NIU/(999.99) value for Hourwage - how to access data


I am trying to run a cross tabulation using Hourwage, Race and Occ using the Outgoing Rotation Groups CPS dataset. I am confused to why all the variables having to do with earnings that I have downloaded into stata have an NIU/999.99 value.

Is there some type of conversion or cleaning I need to do in order to be able to read this variables actual values, or did I download the extract incorrectly?

Thank you for your help!

The earnings variables are only available for individuals in outgoing rotation groups. These are people in their fourth or eighth month in the CPS rotation pattern, and can be identified in the data by filtering on MISH=4 or 8. You can additionally use ELIGORG to filter only individuals who are eligible for the ORG questions. The 999’s you are seeing indicate that an individual was not asked the ORG questions.

Thanks Matthew.

This makes sense to me. I guess my largest concern is that when I narrow down the scope of my sample it is really tiny numbers. For instance I am trying to look at average hourwage for NY broken down by race and occupation. When I run my commands in Stata, I am only seeing anywhere between 7 and 28 observations for a given Occ like bartender or server. This seems impossibly small for the dataset, correct?

I am using [aw=earnwt] as my weight command. Not sure if this is having any influence.

Thanks for your thoughts,

This sounds about as expected. CPS doesn’t have the sample size to get good estimates of detailed occupational breakdowns by state, especially broken down by race as well. Depending on your needs, you might want to either pool multiple CPS samples, or check out the ACS (available through IPUMS USA), which has a much larger sample size. The ACS asks only about annual income, though.

Each month, CPS samples about 60,000 households nationally. For New York, the number is about 2,000 in recent years. Only 1/4 of these or about 500 are in the ORG. Average household size is about 2.4, so that’s 1,200 individuals. Of these, about 17% are under 15, leaving about 996 eligible workers. Employment-to-population ratio in NY state for 2018 was about 54%, so that leaves about 538 working teens & adults in the ORG sample for New York each month. The 2010 occupational coding structure (used by CPS through 2019) has 539 codes. So breaking this down by race and detailed occupation, you start getting pretty small numbers.