I want to calculate work expenses for an analysis using CPS SPM variables. The Census Bureau SPM report notes that work-related expenses are calculated using a formula for “each earner 18 years or over.” I was wondering if anyone in your shop knows if an “earner” means an individual with wages and/or self-employment income (the variables incwage or incbus) or if this is a more general term to mean anyone age 18 and over with income (inctot).
Unfortunately, I’m unable to provide a confirmation about what “earner” means in the SPM Reports. It really is not clear. It may be best to reach out to the Census Bureau on this question. The SPM Reports have by-lines and so you may have success reaching out to the authors directly. My best guess would be an earner is any individual with INCWAGE>0. Note that INCWAGE includes self-employment and farm income when applicable.
I hope this helps.