Determining full-time or part-time on a monthly basis.


How is it possible that WHYPTLWK (why were you part-time last week?) is asked without distinguishing full-time or part-time first? Or is there a variable that I am not seeing that is asked monthly to determine if someone works full-time or part-time? I see that HRSWORK is a question that is asked however, this data is only available in March according to the site; therefore, this couldn’t be the basis for determining whether the WHYPTLWK question needed to be asked. This WHYPTLWK data is available monthly, so I am assuming that there is a way the CPS first determines if someone works part-time or full-time.



There is a question in non-March supplements that identifies respondents as full-time or part-time workers. However, this question changes form from month to month. Sometimes the indicator question is about usual hours worked and sometimes it is just a question about full vs. part-time. Also, WHYPTLWK is the only substantial question consistently asked about part-time work in the non-March samples. To avoid having redundant variables for the non-March supplements IPUMS-CPS decided to let WHYPTLWK be the representative variable regarding part-time work, as it indicates whether or not someone is a part-time worker as well as the main reason for part-time work.