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Emp status of spouse/partner

Codes and Frequencies

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EMPSP reports the employment status of the respondent's spouse or partner for coupled respondents. EMPSTAT provides further details on the employment status of the respondent.

Where the survey collected diaries from both members of the couple, each partner's own self-reported employment status is used to identify the corresponding spouse's employment status. If one partner's employment status is not reported or where only one person in the household completed a diary, the employment status of the respondent's spouse during the week prior to the survey (or whatever the period of reference was in the original questionnaire) is assigned.

Comparability — Index

United States


EMPSP is comparable across all samples. 

Comparability — Canada [top]

In 2005 and 2010, this variable was constructed from first the labor status of the household (LFSHSD12) and the main activity of the spouse/partner in past 7 days (ACT7DAYS_PR).

In 2015, this variable was created based on the original variable MAP_110C, which reports the main activity of the spouse of the partner in the last 12 months. Be aware that this variable refers to the last 12 months and not the last week.


Comparability — Netherlands [top]

The original variable does not distinguish between full-time and part-time employment status of spouse prior to 2000; accordingly, all spouses who are employed are coded as having unknown job hours.

Comparability — United States [top]

In 2003 forward, EMPSP is based on information from the CPS, which was fielded two to five months prior to the ATUS interview. The high level of non-response on this variable reflects cases where respondents had acquired a new spouse or cohabiting partner since the CPS interview (and hence no data is available for the partner), as well as cases where the diarist and spouse did not participate in the CPS interview.


  • All persons in a couple (married/cohabiting/civil partnership).


  • Austria: 1992
  • Canada: 2005, 2010, 2015
  • Finland: 1979
  • France: 1985, 2009
  • Hungary: 2009
  • Israel: 1991
  • Italy: 2002, 2008
  • Netherlands: 1975, 1980, 1985, 1990, 1995, 2000
  • South Korea: 2009
  • Spain: 2002
  • United Kingdom: 1983, 1987, 2000
  • United States: 1985, 1998, 2003-2022