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Looked at job ads

Codes and Frequencies

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FWK_READADS reports whether the respondent looked at 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_READADS indicates whether one specific method (looking at 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_READADS could report using any or all of the other search methods as well. Active job search methods include: checking with an employer (see FWK_EMPLR), contacting a public employment agency (see FWK_PUBAG), contacting a private employment agency (see FWK_PVTAG), contacting friends or relatives (see FWK_RELATE), contacting school or university employment centers (see FWK_SCHOOL), sending out resumes or filling out job applications (see FWK_RESUME), checking union or professional registers (see FWK_UNION), placing or answering want ads (see FWK_ADS), or some other "active" job search method (see FWK_OTHERA). Other passive job search methods include: attending a job training program or course (see FWK_JOBPRGM) 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_READADS 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_EMPLR_CPS8, FWK_PUBAG_CPS8, FWK_PVTAG_CPS8, FWK_RELATE_CPS8, FWK_SCHOOL_CPS8, FWK_RESUME_CPS8,FWK_UNION_CPS8, FWK_ADS_CPS8, FWK_OTHERA_CPS8, FWK_READADS_CPS8, FWK_JOBPRGM_CPS8, FWK_OTHERP_CPS8, and FWK_NOTHING_CPS8.


This variable is comparable across years from 2003 onward.


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


  • 2003-2022


This variable has no flags.