Codes for classwk, classwkd, and occ

Hi there,

I recently downloaded a sample that included Census samples from Greece, Spain, Italy, Ireland, and France, as well as the available Labor Force Surveys from Spain and Italy.

Tabbing the variables classwk and classwkd reveals the following: there seem to be many observations with classwk values between 5 and 8, and many observations with classwkd values between 400 and 998. These values do not show up in the codes of these variables in the IPUMS page. At the same time, the variable occ takes very few values between 10 and 47, while the variable takes three or four digit values for many of these countries.

I suspect there is a bug in the code that compiles the data. Maybe this happens when one downloads census and lfs data at the same time. Do you have any ideas for what’s happening?

Thanks much

CLASSWK includes both general (CLASSWK in your extract) and detailed (CLASSWKD in your extract) versions of the codes. You can view the detailed codes on the website by clicking the “detailed codes” radio button above the frequency display on the codes tab (see below). Each record’s CLASSWKD value will have the same first digit as the CLASSWK code under which the detailed version nests. The composite coding described on this page about harmonization in IPUMS International goes over this briefly.

The codes in OCC are not harmonized across time–they report the occupation value in the original coding scheme used for each census sample or labor force survey. Because of differences in the underlying coding scheme and the broad range of data you have included, it is not surprising that there are codes of varying lengths. Depending on the level of detail you are looking for, you may be interested in harmonized occupation variables (e.g., OCCISCO); however, these will obscure quite a bit of detail available in OCC. You can find a link to each sample’s occupation codes on the codes tab of OCC as well as information in discrepancies between the coding system within each country on the comparability tab of OCC. For example, the labor force surveys and census samples in Italy do not use the same classification system.

Please let me know if there is a specific sample or set of occupation codes that appear problematic and I can investigate further.

Hi Grace,

Many thanks for your response, it addresses all of my concerns.