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A Proposed Estimation Procedure for CPS Gross Flows

Edwin L. Robison and Martha Duff


Gross flows estimates describe the month-to-month transitions from one labor force status to another. The method currently in use for CPS data applies a simple ratio adjustment forcing the weighted sum of matched cases (same person in sample two consecutive months) to duplicate overall male and female control totals for the current month. The current month margin of a gross flows table does not match the current month stock estimate. Subtables do not add up to known population controls for the current month, excepting male and female totals. An alternate gross flows weighting procedure for labor force estimates is proposed. Control totals are created for consecutive months by gender/race/labor force state by summing the full-sample CPS microdata weights for each month; adjustments account for persons flowing in-scope and out-of-scope between months. Matched cases are weighted, then raked and reweighed, to produce estimates that match controls for both months.