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Work History Data Overview the key employment-related work history variables in the NLSY79 and NLSY97. Examine selected work history variables for one NLSY79 respondent to see how his employment activities are summarized. Consider alternative ways to measure work experience and job mobility.

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Work history data

  • Work History Data

  • Overview the key employment-related work history variables in the NLSY79 and NLSY97.

  • Examine selected work history variables for one NLSY79 respondent to see how his employment activities are summarized.

  • Consider alternative ways to measure work experience and job mobility.


Work history data

Part 1

Overview of Employment-Related Work History Variables in the NLSY79 and NLSY97


A nlsy79 nlsy97 weekly arrays
A. NLSY79 & NLSY97 Weekly Arrays

  • Each array contains one variable per week

  • Week 1 begins on January 1, 1978 in the NLSY79





Part 2 examine selected work history variables for one nlsy79 respondent
Part 2Examine Selected Work History Variables for one NLSY79 Respondent


Our respondent
Our Respondent

  • We will follow a single NLSY79 respondent (CASEID=15) from 1990 to 1993.

  • The examples show how selected work history variables convey this respondent’s employment activities.


A job start dates and stop dates
A. Job Start Dates and Stop Dates

1990 interview

CURRINT_WK#_1990 = 658

1990 interview is held the week of 8/5/90 (week 658).

START_WK#_1990_JOB#n = . (for n=1,2,3,4,5)

STOP_WK#_1990_JOB#n = . (for n=1,2,3,4,5)

The respondent reports no current job, and no jobs held since the last interview.


Work history data

1991 interview

CURRINT_WK#_1991 = 705

1991 interview is held the week of 6/30/91 (week 705).

START_WK#_1991_JOB#01 = 674

STOP_WK#_1991_JOB#01 = 705

The respondent reports a job that began in week 674.

The job does not “stop” in week 705. The interview week is used as a pseudo-stop week to indicate that the job is ongoing. [A variable in the Job Information file confirms that the respondent is currently working for this employer.]

In this example, we will refer to this job asJob A.

START_WK#_1991_JOB#n = . (n=2,3,4,5)

STOP_WK#_1991_JOB#n = . (n=2,3,4,5)

The respondent reports no other jobs held since the last interview.


Work history data

Job A begins

1991 interview (Job A in progress)

1990 interview

658

674

705

Based on this reported information we know that, as of week 705, the respondent’s work history looks like this:


Work history data

1992 Interview

CURRINT_WK#_1992 = 755

LASTINT_WK#_1992 = 706

  • 1992 interview is held the week of 6/14/92 (week 755).

  • LASTINT_WK is last year’s interview week +1.

    PREV_EMP#_1992_JOB#01 =1

    START_WK#_1992_JOB#01 = 706

    STOP_WK#_1992_JOB#01 = 755

  • The “previous employer” variable indicates that this year’s job #1 is identical to last year’s job #1.

  • We continue to refer to this job as Job A.


Work history data

1992 Interview, continued

PREV_EMP#_1992_JOB#01 =1

START_WK#_1992_JOB#01 = 706

STOP_WK#_1992_JOB#01 = 755

  • Job A does not “start” in week 706. The last interview week is used as a pseudo-start week to indicate that this job is a continuation of a job reported last year.

  • Job A does not “stop” in week 755. The interview week is used as a pseudo-stop week to indicate that the job is ongoing.

    START_WK#_1992_JOB#n = . (n=2,3,4,5)

    STOP_WK#_1992_JOB#n = . (n=2,3,4,5)

  • The respondent reports no other jobs held since the last interview.


Work history data

Job A begins

1992 interview

(Job A in progress)

1990 interview

1991 interview

755

658

674

705

As of week 755, the respondent’s work history looks like this:


Work history data

1993 Interview

CURRINT_WK#_1993 = 810

LASTINT_WK#_1993 = 756

  • 1993 interview is held the week of 7/4/93 (week 810).

  • LASTINT_WK is last year’s interview week +1.

    PREV_EMP#_1993_JOB#02 =1

    START_WK#_1993_JOB#02 = 756

    STOP_WK#_1993_JOB#02 = 767

  • The “previous employer” variable indicates that this year’s job #2 is identical to last year’s job #1.

  • Job A does not “start” in week 756. The last interview week is used as a pseudo-start week to indicate that this job is a continuation of a job reported last year.

  • Job A ended the week of 9/6/92 (week 767); this is the job’s true stop date.


Work history data

1993 Interview, continued

START_WK#_1993_JOB#01 = 771

STOP_WK#_1993_JOB#01 = 810

  • The respondent reports a new job that began the week of 10/4/9 (week 771).

  • In this example, we refer to this new job as Job B.

  • Job B does not “stop” in week 810. The interview week is used as a pseudo-stop date to indicate that the job is ongoing.

    START_WK#_1993_JOB#n = . (n=3,4,5)

    STOP_WK#_1993_JOB#n = . (n=3,4,5)

  • The respondent reports no other jobs held since the last interview.


Work history data

Job A ends

Job B

begins

Job A begins

1993 interview

(Job B in progress)

1991 interview

1992 interview

1990 interview

674

771

810

705

658

755

767

As of week 810, his work history looks like this:


A job start dates and stop dates1
A. Job Start Dates and Stop Dates

  • Users may wish to create their own variables identifying the “true” start week and stop week of each job held

  • For example, we might create the variables:

    • STARTx= start week of job x, where x indexes the 1st through last job encountered in chronological order

    • STOPx= stop week of job x

    • CENx= 1 if job x is right-censored (in progress when the respondent is last interviewed) and 0 otherwise


Work history data

Note: If we begin following this respondent in 1979, Job A is not his first job. Similarly, if we follow him beyond 1993, Job B is followed by several additional jobs.

  • For additional information, see:

    • NLSY79 APPENDIX 9: “LINKING EMPLOYERS THROUGH SURVEY YEARS”


B weekly labor force status
B. Weekly Labor Force Status 1993, these variables would take on the following values:

  • The respondent’s weekly labor force status is described by the array of variables named STATUS_WK_NUMxxx

  • These variables can take on the following values:

    0: no information reported for week

    2: not working (unemployed vs. OLF not determined)

    3: associated with employer (gaps missing; time unaccounted for)

    4: unemployed

    5: out of labor force (OLF)

    7: active military service

    xxnn: employed (xx is round; nn is job number)


Work history data

1990 interview 1993, these variables would take on the following values:

CURRINT_WK#_1990 =658

STATUS_WK_NUM647 – STATUS_WK_NUM654 = 4

STATUS_WK_NUM655 – STATUS_WK_NUM658 = 5

  • The respondent is interviewed in week 658.

  • He is OLF at the interview date.

  • This 4-week OLF spell is preceded by an 8-week unemployment spell that began in week 647.

  • As we will learn “next year,” this period of unemployment/OLF will continue for several more weeks.


Work history data

1991 interview 1993, these variables would take on the following values:

CURRINT_WK#_1991 = 705

STATUS_WK_NUM659 – STATUS_WK_NUM673 = 4

STATUS_WK_NUM674 – STATUS_WK_NUM705 = 1301

  • The respondent is interviewed in week 705.

  • “Last year’s” period of unemployment/OLF continued through week 673.

  • Recall that he is now holding a job (Job A) that began in week 674.

  • The status array shows that from week 674 to the current interview week, he is employed on Job A, which is job #1 reported in 1991 (r13).


Work history data

1992 interview 1993, these variables would take on the following values:

CURRINT_WK#_1992 = 755

STATUS_WK_NUM706 – STATUS_WK_NUM755 = 1401

  • The respondent is interviewed in week 755.

  • Recall that he has worked continuously on Job A since the last interview date.

  • The status array shows that from the last interview week to the current interview week he is employed on Job A, which is job #1 reported in 1992 (r14).


Work history data

1993 interview 1993, these variables would take on the following values:

CURRINT_WK#_1993 =810

STATUS_WK_NUM756 – STATUS_WK_NUM 767 = 1502

STATUS_WK_768 – STATUS_WK_NUM770 = 4

STATUS_WK_771 – STATUS_WK_NUM810 = 1501

  • Recall that Job A ended in week 767 & Job B began in week 771.

  • The status array shows that from the last interview week to week 767 he is employed on Job A, which is job #2 reported in 1993 (r15).

  • The status array shows that from week 771 to the current interview week he is employed on Job B, which is job #1 reported in 1993 (r15).

  • The status array shows that he was unemployed for the 3 weeks between Job A and Job B.


Work history data

1990 interview 1993, these variables would take on the following values:

1991 interview

1992 interview

1993 interview

647

658

674

705

755

767

771

810

Unemployment or OLF

Unemployment

Job A

Job B

With the addition of the information in the status array, we know that this portion of the work history looks like this:


C weekly hours worked
C. Weekly Hours Worked 1993, these variables would take on the following values:

  • The respondent’s weekly work effort is described by the array of variables: HRS_WORKED_WK_NUMxxxx

  • These variables give the usual weekly hours worked on all jobs during the particular week.


Work history data

1990 interview 1993, these variables would take on the following values:

CURRINT_WK#_1990 =658

HRS_WORKED_WK_NUM647 – HRS_WORKED_WK_NUM658 = 0

  • The respondent is interviewed in week 658.

  • Recall that the respondent is unemployed or OLF from week 647 to week 658 (and beyond).

  • The hours array shows that he work zero hours during each week of the unemployment/OLF spells.


Work history data

1991 interview 1993, these variables would take on the following values:

CURRINT_WK#_1991 = 705

HRS_WORKED_WK_NUM659 – HRS_WORKED_WK_NUM673 = 0

HRS_WORKED_WK_NUM674 – HRS_WORKED_WK_NUM705 = 50

  • The respondent is interviewed in week 705.

  • The hours array shows that he worked zero hours for the duration of “last year’s” unemp/OLF spell.

  • Recall that the respondent began Job A in week 674.

  • When interviewed in week 705, the respondent reports his “usual weekly hours” on Job A to be 50.

  • The hours array shows 50 hours for every week since Job A began.


Work history data

1992 interview 1993, these variables would take on the following values:

CURRINT_WK#_1992 = 755

HRS_WORKED_WK_NUM706 – HRS_WORKED_WK_NUM755 = 55

  • The respondent is interviewed in week 755.

  • Recall that the respondent has worked on Job A since the last interview.

  • When interviewed in week 755, the respondent reports his “usual weekly hours” on Job A to be 55.

  • The hours array shows 55 hours in every week since the last interview.


Work history data

1993 interview 1993, these variables would take on the following values:

CURRINT_WK#_1993 = 810

HRS_WORKED_WK_NUM756 – HRS_WORKED_WK_NUM767 = 50

HRS_WORKED_WK_NUM768 – HRS_WORKED_WK_NUM770 = 0

HRS_WORKED_WK_NUM771 – HRS_WORKED_WK_NUM810 = 40

  • When interviewed in week 810, the respondent reports his “usual weekly hours” on Job A (which ended in week 767) to be 50.

  • When interviewed in week 810, the respondent reports his “usual weekly hours” on Job B (which began in week 771) to be 40.

  • The hours array shows that he worked zero hours during each week of the intervening unemployment spell.


Part 3 measuring work experience and job mobility examples from the nlsy79 and ya

Part 3: 1993, these variables would take on the following values:Measuring Work Experience and Job MobilityExamples from the NLSY79 (and YA)


A cumulative work experience
A. Cumulative Work Experience 1993, these variables would take on the following values:

6 yrs

S yrs

Age-S-6 yrs

Born

Interviewed (report age & S)

Assumed to begin school

Assumed to end school

  • In cross-sectional surveys, data on actual work experience are scarce.

  • As a result, we often use “Age-Schooling-6” as a proxy for work experience.

    • At the interview date, the respondent reports his age and years of schooling (S).

    • We approximate his school exit date as age S+6 and his experience as the time elapsed since that date.


Work history data

  • With 1993, these variables would take on the following values:NLS data, we have many options for measuring work experience.

    • We need not “start the clock” on work experience at age S+6. We can pick any date as the starting date (t1).

    • We can also pick any date as the stopping date (t2).

    • We need not measure experience as “elapsed time.” Instead, we can count the number of weeks actually worked, the (usual) number of hours worked, etc.


Work history data

S 1993, these variables would take on the following values:1yrs

S2yrs

Born

Break from school

Actual school exit date (t1)

Begin school

Defining t1 and t2:

  • Depending on one’s substantive focus, possibilities include:

    • Let t1 be the actual date of school exit (e.g., first exit, last exit, or first exit lasting at least N months)

    • Let t1be the date of college entry and t2 be the date of college exit; this allows us to measure work experience gained while in college.

    • Let t1 be a particular age (e.g., the 18th birthday). This allows us to measure all respondents’ work experience from a uniform date regardless of their school enrollment behavior.

    • Let t1 be the job start date and t2 be the job stop date. This allows us to measure experience with a particular employer.


Work history data

Defining the unit of measurement: 1993, these variables would take on the following values:

  • Possibilities include:

    • Cumulative number of months (or 4-week intervals) in which any experience was gained.

    • Cumulative number of weeks in which any experience was gained.

    • Cumulative number of weeks in which the individual worked full-time (e.g., usual hours35).

    • Cumulative number of (usual) hours worked.


Example 1
Example 1 1993, these variables would take on the following values:

  • Define EXPER1= cumulative weeks between t1 and t2 in which any experience was gained.

  • LFS1-LFS1409 are variables containing elements of the array STATUS_WK_NUMxxx for weeks 1 (1/1/78) through 1409 (12/26/04).

  • T1 and T2 are the start and stop weeks between which we wish to measure work experience;

    array status (1409) LFS1-LFS1409;

    EXPER1=0;

    do k=T1 to T2;

    if status(k)>7 then EXPER1=EXPER1+1;

    end;

    EXPER1=EXPER1/52;

    Note: this strategy counts military service and “unknown” weeks as 0.


Example 2
Example 2 1993, these variables would take on the following values:

  • Define EXPER2= cumulative hours worked between t1 and t2

  • HRS1-HRS1409 are variables containing elements of the array HOURS_WORKED_WK_NUMxxxx for weeks 1 (1/1/78) to 1409 (12/26/04)

  • T1 and T2 are the start and stop weeks

    array hrs (1409) HRS1-HRS1409;

    EXPER2=0;

    do k=T1 to T2;

    if hrs(k)>0 then EXPER2=EXPER2+HRS(k);

    end;

    EXPER2=EXPER2/2000;

    Note: this strategy counts “unknown” weeks as HRS=0.


Example 3
Example 3 1993, these variables would take on the following values:

  • Define JOB= 1 if a job is held at t1; JOB=0 otherwise.

    (In contrast to the preceding examples, this is not a measure of cumulative experience.)

  • START1-STARTX and STOP1-STOPX are user-created variables representing the start and stop dates of every job held.

    To make the example concrete, assume X=40 (i.e., 40 is the maximum number of jobs reported by any R).

  • T1 is the date of interest (e.g., a given age).

    array STARTS (40) START1-START40;

    array STOPS (40) STOP1-STOP40;

    JOB=0;

    If T1>0 then do k=1 to 40;

    if STARTS<=T1<=STOPS then JOB=1;

    end;


Example 3 continued
Example 3, continued 1993, these variables would take on the following values:

Let T1 be the week of the 20th birthday

Compare JOB for NLSY79 mothers & their YA daughters


B cumulative number of jobs held
B. Cumulative Number of Jobs Held 1993, these variables would take on the following values:

We may wish to measure:

  • Cumulative number of jobs begun between any two points t1 and t2 (e.g., from school exit to the interview date).

  • Cumulative number of jobs ended between any two points t1 and t2

  • Cumulative number of job-to-job transitions between any two points t1 and t2


Example 4
Example 4 1993, these variables would take on the following values:

  • Define JOBBEG= # of jobs begun between t1 and t2

  • Define JOBEND= # of jobs ended between t1 and t2

  • START1-STARTx and STOP1-STOPx are user-created variables representing the start and stop dates of every job held; CEN1-CENx are user-created variables equal to 1 if the job is right-censored, and 0 otherwise.

    To make the example concrete, assume x=40; i.e., 40 is the maximum number of jobs reported by any respondent.

  • T1 and T2 are the start and stop weeks between which we will obtain our job count.


Example 4 continued
Example 4, continued 1993, these variables would take on the following values:

array STARTS (40) START1-START40;

array STOPS (40) STOP1-STOP40;

array CENS (40) CEN1-CEN40;

JOBBEG=0; JOBEND=0;

do k=1 to 40;

if T1<=STARTS(k)<=T2 then JOBBEG=JOBBEG+1;

if (T1<=STOPS(k)<=T2 and CENS=0) then JOBEND=JOBEND+1;

end;