What's the reference period for CLASSWKR

CLASSWKR indicates whether respondents worked for their own enterprise(s) or for someone else as employees. Workers with multiple sources of employment were classified according to the work relationship in which they spent the most time during the reference day or week. As described below, CLASSWKR contains other related information in most years.

What is the reference period for this variable? If John reports to be self-employed on this variable, does it mean he is self-employed in the week of survey, in the past calendar year, or some other time frame? Thank you!

This variable is asked of persons age 16+ who worked within the last 5 years for 1980-forward samples (see the universe tab for a comprehensive list of sample universes). You can view the questionnaire text tab for information on the question phrasing, which includes information about the reference period. For the 2021 ACS, for example, the question asks about employment last week or the most recent employment in the last 5 years.