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Looked at job ads (CPS)

Codes and Frequencies

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FWK_READADS_CPS8 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_CPS8 indicates whether one specific method (looking at 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_CPS8 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_CPS8), contacting a public employment agency (see FWK_PUBAG_CPS8), contacting a private employment agency (see FWK_PVTAG_CPS8), contacting friends or relatives (see FWK_RELATE_CPS8), contacting school or university employment centers (see FWK_SCHOOL_CPS8), sending out resumes or filling out job applications (see FWK_RESUME_CPS8), checking union or professional registers (see FWK_UNION_CPS8), placing or answering want ads (see FWK_ADS_CPS8), or some other "active" job search method (see FWK_OTHERA_CPS8). Other passive job search methods include: attending a job training program or course (see FWK_JOBPRGM_CPS8) or some other "passive" job search method (see FWK_OTHERP_CPS8). Individuals who report doing nothing to find work receive a code of 1 for FWK_NOTHING_CPS8.

FWK_READADS_CPS8 was drawn from the final CPS interview, conducted 2-5 months before the ATUS interview. Information on other job search methods was also collected during the ATUS interview. See FWK_EMPLR, FWK_PUBAG, FWK_PVTAG, FWK_RELATE, FWK_SCHOOL, FWK_RESUME,FWK_UNION, FWK_ADS, FWK_OTHERA, FWK_READADS, FWK_JOBPRGM, FWK_OTHERP, and FWK_NOTHING.


This variable is comparable across years from 2003 onward.


  • CPS civilian household members age 15 and over who were not employed and looking for work.


  • 2003-2022


This variable has no flags.