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MEPS HC-083: 2004 Jobs File
May 2006
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
Center for Financing, Access, and Cost Trends
540 Gaither Road
Rockville, MD 20850
(301) 427-1406

TABLE OF  CONTENTS

A. Data Use Agreement
B. Background
1.0 Household Component
2.0 Medical Provider Component
3.0 Insurance Component
4.0 Survey Management
C. Technical and Programming Information
1.0 General Information
2.0 Using MEPS Data for Trend and Longitudinal Analysis
3.0 Data File Information
3.1 Codebook Structure
3.2 Reserved Codes
3.3 Codebook Format
3.4 Variable Source and Naming Conventions
D. Variable-Source Crosswalk
Appendix 1: Sample SAS Program

A. Data Use Agreement

Individual identifiers have been removed from the micro-data contained in these files. Nevertheless, under sections 308 (d) and 903 (c) of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 242m and 42 U.S.C. 299 a-1), data collected by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) and/or the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) may not be used for any purpose other than for the purpose for which they were supplied; any effort to determine the identity of any reported cases is prohibited by law.

Therefore in accordance with the above referenced Federal Statute, it is understood that:

  1. No one is to use the data in this data set in any way except for statistical reporting and analysis; and  
  2. If the identity of any person or establishment should be discovered inadvertently, then (a) no use will be made of this knowledge, (b) the Director Office of Management AHRQ will be advised of this incident, (c) the information that would identify any individual or establishment will be safeguarded or destroyed, as requested by AHRQ, and (d) no one else will be informed of the discovered identity; and  
  3. No one will attempt to link this data set with individually identifiable records from any data sets other than the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey or the National Health Interview Survey.

By using these data you signify your agreement to comply with the above stated statutorily based requirements with the knowledge that deliberately making a false statement in any matter within the jurisdiction of any department or agency of the Federal Government violates Title 18 part 1 Chapter 47 Section 1001 and is punishable by a fine of up to $10,000 or up to 5 years in prison.

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality requests that users cite AHRQ and the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey as the data source in any publications or research based upon these data.

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B. Background

The Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) provides nationally representative estimates of health care use, expenditures, sources of payment, and insurance coverage for the U.S. civilian non-institutionalized population. MEPS is cosponsored by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) and the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS).

MEPS is a family of three surveys. The Household Component (HC) is the core survey and forms the basis for the Medical Provider Component (MPC) and part of the Insurance Component (IC). Together these surveys yield comprehensive data that provide national estimates of the level and distribution of health care use and expenditures, support health services research, and can be used to assess health care policy implications.

MEPS is the third in a series of national probability surveys conducted by AHRQ on the financing and use of medical care in the United States. The National Medical Care Expenditure Survey (NMCES, also known as NMES-1) was conducted in 1977 and the National Medical Expenditure Survey (NMES-2) in 1987. Since 1996, MEPS continues this series with design enhancements and efficiencies that provide a more current data resource to capture the changing dynamics of the health care delivery and insurance system.

The design efficiencies incorporated into MEPS are in accordance with the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Survey Integration Plan of June 1995, which focused on consolidating DHHS surveys, achieving cost efficiencies, reducing respondent burden, and enhancing analytical capacities. To advance these goals, MEPS includes linkage with the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) - a survey conducted by NCHS from which the sample for the MEPS HC is drawn - and enhanced longitudinal data collection for core survey components. The MEPS HC augments NHIS by selecting a sample of NHIS respondents, collecting additional data on their health care expenditures, and linking these data with additional information collected from the respondents’ medical providers, employers, and insurance providers.

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1.0 Household Component

The MEPS HC, a nationally representative survey of the U.S. civilian non-institutionalized population, collects medical expenditure data at both the person and household levels. The HC collects detailed data on demographic characteristics, health conditions, health status, use of medical care services, charges and payments, access to care, satisfaction with care, health insurance coverage, income, and employment.

The HC uses an overlapping panel design in which data are collected through a preliminary contact followed by a series of five rounds of interviews over a 2 ½-year period. Using computer-assisted personal interviewing (CAPI) technology, data on medical expenditures and use for two calendar years are collected from each household. This series of data collection rounds is launched each subsequent year on a new sample of households to provide overlapping panels of survey data and, when combined with other ongoing panels, will provide continuous and current estimates of health care expenditures.

The sampling frame for the MEPS HC is drawn from respondents to NHIS. NHIS provides a nationally representative sample of the U.S. civilian non-institutionalized population, with oversampling of Hispanics and blacks.

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2.0 Medical Provider Component

The MEPS MPC supplements and/or replaces information on medical care events reported in the MEPS HC by contacting medical providers and pharmacies identified by household respondents. The MPC sample includes all home health agencies and pharmacies reported by HC respondents. Office-based physicians, hospitals, and hospital physicians are also included in the MPC but may be subsampled at various rates, depending on burden and resources, in certain years.

Data are collected on medical and financial characteristics of medical and pharmacy events reported by HC respondents. The MPC is conducted through telephone interviews and record abstraction.

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3.0 Insurance Component

The MEPS IC collects data on health insurance plans obtained through private and public-sector employers. Data obtained in the IC include the number and types of private insurance plans offered, benefits associated with these plans, premiums, contributions by employers and employees, eligibility requirements, and employer characteristics.

Establishments participating in the MEPS IC are selected through three sampling frames:

  • A list of employers or other insurance providers identified by MEPS HC respondents who report having private health insurance at the Round 1 interview.  
  • A Bureau of the Census list frame of private sector business establishments.  
  • The Census of Governments from the Bureau of the Census.

To provide an integrated picture of health insurance, data collected from the first sampling frame (employers and insurance providers identified by MEPS HC respondents) are linked back to data provided by those respondents. Data from the two Census Bureau sampling frames are used to produce annual national and state estimates of the supply and cost of private health insurance available to American workers and to evaluate policy issues pertaining to health insurance. National estimates of employer contributions to group insurance from the MEPS IC are used in the computation of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

The MEPS IC is an annual survey. Data are collected from the selected organizations through a prescreening telephone interview, a mailed questionnaire, and a telephone follow-up for nonrespondents.

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4.0 Survey Management

MEPS data are collected under the authority of the Public Health Service Act. They are edited and published in accordance with the confidentiality provisions of this act and the Privacy Act. NCHS provides consultation and technical assistance.

As soon as data collection and editing are completed, the MEPS survey data are released to the public in staged releases of summary reports, microdata files and compendiums of tables. Data are released through MEPSnet, an online interactive tool developed to give users the ability to statistically analyze MEPS data in real time. Summary reports and compendiums of tables are released as printed documents and electronic files. Microdata files are released on electronic files.

Selected printed documents are available through the AHRQ Publications Clearinghouse. Write or call:

AHRQ Publications Clearinghouse
Attn: (publication number)
P.O. Box 8547
Silver Spring, MD 20907
800-358-9295
410-381-3150 (callers outside the United States only)
888-586-6340 (toll-free TDD service; hearing impaired only)

Be sure to specify the AHRQ number of the document you are requesting.

Additional information on MEPS is available from the MEPS project manager or the MEPS public use data manager at the Center for Financing, Access and Cost Trends, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, 540 Gaither Road, Rockville, MD 20850 (301-427-1406).

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C. Technical and Programming Information

Section C of this document offers a brief overview of the data provided in MEPS public use release HC-083, as well as the content and structure of the codebook, reserved code values and variable naming conventions. It is followed by Section D containing the Variable-Source Crosswalk, and Appendix 1 containing sample SAS program code. A copy of the survey instrument used to collect the information on this file is available on the MEPS web site: http://www.meps.ahrq.gov.

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1.0 General Information

In the Employment section, MEPS collects complete job-related information in the round in which a job is first reported. While they vary by job type (see Section 3.0), the data reported for a job in its first survey round may include earnings by type (gross salary, tips, etc.), start and stop dates, hours and weeks worked, establishment size and industry, occupation, presence of retirement and other benefits, self-employment versus other status, temporary or seasonal situations, and health insurance availability. Minimal data updates are available for later rounds in which the job continues.

Each full-year Jobs file contains job records from two MEPS panels. The Jobs file provided in this release, MEPS HC-083, contains job-level information collected in Rounds 3 through 5 for the eighth panel and Rounds 1 through 3 for the ninth panel of the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (i.e., the rounds for the MEPS panels covering calendar year 2004), as illustrated below.

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Medical Expenditure Panel Survey Calendar
2003 through 2005

301 Moved Permanently

301 Moved Permanently

In order to obtain complete information for a job, users must note the round in which the job is first reported. This is because MEPS collects complete Jobs information in that round only, as noted above.

For the first year panel, in this case Panel 9, data from Rounds 1, 2, and 3 are included in the Jobs file. Complete information for any Panel 9 job is available, whether that job was first reported in Round 1, 2, or 3. This is the case for any first year panel (the panel that began its first year of interviewing in the given year) in a full-year Jobs file.

For the second year panel (the panel that continued with its second year of interviewing in the given year), in this case Panel 8, data from Rounds 3, 4, and 5 are included in this file. If the Round 3, 4, or 5 job continued from Round 1 or 2, users must look back to the Jobs file from the previous year (2003) to obtain complete information for the job. Appendix 1 includes sample SAS code to assist users in obtaining this information. Users should note that, because of differences in sample composition between the current year and the previous year files (i.e. a person was included in the previous year’s delivery but not the current year or vice versa), or because more accurate information was received in Round 4 or 5 comments following the delivery of the Rounds 1 – 3 Jobs records in the previous year, there occasionally may not be a corresponding Round 1 or Round 2 job in the previous year file.

This file is being released as a research file and has not undergone the standard quality control procedures usually performed on MEPS data files. The file includes a total of 57,228 records, with each record representing a unique job for a person by round. This file presents information about jobs starting on or before 12/31/2004 only. The 2005 MEPS Jobs file release will present information on Panel 9 jobs starting in 2005.

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2.0 Using MEPS Data for Trend and Longitudinal Analysis

MEPS began in 1996 and several annual data files have been released. As more years of data are produced, MEPS will become increasingly valuable for examining health care trends. However, it is important to consider a variety of factors when examining trends over time using MEPS. Statistical significance tests should be conducted to assess the likelihood that observed trends are attributable to sampling variation. The length of time being analyzed should also be considered. In particular, large shifts in survey estimates over short periods of time (e.g. from one year to the next) that are statistically significant should be interpreted with caution, unless they are attributable to known factors such as changes in public policy or MEPS survey methodology. Looking at changes over longer periods of time can provide a more complete picture of underlying trends. Analysts may wish to consider using techniques to smooth or stabilize trends analyses of MEPS data such as pooling time periods for comparison (e.g. 1996-97 versus 1998-99), working with moving averages, or using modeling techniques with several consecutive years of MEPS data to test the fit of specified patterns over time. Finally, researchers should be aware of the impact of multiple comparisons on Type I error because performing numerous statistical significance tests of trends increases the likelihood of inappropriately concluding a change is statistically significant.

The records on this file can be linked to all other 2004 MEPS-HC public use data sets by the sample person identifier (DUPERSID).

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3.0 Data File Information

Jobs Records

Each record in the Jobs file represents one job reported by a person in a round. The unique record identifier is the variable JOBSIDX, which is comprised of a person identifier (DUID + PID), a round identifier (RN), and a job number (JOBSN). A panel indicator (PANEL) is included on the file to distinguish Round 3 jobs held by Panel 8 persons from Round 3 jobs held by those in Panel 9.

All persons age 16 and older in the MEPS are asked to report on jobs held. Depending on an individual’s job history, these reported jobs may be held:

  • at the interview date,
  • in the round but prior to the interview date, or
  • prior to the round.

Only those persons reporting a job in a round will have a record on the Jobs file for that round.

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Initial Reporting Round

Most persons held only one job at the first interview date – their "Current Main Job." Persons who held more than one job at the round’s interview date (a current job) were asked to identify the main job. This job was classified as the "Current Main Job" and any other simultaneously held job was classified as a "Current Miscellaneous Job." The MEPS also obtained some information on any former job (Former Main Job or Former Miscellaneous Job) held in the reference period but not at the interview date. For those persons neither working at the interview date nor earlier in the reference period, limited information on the last job the person held was collected. Additionally, for those persons age 55 or older who indicated that they retired from a job, the MEPS obtained some job-level information (Retirement Job).

The variable SUBTYPE indicates the type of job record - current main (1), current miscellaneous (2), former main (3), former miscellaneous (4), last job outside reference period (5), or retirement job (6). When a job is initially reported, MEPS asks for detailed information about any "Current Main Job" and "Current Miscellaneous Job" and basic information about other job types. Refer to the questionnaire to see which information was asked for each job type. It is important to note that the retirement job classification in the variable SUBTYPE is independent of the retirement response in the variable YLEFT, which relates to the question why a person left a previous job.

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Job Updates and Inapplicable (-1) Values

The MEPS used dependent interviewing in Rounds 3, 4, and 5 for Panel 8 and in Rounds 2 and 3 for Panel 9 (see section RJ in the employment section of the questionnaire). In these rounds, the MEPS asked persons who held current main and current miscellaneous jobs at the previous round interview date whether they were still working at these jobs. For other job types (former, last, or retirement) reported in the previous round, MEPS does not ask any follow-up questions. These jobs, by definition, are no longer held by the person and therefore are not included on the file except in the round they are first reported.

With dependent interviewing, if a person still held a Current Main Job from the previous round, the MEPS asked whether the job was still the main job. Most persons reported that they still worked at the same job and it was still their main job. If, in a subsequent interview, a job was no longer held, it was designated as a former job for that follow-up round. It is also possible, although unusual, for a job to change from main or miscellaneous (or vice versa) in a round subsequent to the initial report.

If job status remained the same for a continuing job (either main or miscellaneous), the MEPS asked only a subset of the employment questions as a review. Because the MEPS asked only this subset of questions if job status for a person did not change in later rounds, many job-level variables on the subsequent round’s job records are coded as inapplicable (-1); the complete information is on the record for the job in the first round in which it was reported. Thus, it is important to determine whether a job in a subsequent round continues from the previous round when working with the job records. In rounds where this applies, the variables STILLAT (for jobs that were current main in the previous round) and STILLWRK (for jobs that were current miscellaneous in the previous round) indicate whether a person still holds the job at the subsequent round interview date. The variable SUBTYPE on the subsequent round record indicates whether the job is main or miscellaneous in that subsequent round. Note that if a Panel 8 job included in this 2004 file is continued from a Round 1 or 2 job, much of the information will be contained in the 2003 Jobs file (HC-074). Use that file to obtain the desired job characteristics. Appendix 1 provides a sample SAS program showing how to do this.

Any new job reported in a round following the initial interview is collected the same way as in the first interview round.

Variables that relate only to the review of a job reported in a previous round (Y_CHANGE, MAIN_JOB, OFFTAKEI, NOWTAKEI, WHY_LEFT, STILLAT, STILLWRK, DIFFWAGE, WHY_DIFF, WORKSTAT) were not asked in Round 1, and these variables are coded as inapplicable (-1) on a Jobs record for the round in which the job is initially reported.

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Exceptions to the Inapplicable (-1) Rule

Unlike the situation explained above for most variables on the file, for certain variables a value other than inapplicable (-1) does not necessarily mean that a job is newly reported. There are two distinct situations in which this special treatment is used, due to internal processing needs.

In the first situation, questions related to the affected variables are skipped over as inapplicable (-1) during the interview in rounds subsequent to the one in which the job was initially reported, but have their originally reported response carried forward from round to round. This group includes the following 12 variables: EMPLINS, HRSPRWK, HRS35WK, JOBTYPE, JSTRTY, JSTRTM, JSTRTD, MORELOC, NUMEMPS, OFFRDINS, PROVDINS, and TYPEEMPL.

In the other situation, there are certain questions that are asked during the review of a job in rounds following the round in which the job was initially reported. If there is no change based on the review, the value for the affected variable is copied forward from the previous round. If there is a change, the variable is updated to reflect the new information. These five variables are: JSTOPY, NOWTAKEI, OFFTAKEI, SUBTYPE and TOTLEMP.

Variables related to earnings (such as HRLYWAGE, GROSSPAY, SALARIED) are treated similarly to the five variables just discussed. In the review section, the MEPS attempted to obtain information regarding changes in wages for the same job from round to round. If there were no wage changes (indicated by the DIFFWAGE variable), then the most recent round’s information was carried forward. If changes were recorded, then the relevant variables were updated. For every new job reported for a person, the MEPS attempted to obtain current wage information.

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Top-Coding

For reasons of confidentiality, earnings variables on the file were top-coded. The earnings variables include HRLYWAGE, BONSAMT, COMMAMT, TIPSAMT, DAYWAGE, WKLYAMT, GROSSPAY, MAKEAMT, and OTHRWAGE. A value of ‘-10’ for one of these variables on a record indicates that the variable had a positive value and that the hourly rate for that earnings variable for the record was greater than or equal to $65.63. As of the 2004 Jobs File, the process by which this value is derived was modified to incorporate the wage top-code process for the 2004 Full Year Population Characteristics File. The purpose of this change in top-coding procedures is to ensure confidentiality for each person across files.

The 2004 Population file process was changed to consider updated wages in any round – which are included for Current Main Jobs beginning with this file – as well as the first reported wage from a job reported in any round in deriving the top-code value. On the Population file, any person who has a wage in any round that is greater than or equal to the top-code value will have all wages top-coded, regardless of round. And any person whose wages are top-coded on the 2004 Population file now has all wages on all jobs top-coded in the 2004 Jobs File.

Moreover, because other jobs where wages are reported are included in the Jobs file but not summarized in the 2004 Population file (i.e. newly reported former main jobs and current/former miscellaneous jobs), and these wages may exceed the current year top-code value, wages for these jobs and all jobs belonging to the same jobholder are top-coded on the 2004 Jobs file. In turn, the wages of these persons are top-coded in the 2004 Population file as well.

Note too that there are some jobs where respondents indicate that a supplemental wage, such as a commission, tip, or bonus, is greater than or equal to the wage top code value, but, at that same job, base wage such as the annual salary is not. For these cases, only the tips, commissions, or bonus amounts were top coded on the job where they are greater than or equal to the wage top code value. All other wage amounts on all jobs for these persons were left as reported.

For some persons in Panel 8, whose wages were imputed in Round 1 or Round 2 and copied forward into the 2004 Population file wage variable HRWG31X, the updated Round 3 wage as reported in the 2004 Jobs file may meet or exceed the wage top code value. For these cases, the main wage at the job is set to ‘-9’ and all other wage responses remain as reported.

Users should also note that some logical editing was performed on the earnings data. For example, if a person reports $.17 per hour then indicates in a subsequent round at JOBS.DIFFWAGE that the wage has changed and indicates at JOBS.WHY_OTHR that the change is due to ‘an error’ and a new hourly wage of $17.00 is entered, the variable JOBS.HRLYWAGE from the previous round(s) will be updated to $17.00 and the current round will be edited to show no changes in wages.

To calculate the hourly rate for earnings types not reported on an hourly basis, the number of hours per week worked and in some cases the number of weeks worked were used in conjunction with the various amounts. These hours and weeks are included on the file along with the reported earnings amounts, but not the calculated hourly rates. (Earnings variables were not reconciled with income data collected elsewhere in the MEPS.)

Also for confidentiality reasons, the establishment size variables NUMEMPS (establishment size for jobs held by wage earners) and TOTLEMP (establishment size for self-employed jobs) were top-coded as ‘-10’ for establishment sizes greater than or equal to 11,000 employees.

It is important to note that the establishment size variable for the self-employed is TOTLEMP, while the establishment size for wage earners can be found in NUMEMPS and ESTMATE1. The variable ESTMATE1 is derived from a question that allowed wage earners who did not know the actual establishment size (NUMEMPS) to choose from a number of size ranges.

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Temporary and Seasonal Jobs

Two variables on the file pertain to the temporary and seasonal nature of a person’s main or miscellaneous job. The variable TEMPJOB indicates whether a main or miscellaneous job is temporary (e.g., is a current main job for a limited amount of time or until the completion of a project). The variable SESNLJOB indicates either that a main or miscellaneous job is available only during certain times of the year or that the individual is working throughout the entire year at that job. Teachers and other school personnel who work only during the school year are considered to work year round. In the collection instrument, the questions related to temporary and seasonal job characteristics are asked both when a current job is initially reported as well as during a review of that job. If a respondent reports during a review of a job that the job has ended, the questions are still asked. These questions are not asked of newly reported former miscellaneous jobs, last job outside of reference period, and retirement jobs.

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Health Insurance Data

Questions about employment-related health insurance are asked both when any type of job is newly reported and when any continuing job is reviewed. For main jobs, either newly reported or changing from miscellaneous, the variable that indicates whether insurance is held through that establishment is EMPLINS. For all non-main jobs, the variable JOBHASHI indicates whether insurance is held through that establishment.

For a newly reported job, depending on whether employment-related insurance is held or not, there may be follow-up information gathered which is contained in the following variables:

  • OFFRDINS which notes if insurance was not held whether it was offered;
  • DIFFPLNS which notes if a choice of plans is available where insurance is either offered or held;
  • ANYINS which notes if insurance coverage is available to any other employees at the establishment in cases where the jobholder does not hold and is not offered coverage; and
  • ELIGINSR which notes why the jobholder is not eligible for coverage in cases where other employees at the establishment are offered coverage.

For a continuing job, when no insurance was held in the round in which the job was first reported but insurance was offered, OFFTAKEI is asked to determine if it is now held in this round. If not, there is no follow-up regarding insurance coverage through that job. When insurance was not previously held nor offered, the follow-up questions in the RJ section relate to the following variables:

  • NOWTAKEI indicates if insurance is now held through the establishment. If not, the jobholder is asked if health insurance was offered (ESTBTHRU).
  • If insurance was not offered, follow-up questions are asked regarding insurance availability to any employees and why the jobholder is not eligible for that coverage as noted in the variables INSESTB and NELIGINS.
  • If insurance was held for a portion of the previous round or the respondent disavows coverage in the Health Insurance section that was previously indicated in the Employment section of the interview, only NOWTAKEI is asked in subsequent rounds.

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Skip Patterns

Due to many skip patterns, it is recommended that users of the Jobs file become familiar with the Employment section in the MEPS questionnaire. To aid users, a crosswalk between variables and MEPS questionnaire numbers is provided in this release. The following examples of variables involved in skip patterns are presented to be illustrative; these examples do not represent the full range of variables affected by questionnaire skip patterns.

In one example of a skip pattern, the MEPS did not obtain job-related benefits such as vacation, sick leave and pension information for self-employed jobs, so those variables are coded as inapplicable (-1) for those types of jobs. Nor did the MEPS attempt to obtain wage, salary, and information regarding whether the job was in the private sector, federal or local government (TYPEEMPL) for the self-employed. So again, due to the skip pattern, TYPEEMPL is coded as inapplicable (-1) for self-employed jobs.

Conversely, the questions relating to business organization type (BUSINC, PROPRIET) were asked only of the self-employed, so the skip pattern results in those variables being coded inapplicable (-1) for jobs performed by wage earners.

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Industry and Occupation Coding

Industry and occupation codes were assigned by professional coders at the Census Bureau based on verbatim descriptions provided by respondents during the survey interview. The codes are determined at a detailed 4-digit level and then collapsed into broader groups on the file to ensure the confidentiality of the records. INDCODEX contains industry information and OCCCODEX contains occupation information.

As of the full-year 2002 MEPS deliveries, the Census Bureau began using an updated coding scheme for both industry and occupation. Therefore, the industry and occupation variables for pre-2002 files are not comparable to those for 2002 and later files. For 2002 and later Jobs files, both the pre-2002 and the updated crosswalks of detailed-to-condensed Census industry and occupation codes are available on the MEPS Web site.

This 2004 Jobs file does not include any weights necessary to extrapolate this data to the U.S. population. To make person-level estimates, link to any of the 2004 MEPS files and use the person-level weight for the appropriate panel. The link should be made through the variable DUPERSID. Note that not all persons in the MEPS have positive weights and job records; only those persons who have either a positive person-level or family-level weight in the 2004 full-year person-level files are included in the 2004 Jobs file.

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3.1 Codebook Structure

For each variable on the 2004 Jobs file, an unweighted frequency is provided in both a pdf (H83cb.pdf) and asp (H83cb.asp) codebook file.

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3.2 Reserved Codes

The following reserved code values are used:

VALUE DEFINITION
 -1     INAPPLICABLE Question was not asked due to skip pattern
 -7     REFUSED Question was asked and respondent refused to answer question
 -8     DK Question was asked and respondent did not know answer
 -9     NOT ASCERTAINED Interviewer did not record the data
-10    TOP-CODED VALUE Variable was top-coded for confidentiality, as described above

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3.3 Codebook Format

This codebook describes an ASCII dataset (with related SAS and SPSS programming statements and data user information), although the data are also provided in a SAS transport file. The file contains 87 variables and has a logical record length of 251 with an additional 2-byte carriage return/line feed at the end of each record. The following codebook items are provided for each variable:

Identifier         

Description

Name Variable name (maximum of 8 characters)
Description           Variable descriptor (maximum of 40 characters)
Format  Number of bytes
Type  Type of data: numeric (indicated by NUM) or character (indicated by CHAR)
Start  Beginning column position of variable in record
End  Ending column position of variable in record

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3.4 Variable Source and Naming Conventions

In general, variable names reflect the content of the variable, with an 8-character limitation. Variables contained on this file were derived from the questionnaire itself or from the CAPI. The source of each variable is identified in Section D. Variable-Source Crosswalk. Sources for each variable are indicated in one of two ways:

  1. Variables derived from CAPI or assigned in sampling are so indicated as "CAPI Derived" or "Assigned in Sampling," respectively;
  2. Variables that come from one or more specific questions have those questionnaire sections and/or question numbers listed in the "Source" column.

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D. Variable-Source Crosswalk

FOR MEPS PUBLIC USE RELEASE HC-083

SURVEY ADMINISTRATION VARIABLES - PUBLIC USE

VARIABLE

DESCRIPTION

SOURCE

JOBSIDX JOBS ID Number CAPI Derived
DUPERSID Sample Person ID (DUID + PID) Assigned in Sampling
DUID Dwelling Unit ID Assigned in Sampling
PID Person Number Assigned in Sampling
RN Round CAPI Derived
JOBSN JOBS Number CAPI Derived
PANEL Panel to which Jobholder Belongs Assigned in Sampling

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EMPLOYMENT VARIABLES - PUBLIC USE

VARIABLE

DESCRIPTION

SOURCE

JOBTYPE Self-Employed or Work for Someone Else EM05, EM11, EM18, EM27, EM40, EM53, EM70, EM82
JSTRTM Job Start Date - Month EM10OV1-2, EM16OV1-2, EM25OV1-2, EM34OV1-2, EM47OV1-2, EM60OV1-2
JSTRTD Job Start Date - Day EM10OV1, EM16OV1, EM25OV1, EM34OV1, EM47OV1, EM60OV1
JSTRTY Job Start Date - Year EM10, EM16, EM25, EM34, EM47, EM60
JSTOPM Job Stop Date - Month

EM35OV1-2, EM48OV1-2, EM61OV1-2, EM66OV1-2, EM89OV1-2, RJ09
JSTOPD Job Stop Date - Day EMJ35OV1, EM48OV1, EM61OV1, EM66OV1, EM89OV1, RJ09
JSTOPY Job Stop Date - Year EM35, EM48, EM61, EM66, EM89, RJ09
RETIRJOB Person Retired from This Job EM80
SUBTYPE Job Sub Type EM and RJ Sections
MAIN_JOB Still Main Job or Business RJ01A
DIFFWAGE Any Change in Wage Amount RJ02
WHY_DIFF Why Wages Changed RJ03
WORKSTAT Full or Part Time RJ04
Y_CHANGE Why Change in Full/Part Time Status RJ05
STILLWRK Still Work at Establishment/Miscellaneous Job RJ06
OFFTAKEI Offered Insurance and Now Take RJ07
NOWTAKEI Now Offered and Take Insurance RJ08, RJ08A
ELIGINSR Reason Not Eligible For Insurance EM115B
ANYINS Is Insurance Offered To Any Employees? EM115A
WHY_LEFT Reason Why Not at Job Now RJ10
NUMEMPS Establishment Size-Non-Self-Employed Job EM91
ESTMATE1 Categorical Approximate Establishment Size EM92
MORELOC More Than One Location EM93
BUSINC Business Incorporated EM94
PROPRIET Proprietorship or Partnership EM95
TYPEEMPL Employee Type EM96
YLEFT No Job Reason EM101
YNOBUSN Why No Business EM102
RECALL Recall Within 30 Days EM103
HRSPRWK Number of Hours Worked Per Week EM104, EM111
HRS35WK Work at least 35 Hours Per Week EM105
APXHRDAY Approximate # of Hours Worked Per Day EM106
SICKPAY Does Person Have Paid Sick Leave EM107
PAYDRVST Is There Paid Sick Leave for Dr's Visits EM108
PAYVACTN Does Person Get Paid Vacation EM109
RETIRPLN Does Person Have Pension/Retirement Plan EM110
WKLYAMT Usual Weekly Gross Income EM112
EMPLINS Have Health Insurance through This Job EM113
OFFRDINS Offered Insurance But Chose Not to Take EM114
DIFFPLNS Choice of Different Health Insurance Plans EM115
INUNION Belong to Labor Union at Job EM116
PROVDINS Who Provides Health Insurance EM117
HHMEMBER Any Other HH Member Work at This Business EM122
NUMFMEMB How Many HH Members Work There EM123
TOTLEMP Establishment Size-Self-Employed Job EM124, RJ08B
SALARIED Is Person Salaried, Paid by the Hour, etc. EW01
HOWPAID How Is Person Paid EW02
DAYWAGE Person's Daily Wage Rate EW03
HRSPRDY Number of Hours Person Worked in One Day EW04
MAKEAMT How Much Money Does Person Make EW05
PERUNIT Period for which Person Is Paid EW05OV1
MORE10 Person Makes More or Less than $10/Hour EW08, EW14, EW20
MORE15 Person Makes More or Less than $15/Hour EW09, EW15, EW21
MOREMINM Person Makes More or Less than Minimum Wage EW10, EW16, EW22
OVRTIMHR Overtime Pay Rate Per Hour EW06
GROSSPAY Person's Salary Before Taxes (Gross) EW11
GROSSPER Period in which Gross Salary Was Earned EW11OV1
SALRYWKS Number of Weeks Per Year on which Salary is Based EW12
OTHRTYPE Type of Overtime Pay EW19
EARNTIPS Does Person Earn Tips EW23_01
EARNBONS Does Person Earn Bonuses EW23_02
EARNCOMM Does Person Earn Commission EW23_03
OTHRWAGE Overtime Pay Rate Per Hour EW19OV1
TIPSUNIT Period on which Tip Earnings are Based EW24AOV1
TIPSAMT How Much Are Person's Tips EW24A
BONSUNIT Period on which Bonuses are Based EW24BOV1
BONSAMT How Much Are Person's Bonuses EW24B
COMMUNIT Period on which Commissions Are Based EW24COV1
COMMAMT How Much Are Person's Commissions EW24C
HRLYWAGE How Much Person Makes Per Hour EW07, EW13, EW18
JOBHASHI Does Person Have Health Insurance at This Job EM17, EM26, EM39, EM52, EM69, EM81
STILLAT Still Work at Establishment/Main Job RJ01
ESTBTHRU Offered Insurance, Did Not Take (Review) RJ08AA
SESNLJOB Is Job Seasonal? EM105D, EM111D; RJ01AAA, RJ06AA
TEMPJOB Is Job Temporary? EM105C, EM111C; RJ01AA, RJ06A
INSESTB Insur Offered Any Employees (Review)? RJ08AAA
NELIGINS Reason Not Eligible For Insur (Review) RJ08AAAA
HRSALBAS Hours on which Salary Is Based EW17
INDCODEX Condensed Industry Code EM98
OCCCODEX Condensed Occupation Code EM99, EM100

Appendix 1: Sample SAS Program (open in a separate file)

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