Protocol - Current Employment Status

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The interviewer asks the respondent about his or her current employment status.

Specific Instructions



We would like to know about what you do-are you working now, looking for work, retired, keeping house, a student, or what?











Personnel and Training Required

The interviewer must be trained to conduct personal interviews with individuals from the general population. The interviewer must be trained and found to be competent (i.e., tested by an expert) at the completion of personal interviews.* The interviewer should be trained to prompt respondents further if a "don’t know" response is provided.

* There are multiple modes to administer this question (e.g., paper-and-pencil and computer-assisted interviews).

Equipment Needs

While the source protocol was developed to be administered by a computer-assisted telephone instrument, the PhenX Working Group acknowledges these questions can be administered in a noncomputerized format (i.e., paper-and-pencil instrument). Computer software is necessary to develop computer-assisted instruments. The interviewer will require a laptop computer or handheld computer to administer a computer-assisted questionnaire.

Requirement CategoryRequired
Major equipment No
Specialized training No
Specialized requirements for biospecimen collection No
Average time of greater than 15 minutes in an unaffected individual No
Mode of Administration

Interviewer-administered questionnaire


Adolescent, Adult


An individual aged 16 or older.

Selection Rationale

Although a variety of questions have been used to ascertain employment status, the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID) version was chosen because the PSID is one of the longest-standing and most comprehensive longitudinal studies of labor force participation available in the United States. An important feature of the PSID version of the employment question is that it ascertains more detailed information related to nonemployed individuals (e.g., retirees, students).


Chinese, English, Other languages available at source

Logical Observation Identifiers Names and Codes (LOINC) Current employment proto 63062-4 LOINC
caDSR Form PhenX PX011301 - Current Employment Status 5791203 caDSR Form
Derived Variables


Process and Review

The Expert Review Panel #2 (ERP 2) reviewed the measures in the Demographics, Environmental Exposures, and Social Environments domains.

Guidance from ERP 2 includes:

• No significant changes to measure

Back-compatible: no changes to Data Dictionary

Previous version in Toolkit archive (link)

Protocol Name from Source

Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID), 2007


University of Michigan, Institute for Social Research. (2007). Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID). Ann Arbor, MI: Author. Question number BC1.

General References

Public Population Project in Genomics (P3G) Data Shaper.

Protocol ID


Export Variables
Variable Name Variable IDVariable DescriptiondbGaP Mapping
PX011301010000 We would like to know about what you do more
--are you working now, looking for work, retired, keeping house, a student, or what? show less
Variable Mapping
PX011301020000 We would like to know about what you do more
--are you working now, looking for work, retired, keeping house, a student, or what? Other (Specify) show less
Variable Mapping
Measure Name

Current Employment Status

Release Date

February 6, 2009


Question asking the respondent for his or her current employment status.


The purpose of this question is to ascertain whether the respondent is presently in the labor force. Employed persons differ considerably from those who are not employed in terms of their health, health insurance, and demographic characteristics (e.g., age). Moreover, nonemployed persons are also heterogeneous, representing those who are retired, in school, homemakers, not seeking work, and others. These nonemployed individuals also vary in health, health insurance, and demographic characteristics.


current employment status, Demographics, job, employment, work, unemployed, occupation, Panel Study of Income Dynamics, PSID, SES Measures (income, education, occupation), work characteristics

Measure Protocols
Protocol ID Protocol Name
11301 Current Employment Status

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