, worked at least 15 hours as "unpaid family workers," or had a job from which they were temporarily absent (e.g., because of illness or vacation time). There are four types of employed persons: employers, self-employed persons, employees, and unpaid family workers.
  • Employers are owners/operators of businesses and/or farms who pay others to work for their operation(s), including housekeeping work. People who pay others to do work that is not directly related to any business or farm operation are not considered employers.
  • Self-employed persons are those who operate their own business, professional practice, farm, etc., or who in any other way regularly work independently to earn a living.
  • Employees are people who work for an employer and receive wages, salaries, room and board, or other compensation for their efforts. This includes domestic employees who are regularly paid to work for any employer(s). It also includes corporate employees.
  • Unpaid family workers are generally spouses or children who regularly assist the family head in running a family business or farm, but who receive no direct monetary compensation. However, general housekeeping or chores not directly related to the running of the family business/farm do not count as "unpaid family work."
  • Persons who fit into more than one of these four categories were to be classified according to their principal source of income (see CLASSWKR).
Unemployed persons: These are people who do not currently have a job, are looking for a job, and have not yet found one. Persons who have never worked but are actively seeking their first job ("new workers") are considered unemployed. Not included among the unemployed are employees who have jobs but are temporarily not "at work" because they are vacationing, recovering from health problems, waiting for better weather, etc.; they are considered employed.
  • Strikers or locked-out workers are generally not considered unemployed, unless they do not plan to return to their old job and are currently looking for another job (see definitional variations below).
  • Laid-off workers are generally considered unemployed, unless they are reasonably sure they will return to work soon (see definitional variations below).
Not in labor force: This is a residual category that includes all persons old enough to be included in the universe, but who do not fit any of the above definitions of labor force participation (employed or unemployed). In other words, a person is not in the labor force if that person does not operate any farm or business; does not have a job; does not work for pay; is not an unpaid family worker; and is not looking for or available for work. The bulk of the category is comprised of full-time homemakers, retirees, students who have no other occupation, people permanently unable to work, and people who simply choose not to work or to look for work. This includes formerly unemployed persons who have given up seeking work (i.e., "discouraged workers").
  • For 1910 and 1930, this category contains many children, since the census did not exclude them from the universe.
  • In 1940 and subsequent years, institutional inmates are also included in this category. In contrast, the 1910 and 1930 samples recorded gainful employment of institutional inmates.
  • Variations: While the definitions above generally apply to all years for which EMPSTAT is available, there are variations that might affect comparability in some cases. Furthermore, some years provide additional detail not available in other years.
  • Definitional variations:
Unpaid family workers: All years used the definition given above (always excluding from the definition housework, occasional helping out, and chores), but from 1950 on, the form stipulated that the spouse or child must have worked at least 15 hours for the family business or farm.

Striking workers: In 1910, all strikers were considered employed. In 1930, strikers and those on lockout were considered unemployed. In 1940 and 1950, strikers were considered employed unless they were looking for work elsewhere. In later years, persons absent from work due to a labor dispute were considered employed ("has job, not working").

Laid-off workers: In 1910, there were no specific instructions regarding laid-off workers who planned to return to their old jobs and were not looking for new ones. In 1930, those on "voluntary layoff" were considered unemployed and no specific instructions were given for those on involuntary layoff. In 1940 and 1950, laid-off workers who had not worked during the reference week, were not looking for work, and were counting on returning to their old jobs within four weeks were considered to be employed but not "at work." In subsequent years, all laid-off workers who had not worked during the reference week were considered unemployed.

Persons keeping boarders and lodgers: Persons engaged in running boarding/lodging houses were generally considered employed if the operation met certain criteria. The persons thus engaged may have been considered employers, self-employed, employees, or unpaid family-workers, depending upon the circumstances. In 1910 and 1930, keeping a boarding or lodging house was considered employment only if the operation was the principle means by which the person made a living, not if it was only a means of "supplementing or eking out the earnings or income obtained from other occupations or other sources." In 1940 and 1950, boarding/lodging five or more people was considered employment, but boarding/lodging fewer people was not. Later years do not specifically mention keepers of boarding and lodging houses, but persons who believed that the work involved in doing so met one of the criteria for employment would presumably have reported themselves to be working.

Unemployed: The preceding paragraphs note some definitional changes that will affect the classification of some workers as unemployed. Also, as noted above in the "reference period" section, in 1910 and 1930 a worker who was unemployed on the single reference day would be considered unemployed, while in later years that worker needed to be unemployed for the entire reference week.

For all years other than 1930, persons had to be not only without a job but also actively looking for work to be considered unemployed. The 1910, 1940, and 1960 censuses did not specify a period within which the person needed to have last sought a job. In 1950, the census stipulated that the person must have been looking for work within the past 60 days. Beginning in 1970, the form shortened this period to within the past four weeks (28 days) and further required that the person was available to take a job during the reference week. (It is probable that in earlier years the great majority of people looking for work were also available to work.)

Employers: Persons using only the labor of unpaid family workers are considered employers in 1910, and are thus not in the universe for EMPSTAT in that year.

Armed Forces: The IPUMS constructs the 1910, 1930, and 1940 "armed forces" detailed code using the occupation and industry responses. If either the occupation response (OCC1950) or industry (IND1080 for 1910; IND for 1940) indicated military employment, that person was give the "armed forces" code in EMPSTAT. Because the industry category may include persons who were not actually members of the armed forces but were employed in some capacity by them, the IPUMS "armed forces" EMPSTAT category probably somewhat overstates military employment in these years. For 1950 on, the "armed forces" category was included in the "Employment Status" variable in the PUMS.
  • Additional detail available in some years:
  • All years except for 1910 distinguish between employed people who were at work during any part of the reference week and those who were absent for the entire week (i.e., who had a job but were not at work).
  • The 1930 census indicates whether or not a person filled out an unemployment schedule. Every person in the EMPSTAT "unemployed" category completed an unemployment schedule, regardless of whether or not they reported an occupation. Persons who did not report an occupation and did not fill out an unemployment schedule are in the EMPSTAT "not in labor force" category in 1930.
  • The 1940 census identifies persons employed on public emergency work projects (those generally associated with the New Deal).
  • For 1940 and 1950, EMPSTAT separates the unemployed into the categories of "new workers" and "experienced workers." (New workers have just entered the labor force for the first time and are seeking their first job.)
  • For 1940 and 1950, EMPSTAT identifies persons not in the labor force because they are house-workers/homemakers or persons permanently unable to work. The 1940 sample also identifies students not in the labor force.
The IPUMS, the census, and other employment data: Because employment data from the census, the ACS and the PRCS are obtained from respondents in households, they differ from statistics based on reports from private and public employers. Persons employed at more than one job are counted only once in the census, the ACS and the PRCS, according to the job at which they worked the greatest number of hours during the reference week. Data based on employer reports may count these persons more than once, and may exclude employees of private households, unpaid family workers, and self-employed persons. They may also include workers too young to be included in the census, the ACS and the PRCS.

Comparison between LABFORCE and EMPSTAT over time: LABFORCE and EMPSTAT share a common universe in the censuses of 1940-2000, in the ACS and the PRCS. As a result, the "not in labor force" categories in EMPSTAT and LABFORCE (code "3" in EMPSTAT, general codes, and code "1" in LABFORCE) are the same. LABFORCE places those respondents who are gainfully employed and those who are unemployed, but part of the labor force (i.e. looking for work), into one category (code "2"), while EMPSTAT divides them into employed (code "1") and unemployed (code "2"). The sum of EMPSTAT categories "1" and "2" will be the same as LABFORCE code "2."

In the 1910 and 1930 samples, EMPSTAT and LABFORCE have different universes, and therefore will have differing case counts for the related categories as a result. Users should take note of these universe discrepancies when using LABFORCE and EMPSTAT in 1910 and/or 1930. Note that for the 1910 Puerto Rican sample, LABFORCE is available, but EMPSTAT is not.

Universe

  • 1910: All persons, except for those self-employed (see CLASSWKR for information on whether the respondent was self-employed, an employee, or an employer); not available for Puerto Rico.
  • 1930: All persons.
  • 1940-1970: Persons age 14+; not available for Puerto Rico.
  • 1980: Persons age 16+; not available for Puerto Rico.
  • 1990-2000: Persons age 16+.
  • ACS, PRCS: Persons age 16+.

Availability

United States
  • 2016: All samples
  • 2015: All samples
  • 2014: All samples
  • 2013: All samples
  • 2012: All samples
  • 2011: All samples
  • 2010: ACS; ACS 3yr; ACS 5yr
  • 2009: All samples
  • 2008: All samples
  • 2007: All samples
  • 2006: All samples
  • 2005: All samples
  • 2004: All samples
  • 2003: All samples
  • 2002: All samples
  • 2001: All samples
  • 2000: All samples
  • 1990: All samples
  • 1980: All samples
  • 1970: All samples
  • 1960: All samples
  • 1950: All samples
  • 1940: All samples
  • 1930: All samples
  • 1920: --
  • 1910: All samples
  • 1900: --
  • 1880: --
  • 1870: --
  • 1860: --
  • 1850: --
Puerto Rico
  • 2016: All samples
  • 2015: All samples
  • 2014: All samples
  • 2013: All samples
  • 2012: All samples
  • 2011: All samples
  • 2010: PRCS; PRCS 3yr; PRCS 5yr
  • 2009: All samples
  • 2008: All samples
  • 2007: All samples
  • 2006: All samples
  • 2005: All samples
  • 2000: All samples
  • 1990: All samples
  • 1980: --
  • 1970: --
  • 1930: --
  • 1920: --
  • 1910: --

Flags

QEMPSTAT 

Editing Procedure


EMPSTAT (Employment status)

ACS Years: 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015

ACS editing procedure:

If a person is 15 or under (AGE), their employment status (EMPSTAT) will be replaced with "Not in universe."

Note The variable WRKLSTWK (worked last week) was changed from a one-part question in 2007 to a two-part question in 2008. The editing procedure standardizes the two-part question into a one-part question, so we simply refer to this variable as WRKLSTWK.

When industry is "Not in the labor force"

If a person reports being not in the labor force for their industry (IND), reports being on lay off (ABSENT), and reports either "Yes, could have gone to work" or "No, temporarily ill" for AVAILBLE, EMPSTAT will be replaced with "Unemployed."

If a person reports being not in the labor force for their industry (IND), reports being on lay off (ABSENT), and reports "No, other reasons" for AVAILBLE, EMPSTAT will be replaced with "Not in labor force."

If a person reports being not in the labor force for their industry (IND), reports being on lay off (ABSENT), and leaves AVAILBLE blank or "No, unspecified," EMPSTAT will be allocated.

If a person reports being not in the labor force for their industry (IND), reports either "No" or a blank value for ABSENT, reports "Yes, could have gone to work" or "No, temporarily ill" for AVAILBLE, and reports looking for work in the past four week (LOOKING), EMPSTAT will be replaced "Unemployed."

If a person reports being not in the labor force for their industry (IND), and none of the previous steps have applied, EMPSTAT will be replaced with "Not in labor force."

Working without pay

If a person did not work last week (WRKLSTWK), reports working without pay (CLASSWKR), reports less than $20,000 in self-employment income (INCBUS00), ABSENT is "Yes, on vacation, temporary illness, or labor dispute," reports "Yes, could have gone to work" or "No, temporarily ill" for AVAILBLE, and reports looking for work in the past four weeks (LOOKING), EMPSTAT will be replaced with "Unemployed."

If a person did not work last week (WRKLSTWK), reports working without pay (CLASSWKR), reports less than $20,000 in self-employment income (INCBUS00), ABSENT is "Yes, on vacation, temporary illness, or labor dispute," reports "Yes, could have gone to work" or "No, temporarily ill" for AVAILBLE, and reports not looking for work in the past four weeks (LOOKING), EMPSTAT will be replaced with "Not in labor force."

If a person did not work last week (WRKLSTWK), reports working without pay (CLASSWKR), reports less than $20,000 in self-employment income (INCBUS00), ABSENT is "Yes, on vacation, temporary illness, or labor dispute," reports "No, other reasons" or blank for AVAILBLE, and reports looking for work in the past four weeks (LOOKING), EMPSTAT will be replaced with "Not in labor force."

If a person has a blank value for if they worked last week (WRKLSTWK), reports working without pay (CLASSWKR), reports less than $20,000 in self-employment income (INCBUS00), ABSENT is "Yes, on vacation, temporary illness, or labor dispute," reports "Yes, could have gone to work" or "No, temporarily ill" for AVAILBLE, and reports looking for work in the past four weeks (LOOKING), EMPSTAT will be replaced with "Unemployed."

If a person has a blank value for if they worked last week (WRKLSTWK), reports working without pay (CLASSWKR), reports less than $20,000 in self-employment income (INCBUS00), ABSENT is "Yes, on vacation, temporary illness, or labor dispute," reports looking for work in the past four weeks (LOOKING), and when last worked is over 1 year ago (WORKEDYR), EMPSTAT will be replaced with "Not in labor force."

If a person has a blank value for if they worked last week (WRKLSTWK), reports working without pay (CLASSWKR), reports less than $20,000 in self-employment income (INCBUS00), ABSENT is "Yes, on vacation, temporary illness, or labor dispute," reports looking for work in the past four weeks (LOOKING), and when last worked is with that last 12 months (WORKEDYR), EMPSTAT will be allocated.

If a person has a blank value for if they worked last week (WRKLSTWK), reports working without pay (CLASSWKR), reports less than $20,000 in self-employment income (INCBUS00), ABSENT is "Yes, on vacation, temporary illness, or labor dispute," and has a blank value for LOOKING, EMPSTAT will be allocated.

People who worked last week

If a person reports working in the past week (WRKLSTWK), and ABSENT is "Yes, on layoff," "No" or blank, EMPSTAT will be replaced with "Employed, at work." If ABSENT is "Yes, on vacation temporary illness, labor dispute" and place of work is in the United States, EMPSTAT will be replaced with "Employed, with a job, but not at work." If ABSENT is Yes, on vacation temporary illness, labor dispute" and place of work is outside the United States, EMPSTAT will be replaced with "Employed, at work."

People who did not work last week

If a person reports not working in the past week (WRKLSTWK), ABSENT is "Yes, on layoff," and AVAILBLE is "Yes, could have gone to work" or "No, temporarily ill," EMPSTAT will be replaced with "Unemployed." If ABSENT is "Yes, on layoff," and AVAILBLE is "No other reasons," EMPSTAT will be replaced with "Not in labor force."

If a person reports not working in the past week (WRKLSTWK), ABSENT is "Yes, on layoff," and AVAILBLE is "No, unspecified" or missing," EMPSTAT will be allocated.

If a person reports not working in the past week (WRKLSTWK), ABSENT is "Yes, on vacation, temporary illness, labor dispute" and they do not report a place of work that is outside the U.S., EMPSTAT will be replaced with "Employed, with a job but not at work." If they do report a place of work that is outside the U.S., EMPSTAT will be made "Employed, at work."

If a person reports not working in the past week (WRKLSTWK), ABSENT is "No" or blank, reports "Yes, could have gone to work" or "No, temporarily ill" for AVAILBLE, and reports looking for work in the past four weeks (LOOKING), EMPSTAT will be replaced with "Unemployed."

If a person reports not working in the past week (WRKLSTWK), ABSENT is "No" or blank, reports "No, other reasons" or blank for AVAILBLE, and reports looking for work in the past four weeks (LOOKING), EMPSTAT will be replaced with "Not in labor force."

If a person reports not working in the past week (WRKLSTWK), ABSENT is "No" or blank, and reports not looking for work in the past four weeks (LOOKING), EMPSTAT will be replaced with "Not in labor force."

If a person reports not working in the past week (WRKLSTWK), ABSENT is "No", and reports not looking for work in the past four weeks or has a blank value (LOOKING), EMPSTAT will be replaced with "Not in labor force."

If a person did not work last week (WRKLSTWK), ABSENT and LOOKING are both blank, and when last worked is over 1 year ago (WORKEDYR), EMPSTAT will be replaced with "Not in labor force."

If a person did not work last week (WRKLSTWK), ABSENT and LOOKING are both blank, and when last worked is blank or within the last year (WORKEDYR), EMPSTAT will be allocated.

People who have a blank value for if they worked last week

If a person has a blank value for if they worked last week (WRKLSTWK), ABSENT is "Yes, on layoff" and AVAILBLE is "Yes, could have gone to work" or "No, temporarily ill," EMPSTAT will be replaced with "Unemployed." If ABSENT is "Yes, on layoff" and AVAILBLE is "No, other reasons," EMPSTAT will be replaced with "Not in labor force." If ABSENT is "Yes, on layoff" and AVAILBLE is missing or "No, unspecified," EMPSTAT will be allocated. If ABSENT is "Yes, on vacation, temporary illness, labor dispute" EMPSTAT will be replaced with "Employed, with a job but not at work."

If a person has a blank value for if they worked last week (WRKLSTWK), ABSENT is "No" or blank, LOOKING is "Yes," and AVAILBLE is "Yes, could have gone to work" or "No, temporarily ill", EMPSTAT will be replaced with "Unemployed."

If a person has a blank value for if they worked last week (WRKLSTWK), ABSENT is "No" or blank, LOOKING is "Yes," and AVAILBLE is "No, other reasons" or blank, and when last worked is over 1 year ago (WORKEDYR), EMPSTAT will be replaced with "Not in labor force."

If a person has a blank value for if they worked last week (WRKLSTWK), ABSENT is "No" or blank, LOOKING is "Yes," AVAILBLE is "No, other reasons" or blank, and they report working in the last 12 months (WORKEDYR), EMPSTAT will be allocated.

If a person has a blank value for if they worked last week (WRKLSTWK), ABSENT is "No" or blank, LOOKING is "No" and when last worked is over 1 year ago (WORKEDYR), EMPSTAT will be replaced with "Not in labor force."

If a person has a blank value for if they worked last week (WRKLSTWK), ABSENT is "No" or blank, LOOKING is "No" and when last worked within the past 12 months or blank (WORKEDYR), EMPSTAT will be allocated.

If a person has a blank value for if they worked last week (WRKLSTWK), ABSENT is "No" or blank, LOOKING is blank, EMPSTAT will be allocated.

Armed forces

For 2003 to 2009: If a person reports their industry (IND) as "Army", "Air Force", "Navy", "Marines", "Coast Guard", "Armed Forces, Branch not specified", or "Military Reserves or National Guard," and they report working last week (WRKLSTWK), EMPSTAT will be replaced with "Armed forces."

Beginning in 2010: : If a person reports their industry (IND) as "Army", "Air Force", "Navy", "Marines", "Coast Guard", "Armed Forces, Branch not specified", or "Military Reserves or National Guard," and they report working last week (WRKLSTWK), and VETSTAT is "Yes, now on active duty" or "Yes, unspecified", EMPSTAT will be replaced with "Armed forces." For all other values of VETSTAT, EMPSTAT will be replaced with "Employed, at work."

If a person reports their industry (IND) as "Army", "Air Force", "Navy", "Marines", "Coast Guard", "Armed Forces, Branch not specified", or "Military Reserves or National Guard," they report not working last week or have a blank value (WRKLSTWK), and ABSENT is "Yes, on vacation temporary illness, labor dispute," EMPSTAT will be replaced with "Armed forces, with a job but not at work."

If a person reports their industry (IND) as "Army", "Air Force", "Navy", "Marines", "Coast Guard", "Armed Forces, Branch not specified", or "Military Reserves or National Guard," they report not working last week or have a blank value (WRKLSTWK), ABSENT is "Yes, on layoff," "No," or blank, they report working within the last 12 months or blank (WORKEDYR), and their place of work is outside the U.S., EMPSTAT will be replaced with "Armed forces, at work."

If a person reports their industry (IND) as "Army", "Air Force", "Navy", "Marines", "Coast Guard", "Armed Forces, Branch not specified", or "Military Reserves or National Guard," they report not working last week or have a blank value (WRKLSTWK), and none of the above situations applied, EMPSTAT will be allocated.

If a person reports their industry (IND) as "Army", "Air Force", "Navy", "Marines", "Coast Guard", "Armed Forces, Branch not specified", or "Military Reserves or National Guard," they report not working last week (WRKLSTWK) and have a blank value for EMPSTAT (so the above conditions didn't apply), LOOKING is "No", AGE is between 16 and 24, VETSTAT is "Yes, now on active duty" and they do not report being temporarily absent from work, EMPSTAT will be replaced with "Armed forces, at work."

If EMPSTAT is "Armed forces, at work" or "Armed forces, with a job but not at work" and AGE is over 62, IND will be replaced with "National security and international affairs" and EMPSTAT will be replaced with "Employed, at work" or "Employed, with a job but not at work." If EMPSTAT is "Armed forces, at work", AGE is 16, and IND is a branch of the armed forces (or if industry is missing, beginning in 2012), EMPSTAT will be replaced with "Employed, at work" and industry will be replaced with "National security and international affairs." Starting in 2015, industry will be replaced with a missing value.

If EMPSTAT is "Armed forces, at work" or "Armed forces, with a job but not at work" and AGE is between 35 and 62 and VETSTAT indicates they are not currently on active duty, IND will be replaced with "National security and international affairs" and EMPSTAT will be replaced with "Employed, at work" or "Employed, with a job but not at work."

Other fixes

If EMPSTAT is "Employed, with a job but not at work," the person reports last working over 5 years ago (WORKEDYR), LOOKING is "Yes" and AVAILBLE is "Yes, could have gone to work" or "No, temporarily ill," EMPSTAT will be replaced with "Unemployed."

If EMPSTAT is "Employed, with a job but not at work," the person reports last working over 5 years ago (WORKEDYR), LOOKING is "No" or missing or AVAILBLE is "No" or missing, EMPSTAT will be replaced with "Not in the labor force."

Allocation of employment status

When employment status is allocated, it is drawn from someone with a similar value for RACE, HISPAN, SEX, AGE, SCHOOL or EDUC, presence of children, and RELATE. The value drawn may be more likely to come from someone from their geographical area or metropolitan status. Among those who report not working last week (WRKLSTWK), who do not have a place of work that is outside the U.S., and ABSENT is not "Yes, on vacation, temporary illness, or labor dispute", the allocated value is drawn from someone whose EMPSTAT is "Employed, with a job but not at work," "Unemployed," or "Not in labor force." The flag variable (QEMPSTAT) will indicate the value was allocated.

Internal ACS variable : ESR