I am trying to get a measure of two consecutive annual earnings (or income) for the CPS linked sample. It seems inctot and incwage are only available for the ASEC sample (right?) Alternative is to get annual earnings by multiplying wkswork and earnweek. But wkswork is zero for 75% of the observations and for a few its 98 (max should be 52). What explains the excess zeros? and is there another way to calculate annual earnings? thanks a lot for your help.

You are correct that INCTOT and INCWAGE are available for the ASEC samples only. WKSWORKORG is only available for the Outgoing Rotation Group, which is approximately 25% of any given CPS sample. I assume this is the variable you meant when you referred to WKSWORK. Values of “98” represent a response of “Don’t Know”.

For those respondents in December-June samples, you could try to link the respondent back to the nearest ASEC sample using HRHHID, HRHHID2, and LINENO, confirming the link with SEX, AGE, and RACE. If the respondent cannot be linked to the ASEC sample, you could instead try to link the respondent to the closest outgoing rotation month (MISH=4 or 8) and use the outgoing rotation group variables to estimate annual earnings.

Hope this helps.