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HOURSWRK
Total hours worked last week or usually

Codes and Frequencies



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Description

For sample adults aged 18+ (and all persons age 18+ in 2004-2018) who worked at a paid or unpaid job or business last week, held a seasonal or contract position last week, or were not working last week because they were on vacation, on family/maternity leave, unable to work for health reasons, HOURSWRK reports the total hours that the sample person worked in the past week. or in the past two weeks at all jobs/ businesses or at the main job/business. The universe and time period for HOURSWRK were somewhat different for 1979 and 1991. HOURSWORK reports total hours worked in the past two weeks for sample persons aged 17+ in 1979 who, during the past 2 weeks, worked, had a job or business from which they were temporarily absent, or looked for work or were on layoff; in 1991, HOURSWORK reports total work hours worked in the past two weeks for sample persons aged 18+ in 1991 who were employed in the past 2 weeks and worked for a private company or the federal, state, or local government. Please refer to the Universe and Comparability tabs for more information about changes in the universe, time period, and the types of jobs included in HOURSWRK.

Beginning in 2019, sample adults aged 18+ who held a seasonal or contract position last week continued to be identified by NCHS as included in the universe for HOURSWORK, but were omitted from the HOURSWRK question and had their responses set to "Unknown - Not Ascertained."

Comparability

Changes in the universe affect raw frequencies. As always, data users should use the prescribed IPUMS NHIS weights.

In 1979, sample persons were asked for the total number of working hours per week at the main job or the last full-time civilian job. In 1991, this variable records the total number of working hours in the past two weeks at the main job. From 1997 to 2000, the total number of working hours was reported for all jobs or businesses in the past week. From 2001 to 2003, samples were asked for the total number of working hours in the past week at all jobs or businesses if they were working for pay at a job or business or, working at a job or business but not for pay. For sample persons who were with a job or business but not at work, looking for work, not working at a job or business and not looking for work, refused to answer or didn't know the type of job they did last week, this variable reports the number of hours that the person usually worked at all jobs or businesses. From 2004 forward, the total number of working hours was recorded from the week before the interview for all jobs/businesses.

HOURSWRK was coded differently across years. From 1997 to 2003, HOURSWRK only records the number of working hours up to 94. Any values beyond 94 hours are coded as "95 hours +"; therefore, there are 95 unique codes. In 1979, 1991, and 2004 forward, there was no restriction on the number of working hours recoded; thus, there are 168 unique codes representing the total number of working hours in a week. To make this variable consistent over time, IPUMS NHIS uses 95 unique codes from the 1997-2003 surveys to recode HOURSWRK in other years.

The NHIS questionnaire was substantially redesigned in 2019 to introduce a different data collection structure and new content. For more information on changes in terminology, universes, and data collection methods beginning in 2019, please see the user note.

Universe

  • 1979: Persons age 17+ who, during the past 2 weeks, worked, had a job or business from which they were temporarily absent, or looked for work or were on layoff.
  • 1991: Sample persons age 18+ who were employed in the past 2 weeks and work for a private company or the federal, state, or local government.
  • 1997-2000: Persons age 18+ who worked at a job or business last week.
  • 2001-2003: Persons age 18+ who worked at a paid or unpaid job or business last week, or were not working last week because they were on vacation, on family/maternity leave, or unable to work for health reasons.
  • 2004-2018: Persons age 18+ who worked at a paid or unpaid job or business last week, or were not working last week because they were on vacation, on family/maternity leave, unable to work for health reasons, or had a job off-season.
  • 2019-2020: Sample adults 18+ who worked at a paid or unpaid job or business last week, or were not working last week because they were on vacation, on family/maternity leave, unable to work for health reasons, or had a job off-season.

Availability

  • 1979, 1991, 1997-2020

Weights