Studies of Welfare Populations: Data Collection and Research Issues. Unemployment Insurance Wage Records Data to Measure Income and Employment for Low-Income Population

06/01/2002

We now consider the evidence on using UI wage records to measure the income and employment status of low-income populations. UI wage records contain the earnings reported by employers (on a quarterly basis) to state UI agencies for each employee. As we noted above, UI data often are linked to information on targeted samples, such as participants in evaluations of specific welfare or training programs. Thus, the populations for which UI wage data are used to measure their income and employment varies with the particular investigation being conducted. We report on several of these studies, attempting to draw some general conclusions about the strengths and weaknesses of this data source.

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