unemployment benefits

Hi, I have a question about incunemp in IPUMS CPS. Is this supposed to be total unemployment benefits received over the previous year?

In the comparability section at IPUMS, it says (see here: https://cps.ipums.org/cps-action/vari…)

“Beginning in 1995, respondents could report amounts for smaller time intervals, such as weekly, bi-weekly, twice monthly, or monthly, along with the number of payments”

However, there doesn’t seem to be any IPUMS variable indicating what the time interval is.


The data provided via INCUNEMP is reported in annual amounts for all years since 1988. The note in the comparability section provides transparency about changes in how this question was asked over time. Prior to 1995 respondents were only asked to report an annual figure. In years since then, respondents were asked to report amounts in smaller time intervals. These amounts are then summed to generate an annual figure. So, there should be no issues with comparability in this variable (apart from the effect of inflation).