Broad occupation classification


Thank you for your hard work in making the CPS microdata accessible and easy to use.

I am presently working with the OCC1990 and related occupation classification variables. I noticed that in the table which describes the occupation codes, there are headers indicating the broad category to which a given occupation belongs. For example, occupations 044-059 are all considered “engineers”.

My present research is concerned with on these broader occupational categories. I am curious if there is a way to download or otherwise access them; otherwise, I would have to manually hard-code them into my code based on the table.

Zhaochen He
Dept. of Economics
Christopher Newport University

OCC1990 is designed to provide as much detail as possible for a harmonized version of occupation codes, and allow individual researchers to choose how they might be interested in further modifying or collapsing these categories to suit their needs (while you are interested in engineers, other researchers may want to differentiate between civil, mechanical, electrical, and all other engineers). As such, we do not provide different levels of aggregation for this variable. To avoid writing the code to aggregate these yourself, you may be able to leverage the unharmonized source variables that provide less detailed versions of the occupation codes (e.g., UH_OCCDT_B2 or UH_OCCMAJ_B2); however, these may be too broad for your specific application and have not been harmonized by IPUMS to account for any changes to the underlying occupation coding scheme over time.

Great that’s just what I needed. I am presently only examining a couple of years, so I don’t need the full harmonization. Thanks very much.

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