Strange universe - ASEC SDA labor force questions

I’m requesting this report from the ASEC SDA:

row: empstat

filter: year(2013-*),age(16-*),actnlfly(0),wkswork2(1-5)

This should give employment status for 2013-17, for ages 16+, for those who worked part of the year last year (wkswork2(1-5)), and for those who are not in the universe for ACTNLFLY. The universe for that question should be everyone who is in the labor force at the time of the survey (March) (see here:…). So my request should only include people who are NILF now, but worked part of the year last year. I want to know the reasons for NILF currently (this is in the EMPSTAT variable).

But, employment status of these people is NOT always NILF - in fact less than 10% are. Any explanation for this?

According to the universe statement for ACTNLFLY it is capturing information for civilians who worked between 1 and 49 weeks during the previous calendar year (in addition to the age requirement). As this variable and its universe are related to activity in the previous year, it will not help identify those in the labor force/NILF now (i.e. time of survey). Selecting those NIU from ACTNLYFLY is just identifying those individuals who did not work 1 - 49 weeks last year – it carries no information about their current status.

As you noted, EMPSTAT can be used to help you determine who is NILF as of the preceding week.

If you want the number of people currently NILF who worked part of last year, you will want the following filters: empstat(30-*), wkswork2(1-6). Note that EMPSTAT has three NILF categories available for your years of interest: NILF, unable to work; NILF, other; and NILF, retired.

My apologies if I am misunderstanding your question; feel free to clarify if I am.

Thanks, Michelle. I think I was confused by the wording of the Universe statement: “Civilians age 15+ who were in the labor force (working, looking for work or on layoff from a job) and who worked between 1 and 49 weeks during the previous calendar year.”

I interpreted “Civilians age 15+ who were in the labor force” as “currently in the labor force”, as opposed to “in the labor force last year.”