CPS CWS (Contingent Worker Supplement) Electronically Mediated Employment (EME) variables absent?


We are using IPUMS’s excellent CPS microdata, including the May 2017 survey which has the Contingent Worker Supplement (CWS). In this May 2017 CWS, there were questions added for Electronically Mediated Employment (EME), commonly referred to as Gig Workers. However, I cannot seem to find the resulting variables in IPUMS, across both harmonized and unharmonized variables.

I have confirmed with the BLS that the variables are, in fact, in their original microdata files. The four variables are: PESIPEM, PESOEM, PRSIPEM, and PRSOEM. The “E” vs the “R” in second position simply refer to the original variables vs the recoded ones, on account of this particular set of questions found to be somewhat misleading. Further reading here.

Is it simply the case that IPUMS have, for some reason, not included these variables? Or am I just not seeing them?

Any help appreciated - and thank you for the most valuable work you all do!

Sincerely - Vikram D’Mello.

IPUMS CPS does not yet include these variables. In an effort to make the CWS data available sooner, the IPUMS CPS team prioritized integration of variables available in multiple samples. This blog post has information on merging NBER variables with your IPUMS CPS extract.