Support #1808

nunmpsp_dv variable doesn't seem to aling with employ variable

Added by Michael Oldridge over 1 year ago. Updated 5 months ago.

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As far as I understand, the employ variable simply flags if someone is employed or not. And I think the nunmpsp_dv variable is the number of unemployment spells since the last interview. The description for nunmpsp_dc ( states that "In this case, when either last year's employment status or current year's employment status was unequal to unemployed, it is assumed that a spell in "unemployment' was completed."

I have ran some code which identifies if someone's 'employ' status changed from one wave to the next, and then cross-tabulated this against the nunmpsp_dv variable. The two variables don't seem to match up at all. There are many observations where someone was unemployed at either the last wave or the current wave according to 'employ', but who have 0 unemployment spells since last wave according to nunmpsp_dv.

The cross tab is below for waves g - h of the usoc. The columns are derived from employ, and the rows are nunmpsp_dv.

move into work move out of work remain employed remain unemployed
-7 0 143 0 1161
-8 350 6 23 287
-9 2 2 12 5
0 1127 1174 17307 11741
1 354 282 123 1195
2 9 1 1 31
3 2 0 2 1

Please could you explain why this might be the case? Let me know if you need me to share any code.

Many thanks,


Updated by Understanding Society User Support Team over 1 year ago

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Many thanks for your enquiry. The Understanding Society team is looking into it and we will get back to you as soon as we can.

We aim to respond to simple queries within 48 hours and more complex issues within 7 working days.

Best wishes,
Understanding Society User Support Team


Updated by Understanding Society User Support Team about 1 year ago

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Hi Michael,

We are terribly sorry that it has taken so long to answer your question.

1) The way you defined the category "unemployed" does not match up with the definition of unemployed used to create nunmpsp_dv. If my understanding is correct, you used the employ variable which takes just two values "yes, in paid employment" and "no, not in paid employment" to create a 4-category variable by crossing g_employ by h_employ. So, in your case unemployed are all people not in paid employment, whilst the definition of this category is nunmpsp_dv counts only spells when someone was in the category "unemployed" as in the variable jbstat ( which is the ONS definition, i.e. people actively looking for work.

2) The other thing is that even if your definition was the same, you would still see some discrepancy. That's because employ is asked in the enumeration grid (so this is basically provided by just one household member about all people in the household) and jbstat is asked in the adult questionnaire (so this information is provided by the respondents themselves).

Please let us know if this answers your question.

Best wishes,
UKHLS User Support


Updated by Understanding Society User Support Team 5 months ago

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