Employment Measurement: Comparing Survey and Resume Reports

Kelvin Balakasi, Independent Consultant
Susan Godlonton, University of Michigan

In this paper, we contribute to the growing developing country survey methodology literature by examining the extent to which different sources of data matter for labor force variable measurement. We examine how survey and resume reports compare using three different approaches. First, we examine average differences. Second, we will consider the internal (within individual) consistency of the labor force measures relying on the kappa statistic. Third, we examine whether the distributions of outcomes differ across sources. Initial findings suggest that survey data likely includes a broader definition of work than individuals include on resumes. Second, survey data underreports employment significantly for periods extending beyond six months prior to the survey. Future work will consider a broader set of labor force variables of interest including the types of jobs included and excluded in the two sources and which types of people exhibit greater degrees of discrepancy between these two sources.

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Presented in Poster Session 5: Economy, Labor Force, Education and Inequality