Definition of a displaced worker

Your definition of a displaced worker (here:…) does not seem to conform to the BLS definition.

Displaced workers according to the IPUMS definition:

  • have lost their job in the last 3 years

  • their company or plant shutted down, their shift or position has been eliminated, or had insufficient work

  • are not self-employed

  • do not expect to be recalled in the next 6 months

But the BLS definition, apparently, takes only the first two points above (see, for instance, here… and here

Any feedback is welcome


Gustavo Leyva

The BLS definition of displaced workers found in the Technical Note of this document (the first link you provided) mentions that displaced workers must be “wage and salary workers.” Based on the provided definition of “wage and salary workers,” this excludes all self-employed persons.

Beginning in 1994, those who had lost their job in the past year and expected to be recalled within the next 6 months were not considered displaced workers (see #5 in Appendix here). The IPUMS-CPS Displaced Worker Supplement data begins with 1996, so this definition applies to all IPUMS samples.

Hope this helps.