Skip to main content
No Access

Exploring Differences in Employment between Household and Establishment Data

University of MarylandUniversity of Maryland and National Bureau of Economic ResearchUS Census BureauUS Census Bureau

Using a large data set that links individual Current Population Survey (CPS) records to employer-reported administrative data, we document substantial discrepancies in basic measures of employment status that persist even after controlling for known definitional differences between the two data sources. We hypothesize that reporting discrepancies should be most prevalent for marginal workers and for marginal or nonstandard jobs, and we find systematic associations between the incidence of reporting discrepancies and observable person and job characteristics that are consistent with this hypothesis. The paper discusses the implications of the reported findings for both micro and macro labor market analysis.