Visibility of `UH_PAYABS_B2` and `uhcore_labor` variables

I recently needed to use UH_PAYABS_B2 to try to attune CPS and CES employment estimates, but it took forever to find it. I wouldn’t have found it if I didn’t know it was there. When I search for variables with terms like “absence” or “paid leave” this variable does not show up.

When on the page for UH_PAYABS_B2, there is a link to says return to variable list points to a page for uhcore_labor variables, but it is empty (link). I think it would be useful to be elevate the visibility of such variables.

We prioritize the visibility of harmonized variables as this is the primary reason for using IPUMS CPS; we appreciate and have noted your suggestion to make the availability of unharmonized variables more apparent to those interested in these unrecorded versions of the data.

UH_PAYABS_B2 is an unharmonized variable from the original CPS data, as indicated by the “UH” prefix. You can find unharmonized variables in two ways. First, you can toggle to unharmonized variables in the extract system:

Once you’ve toggled to unharmonized variables, you can use the variable dropdown menus to look through groups of variables such as labor:

The second way to find unharmonized variables is by clicking “search” in the extract system:

In the search function, be sure to select “Include unharmonized variables” (either alone or with harmonized variables).

Searching for name, label, value labels, and description can help you find the variables you are looking for (checkboxes shown under “characteristics of variables” above). Using an asterisk () as a wildcard at the end of your search term for a more expansive search (e.g., searching for abs) might help you be more successful in finding what you are looking for. However, there are always a few variables that are hard to find using the search function depending on how they are named, so I recommend going through the dropdown menus for groups of variables if you are having trouble finding something.

In the link you shared, you will see the full list of unharmonized labor variables once you toggle to “unharmonized variables” as shown above.

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Ahh, that makes a lot of sense. Thank you for the guidance!