ELIGORG indicates in universe but EARNWEEK indicates not in universe

I am working with the basic monthly CPS after 2012, and noticed that when I limit my sample to those who are eligible for the ORG earnings questions using ELIGORG, there is still a small portion of observations in each month (~0.1-0.2%) who have a code of 9999.99 for EARNWEEK (not in universe). These observations otherwise look like they should have valid earnings information, i.e., they are from employed wage/salary workers in their fourth/eighth month in sample, etc.

I did some cursory poking around in the basic monthly CPS files off the Census website, and it seems (?) these cases happen in the rare instances when weekly earnings in those files are coded as zero.

If the zero code thing is correct: for my purposes, it does matter whether these observations truly have zero earnings, or if it’s actually a data error or something else.

Thank you!

IPUMS recodes weekly earnings observations of 0 to 9999.99 (not in universe) in the BMS. Although 0 is the NIU code for weekly earnings in the ASEC, documentation indicates 0 is a valid response in the BMS. The US microdata team is currently reviewing whether to keep this recoding rule. In the meantime, you can find these 0s in the IPUMS data by adding the original unedited source variable(s) for EARNWEEK/EARNWEEK2 that correspond to the time period you are interested in.