CPS has data available on multiple job holders. Where is the comparable variable in IPUMS' CPS?


CPS has data available on multiple job holders: http://www.bls.gov/cps/cpsaat36.htm

What is the comparable variable in IPUMS’ CPS? I can’t find it.

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The variables addressing multiple jobholders are not currently available through IPUMS-CPS. However, IPUMS-CPS is currently working on expanding the availability basic monthly data files (which the multiple jobholder variables are a part of) so these variables will likely be a part of IPUMS-CPS in the future.

In the mean time, it is possible to merge the raw CPS data files from NBER onto an IPUMS-CPS extract (as long as you have not used select cases). Because the NBER and IPUMS-CPS files share a common sort order, you can sequentially merge the data files. The CPS variable that identifies multiple job holders is called PRSJMJ. It is important to note that the basic March file is different from the March supplement (or ASEC) file and the two cannot be merged. IPUMS-CPS does not currently offer the March basic file, only the March supplement file and the variable PRSJMJ is not available as part of the March supplement file.

I hope this helps.


Hi Joe,

Thanks for responding. So, I think you’re saying that there’s no way to merge the NBER files (with the multiple job holder variable) with IPUMS’ files, given that IPUMS doesn’t offer the basic March data.

Is that right?

Thanks again.


It is possible to merge NBER ASEC (March supplement) data with IPUMS-CPS data, but it is not possible to merge March Basic data from NBER to the IPUMS-CPS ASEC data.

For months other than March, the NBER supplement files include all of the basic monthly variables. IPUMS-CPS is currently working on expanding the availability of these variables, but the multiple job-holders variable is not yet available. So, for months other than March, you can merge the IPUMS-CPS basic monthly and supplement files with the NBER files to obtain the multiple job-holder variable along with other IPUMS variables.

I hope this helps.


Thanks, Joe. Your answer is helpful.

Now, I have another question :slight_smile:

Do you know where I can download CPS basic monthly data for July 1970 and July 1975? NBER only has data post-1976 and CEPR from 1979.

Thanks again.


I’m sorry, but we are unaware of any sources for pre-1976 basic monthly data.


Hi Joe, I have a clarification question. You mentioned that “for months other than March, you can merge the IPUMS-CPS basic monthly and supplement files with the NBER files”. Do the supplemental files for months other than march have the same order as those months on NBER - or are you suggesting that I merge the march supp across the two sources and then rely exclusively on NBER files with identifiers to merge in additional supplements. (I’m interested in occ-mobility supplement, jan/feb, and the voter supp, nov). Many thanks, Zoe


If you are only interested in non-March supplements, you can merge the IPUMS-CPS files directly with the corresponding NBER files as most will share a sort order.

I hope this helps.


Fantastic, thank you. I hate to think what would happen if the sort order turned out to be different :P. Best, Zoe