Disproportionately Observations with 119 weeks of Unemployment Duration (durunemp)


I wonder why so many unemployed individuals in the CPS have an unemployment duration of 119 weeks. In fact, between 2018 - 2022, 1.82% of all unemployed individual-month observations report a duration of 119 weeks (frequency = 2,685). These are also the observations usually having inconsistency issues - either with the unemployment duration in the previous/next month, or with the previous month’s employment status.


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I also could not find the unharmonized variable for unemployment duration. Based on the CPS manual, it should be the LKDR variables.

Thanks for pointing this out. It appears that 119 is an undocumented topcode for duration of unemployment. I will ask the IPUMS CPS team to make a note of this in the variable documentation.

Regarding unharmonized variables, it looks like the variable for the post-2009 period has not been added to IPUMS CPS. I will let the team know that this is missing.

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