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Placed or answered ads

Codes and Frequencies

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FWK_ADS reports whether the respondent placed or answered ads in an effort to find work.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) only classifies persons as "unemployed" if they did not hold a job during the preceding week and had actively sought work through specific "active" methods (such as answering want ads) during the preceding month. The open-ended question, "What has [this person] been doing in the last four weeks to find work?" is designed to determine whether individuals who said that they were looking for work had recently taken action to find a job and thus officially qualified as unemployed. FWK_ADS indicates whether one specific method (placing or answering want ads) has recently been used by non-employed persons who identified themselves as looking for work.

The various methods of seeking employment recorded by the CPS are not mutually exclusive; individuals who received a code of 1 (method used) in FWK_ADS could report using any or all of the other search methods as well. Other job search methods include: checking with an employer (see FWK_EMPLR), attending a job training program or course (see FWK_JOBPRGM), contacting a public employment agency (see FWK_PUBAG), contacting a private employment agency (see FWK_PVTAG), looking at job ads (see FWK_READADS), contacting friends or relatives (see FWK_RELATE), sending out resumes or filling out job applications (see FWK_RESUME), contacting school or university employment centers (see FWK_SCHOOL), checking union or professional registers (see FWK_UNION), some other "active" job search method (see FWK_OTHERA), or some other "passive" job search method (see FWK_OTHERP). Individuals who report doing nothing to find work receive a code of 1 for FWK_NOTHING.

FWK_ADS was collected at the time of the ATUS interview, 2-5 months after the final CPS interview. Information on other job search methods was also collected during the final CPS interview. See FWK_ADS_CPS8, FWK_EMPLR_CPS8, FWK_JOBPRGM_CPS8, FWK_NOTHING_CPS8, FWK_OTHERA_CPS8, FWK_OTHERP_CPS8, FWK_PUBAG_CPS8, FWK_PVTAG_CPS8, FWK_READADS_CPS8, FWK_RELATE_CPS8, FWK_RESUME_CPS8, FWK_SCHOOL_CPS8, and FWK_UNION_CPS8.


This variable is comparable across years from 2003 onward.


  • ATUS respondents who were not employed but were looking for work.


  • 2003-2019


This variable has no flags.