CPS Merged Outgoing Rotation GroupsNBER extracts of the famous CPS Annual Earnings File (also known as the Merged Outgoing Rotation Groups) Extracts from the Current Population Surveys monthly cover 1979 through the most recently completed calendar year. Fifty or more variables each month are selected for continuity across years. See the FAQ for a list of variables. adddition notes, and errata. Documentation is available in Word and PDF format. and at /morg/docs There are 25,000 records or more per month. This subset includes all adult respondents in the outgoing rotation group each month.
Frequently Asked Questions:What is the CPS?
This is the monthly household survey conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics to measure labor force participation and employment. 50-60,000 households per month are queried. Is this a panel survey?
Not really. Households are not followed if they move. But see the next question. What are the Outgoing Rotation Groups?
Every household that enters the CPS is interviewed each month for 4 months, then ignored for 8 months, then interviewed again for 4 more months. Usual weekly hours/earning questions are asked only at households in their 4th and 8th interview. These outgoing interviews are the only ones included in the extracts. New households enter each month, so one fourth the households are in an outgoing rotation each month. Is this the same as the March Annual Demographic Survey?
No, income and demographic questions asked in March are not available on the extracts. Weekly earnings are available, annual earnings are not. Basic demographic variables (age, sex, race, and marital status) are available, but not detailed information about children's ages (except 1984-1993) or annual income. What do the weights sum to?
The total of weights for all the persons in the sample sums to the total population 16 years of age or greater. But only one fourth of the sample is in an outgoing rotation group. So 12 months of data sums to three times the total population. Is software included on the extracts?
No. Can I use a spreadsheet?
No, the files are much too large for that. You will need some experience with a statistical package or database language to make use of this data. What format are the files?
We convert the original EBCDIC files to Stata binary save files for ease of use. The Stata files are compact and portable across operating systems and machine types. A year's data can be read off the disc in only a few seconds. If you prefer another statistical package, the program STAT/Transfer from Circle systems will convert Stata files into many popular PC formats. What variables are included?
The following list is typical, there is some variation over the years:
Note: The variable "How many weeks a year do you get paid for?", is NOT on the extracts becuase it has considerably less utility than one might anticipate. The question is asked only of the 12% of earners who report their earnings as an annual amount. Almost 90% of these earners report working 52 weeks per year.