How do you create variables addressing employment status of two-parent and single-parent households?


We are trying to look at five household types from 1980-2015:

  1. Two-parent household both parents working

  2. Two-parent household one parent working

  3. Two-parent household no parents working

  4. One-parent household one parent working

  5. One-parent household parent not working

We have utilized so far the hhtype and empstat_head and empstat_sp but it appears it is unclear, particularly for the one-parent households, since sometimes it shows another adult (usually spouse or something) having employment status data. We can’t seem to get this to work smoothly. Thank you for your time!



This could be a bit tricky. The “Attach Characteristics” tool identifies social relationships rather than strictly biological relationships. That being said, there are several variables that may potentially help you identify the relationship of other adults in the household. The first option would be to utilize the RELATE variable which identifies the relationship of each record to the household head. The second option is to utilize the STEPMOM and STEPPOP variables which help clarify if the relationship identified by the family interrelationship variables (which are used for Attach Characteristics) is biological or of some other form. It is possible that one or both of these options may help.