1950 Occupation Coding Guidelines

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[Excerpted from "Occupation" in U.S. Bureau of the Census, "Chapter 6: Glossary," Census of Population, 1950: Public Use Microdata Sample Technical Documentation, Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Commerce, 1984.]

The current occupation of the person (OCCUP) is transcribed from Item 20a and Item C of the population schedule.

Enumerator's instructions

Post enumeration processing

In census processing, specially trained clerks coded occupation, industry, and class of worker into a seven-digit code entered in Item C. The first three digits were for occupation, the second three were for industry, and the final digit was for class of worker. Occupation, industry, and class-of-worker information were obtained for all persons currently in the labor force as well as for sample line persons who were not currently in the labor force but who had worked in 1949-the labor force reserve. Since a record could contain only current occupational information or reserve information (but not both), the code for whichever was present was entered in Item C. The basic document used by the clerks in this coding operation was the 1950 Census publication, Alphabetical Index of Occupations and Industries, which gives codes for some 25,000 different occupation and industry titles. A "not reported" code was entered for occupation or industry when these items were unknown. The census procedures are described in detail on pp. 59-61 of The 1950 Censuses-How They were Taken.

In the public use sample processing, records which had missing, illegible, or inconsistent entries in Item C were hand coded by clerical staff if alphabetic descriptions were present in Items 20a, 20b, 35a, or 35b. Sample line records with alphabetic entries in Items 20a or 20b and in 35a or 35b were also hand coded to determine whether Item C entries referred to the person's current or reserve occupation, industry, or class of worker. Computer editing then checked the consistency between occupation, industry, and class of worker codes for those records with entries on these items. These checks were taken from the 1950 census publication, Alphabetical Index of Occupations and Industries. Occupation and industry codes were then matched against lists of acceptable codes. Any codes failing these checks or lacking data were then flagged for allocation. When both current occupation and industry required allocation from a donor record, the class of worker was also allocated and the donor matched on household type and size, age, sex, race, and, for sample line persons, years of school completed. When only current occupation required allocation, the donor record was matched on household type and size, age, sex, race, employment status, current industry and class of worker, and for sample line persons, years of school completed.

The occupation code for persons in the labor force reserve (ROCCUP) is transcribed for sample line persons from Item 35a and Item C of the population schedule. This item was asked of sample line persons who were not currently in the labor force, but who worked in 1949.

Enumerator's instructions

Post enumeration processing

Census processing of reserve occupation was the same as that for current occupation. Because of a very large "not reported" rate, these data were not included in the regular reports of the1950 Census.

The public use sample processing was similar to that for current occupation. When reserve occupation required allocation, the donor record was matched on household type and size, age, sex, race, and employment status.

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