Support #1742

Recommended Method to Construct Unemployment Duration?

Added by JoAnn Tan about 1 year ago. Updated about 1 year ago.

Data management
Start date:
% Done:



Hi Alita,

Hope you are doing well. :)

I am wondering what the best way is to construct unemployment duration for Wave 1-11. The nmpsp_dv captures the number of employment spells since last interview, but according to my understanding, 'last interview' here does not necessarily mean the previous wave. Do you mind sharing what the ideal method is to construct accurate unemployment duration? Thank you so much for your help!


Updated by Understanding Society User Support Team about 1 year ago

  • Category changed from Data analysis to Data management
  • Status changed from New to Feedback
  • % Done changed from 0 to 80
  • Private changed from Yes to No

Hello JoAnn,

Alita is currently away but I'll try to help you. To construct the unemployment history you need to do the following:
1) to get the history covering the period of the duration of the study find all relevant variables from the Annual Events History module in each wave and put these together (so for each spell the variable coding non-employment status and the end date),
2) if you want the full lifetime unemployment history you need to combine the above with the information from the Employment Status History module asked in waves 1 and 5 available in the a_empstat and e_empstat files, please note that for the BHPS sample this information is not in these files as this was asked earlier in the BHPS, so you need to additionally use the BHPS equivalent of the Employment Status History module.

This is a rather complex task so you might find helpful the set of syntax files created and uploaded by one of the UKHLS data users, Liam Wright. It is available here:

I hope it helps.

Best wishes,
UKHLS User Support Team

Also available in: Atom PDF