Employment by Industry and State

Dear IPUMS Team,

I would like to retrieve information on employment by industry for each state in 1989 from IPUMS CPS data – can I still apply the wtfinl weight and just sum up all employed individuals by state and industry?

Thank you for your help!


This is generally the correct method to use with the caveat that each month of data is intended to weight to the US non-institutionalized population. If pooling multiple months of data, your point estimates will be higher by the number of samples pooled. Therefore, if you’re using 12 months of basic monthly survey data (i.e. no ASEC data) then you should divide WTFINL by 12 before summing up the weights of employed individuals by state and industry.

If you use ASEC data for your estimates instead, then no division is required since this is a single sample. ASECWT should be used for person-level estimates using ASEC data. However, for your research question, I recommend pooling multiple months of basic monthly data in order to increase your sample size. Due to the detail available in industry codes, some industry x state products will have few observations and their population estimates will therefore exhibit high standard errors. Increasing your sample size may help you avoid this issue.