Bryan Caplan  

Data Challenge: "Full-Time, Year-Round Workers" Can Be Briefly Unemployed?

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The answer to yesterday's data challenge: full-time, year-round workers can be unemployed, but only very briefly. 

You don't have to actually work full-time to be a full-time worker.  "Full-time" workers can be unemployed indefinitely as long as they "usually worked 35 hours or more in a week." 

Year-round employment status, in contrast, requires actually working year-round.  As this BLS release explains:
Year-round and part-year employment. Workers are classified as year round if they worked 50 to 52 weeks. Part-year employment refers to workers who worked fewer than 50 weeks.
In short, as soon as a year-round worker experiences more than two weeks of unemployment, he ceases to be a year-round worker.


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COMMENTS (2 to date)
J writes:

I am not sure if I understand the BLS data. As I read the excerpt (I did not see any further explanation in the report) someone who is a salaried employee and get 4 weeks a year of paid vacation is not a year-round worker. If this is the case, it seems not to coincide with the general usage of the term.

I understand excluding teachers who get a 3-month block of time off each year, but excluding someone with more than two-weeks of vacation seems odd.


P.S. The link given is partially broken.

Andy writes:

Woo I got it right! What do I win? It's important to note that this discrepancy arises from different survey methodology. The "full-year" question is a Census/ACS question and the "unemployment" question is a CPS question.

J: You are correct about the vacation-FT work interaction. That's why economists looking at Census data typically define their own "full-time, full-year" category. For instance, I will usually define them as respondents who worked 35+ weeks in the past 12 months with usually 35+ hours worked a week. Another definition I've used is 35+ weeks worked a year with 1400+ hours worked a year.

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