empstat and occ1990 - Not in labor force, but still reporting an occupation?

#1

I’m looking at ACS data from 2016 and wondering how to interpret cases which report “Not in Labor Force” on empstat, but do identify an occupation code on occ1990.

Should I interpret this to mean that the respondent is not currently active in the labor force, but the last time they were they worked in the reported occupation?

Thank you!

#2

These types of cases have to do with the reference periods for EMPSTAT and OCC (or OCC1990). For the 2016 ACS, EMPSTAT is in reference to the week prior to being surveyed while the reference period for occupation variables is the previous five years and not new workers. According to the 2016 ACS enumeration form (page 11), if a person had no job or business last week, information should be reported for the last job or business.

I hope this helps.

#3

This helps a bunch, thank you!