Issue with Multiple Job Holders


I am trying to replicate BLS data for multiple job holders. The CPS IPUMS data is consistently higher than the BLS - I am using the variable ‘multjob’.

However, when I use the CPS raw data here:

I match the BLS- using the variable ‘prsjmj’

Do you know why these variables do not equal each other? For a sample month, if you take Nov 2021 the CPS IPUMS has 98 more observations and 248,000 individuals when factoring in weights


The IPUMS variable MULTJOB harmonizes data from the original CPS variable PEMJOT rather than PRSJMJ. According to the Census Bureau CPS data dictionary, PRSJMJ (referred to as PRSJMS in the dictionary) appears to be a recode of PEMJOT. However, I wasn’t able to find any documentation on what this recode process entails that is the source of the discrepancy that you’re seeing. PEMJOT rather than PRSJMJ was the variable chosen by the IPUMS CPS team for MULTJOB likely due to this ambiguity as well as the fact that PEMJOT refers directly to a question asked of survey respondents.

Thank you Ivan this is very helpful. Do you know who I could reach out to for more information about the recoding process of PRSJMJ from PEMJOT?


You can reach out to the Bureau of Labor Statistics by submitting your CPS question through this form.