Advice on EMPSTAT Variable IHIS

What is the meaning of category 20 of the EMPSTAT variable which says:

  1. With job, but not at work?

Does this mean respondent’s have a job but are not physically at work and are not getting paid? Does it mean they are on short-term disability, or on vacation?

I am asking because I am trying to recode this variable into a new variable and am a bit confused about the category and how to treat it in the new variable.

Also, does anyone have an opinion on how I should collapse the categories or merge them?

Any thoughts will be appreciated. Thanks!

EMPSTAT is a re-coded summary variable that stems from several variables (see variable description for these variables). This variable reports whether persons were part of the labor force (i.e. either working or seeking work) and, if so, whether they worked, had a job or business from which they were temporarily absent, or were looking for work or on layoff during the preceding week (for 1997 forward). Therefore, code==20 indicates what you suggest above. Respondents have a job but were for some reason not at work last week.

One popular way for recoding this variable is to follow the general codes (i.e. the first digit in the two-digit code). This will provide you with the following codes: 1==working, 2==with a job, but not at work, 3==unemployed, and 4==not in labor force.

I hope this is helpful.