I’m using the ACS 5-year sample data looking at independent contractor workers and their pay and demographic characteristics. I’m using the place to work geographic variables, PWCOUNTY, PWMET13 and PWPUMA00. It seems to me there is no data for Denver (in Colorado) for 2021 for any of these. Am I missing something or is this correct?
As noted on the PWCOUNTY description, the original microdata released by the Census Bureau do not directly identify place-of-work counties. Instead, IPUMS identifies these where possible based on the place-of-work PUMAs. IPUMS will only identify a county in PWCOUNTY if (1) the county is coterminous with a single place-of-work PUMA, or (2) contains multiple place-of-work PUMAs, none of which extend into other counties. This is not the case for the place-of-work PUMAs associated with Denver county.
Similarly, metropolitan areas are also not directly identified in the original data; IPUMS identifies these using the criteria outlined on the PWMET2013 description. In the case of metropolitan areas, we do not require a perfect match between boundaries; however, we do set a certain threshold for how much uncertainty we will accept in identifying PWMET2013 values (read the description linked earlier in this sentence for details on this process). The match errors for mapping place-of-work PUMAs onto the Denver metropolitan area exceed our allowable threshold; accordingly, Denver is not identified.
Depending on your application, you might be interested in summary data via IPUMS NHGIS; these data include more detailed geographic units than are available in the microdata and may be a suitable substitute if the existing tables cover the information relevant to your research.