Excluding armed forces for labor force: OCCISCO, EMPSTATD, or both?


#1

For calculating the civilian labor force, we want to include all employed and unemployed individuals between 15-65, excluding inactive individuals and those in the armed forces. Therefore, our code reads as follows:

EMPSTATD%in%c(100:120,140:240) & AGE%in%c(16:65) & !OCCISCO%in%c(10,97:99))

As you can see from the code above, we used both EMPSTATD and OCCISCO to exclude individuals in the armed forces from our sample. However, by doing so, we are assuming that both variables have similar coverage. Is this a fair assumption or should we rather only include one variable (either EMPSTAD or OCCISCO) in our code? If so, which variable would be the preferred variable for our purposes?


#2

EMPSTAT identifies employed, unemployed, and inactive individuals; therefore the combination of employed and unemployed allows you to calculate the total labor force. Looking at the detailed codes for EMPSTAT, it appears that the armed forces codes (130-133) are not available for many of the international samples. Is there a particular country (or countries) you are interested in? If your sample(s) of interest have these codes available, then it would make sense to just use EMPSTAT.

OCCISCO does not identify if individuals are unemployed or inactive; therefore it would not be possible to calculate the total labor force from this variable alone. However, it looks like there is much better coverage over all of the international samples for those in the armed forces. Depending on the intent of your analysis, you could create a variable using OCCISCO and EMPSTAT to help you better answer this question.