Support #1142

Identifying unemployment spells

Added by Lewis Anderson over 3 years ago. Updated over 1 year ago.

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Dear Understanding Society team,

I am trying to identify unemployment spells (and in particular job losses, i.e. moving from employment to unemployment) in both Understanding Society and the harmonised BHPS.

In both surveys, jbstat identifies individuals unemployed at interview. However, I am also interested in unemployment spells between waves. (I am not currently concerned with employment histories, i.e. unemployment spells before survey entry).

Specifically, I would like to identify person-wave observations in which individuals are employed at both t-1 and t, but experience one or more spells of unemployment between t-1 and t. In the BHPS, bw_njusp seems to do this: for instance, I find 2231 such observations (2.17% of the observations nonmissing on bw_njusp and employed at both t-1 and t). At first sight, w_nunmpsp_dv appears to be an equivalent variable for Understanding Society, however it identifies only 183 such observations (0.14% of the observations nonmissing on w_nunmpsp_dv and employed at both t-1 and t). So there appears to be a difference between bw_njusp and w_nunmpsp_dv - perhaps due to routing.

Is there any other way to identify spells of unemployment between waves for Understanding Society respondents (who report being employed at wave t-1 and at wave t)? In other words, is there any way to derive an equivalent of bw_njusp for Understanding Society (or identify job losses in some other way)?

Many thanks,
Lewis Anderson

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