Support #583

BHPS merging job history and interview data

Added by Pilar Gonalons Pons over 7 years ago. Updated over 7 years ago.

Data inconsistency
Start date:
% Done:



Reposting because I am not sure my previous post is public/can be seen


I am using the BHPS and merging job history records with interview data record. I come up with the following issue: I find many respondents whose current employment status started after September last year but have no spell record in the job history file.

If I understood the documentation correctly, all respondents who had changes of employment status since September last year should have at least one record in the job history file.

Anyone has any suggestion for what might be causing this mismatch?

Many thanks! Best,



uspells_bhps_check.smcl (16.6 KB) uspells_bhps_check.smcl Pilar Gonalons Pons, 06/30/2016 09:18 AM

Updated by Victoria Nolan over 7 years ago

  • Status changed from New to In Progress
  • Private changed from Yes to No

Dear Pilar,

Many thanks for your enquiry - we are looking into it here and will get back to you as soon as we can.

Best wishes, Victoria.

On behalf of the Understanding Society user support team.


Updated by Victoria Nolan over 7 years ago

  • Assignee changed from Alita Nandi to Pilar Gonalons Pons
  • % Done changed from 0 to 10

Dear Pilar,

Apologies for the delay in getting back to you about this - we are still investigating. One question - have you found this issue for all BHPS waves or just for a specific wave/ waves, and if so, which one(s)?

Many thanks, Victoria.


Updated by Victoria Nolan over 7 years ago

  • Status changed from In Progress to Feedback
  • % Done changed from 10 to 80

Dear Pilar,

We have now finished looking into this and can offer the following advice:
We think that there are two separate issues here:

a) for all waves, there is an ambiguity about the status of full-time students who also have part time work. We believe that for most cases the student status dominates for the purposes of routing, so if they have been a full-time student since before September of the previous year, they will not have a job history record, even if they have changed their part time job.

b)from wave 16 onwards we introduced dependent interviewing which changed the structure of the job history questions. The “jobhist” file is essentially a derived record and unfortunately because of missing data there were a small number of cases where it was impossible to derive a job history record for people who had changed jobs in the last year.

We hope this helps - please do get back to us if we can help with anything else.
Best wishes, Victoria.


Updated by Pilar Gonalons Pons over 7 years ago

Dear Victoria,

This is clarifying. I have checked the age distribution of those not matched to job history records and indeed this problem is concentrated among the young population. Attached is the log output for additional information.

Many thanks for your help! Best,



Updated by Victoria Nolan over 7 years ago

  • Status changed from Feedback to Closed
  • % Done changed from 80 to 100

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