Using IPUMS to calculate the employment rate


I am using IPUMS 1990 5% sample to calculate the percentage of working age-pop employed in manufacturing industry at commuting zone level. To do so, I tried to sum up all the weighted individuals employed in manufacturing and divided by total number of weighted working age people.

I am not sure I should use both household weight and personal weight here.

From the sounds of it, you should be using the person level sample weight variable. Additionally, for what it is worth, the IPUMS CPS project provides more detailed labor force statistics than IPUMS USA. Although crude calculations of the unemployment rate are possible in IPUMS USA, the “official” unemployment rate is calculated every month using the underlying data available through IPUMS CPS.