NLSY79 Children

NLS Youth '79 Child & Young Adult Cohort

Short Description: 
Biological children of women in the NLSY79
Short Title: 
NLSY79 Child and Young Adult
Long Name: 
National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 Child and Young Adult
Investigator URL:
Nav Title: 
NLSY79 Child/YA

Work Experience

Each survey collects information about:


Data on respondents' usual earnings (inclusive of  tips, overtime, and bonuses but before deductions) have been collected during every Young Adult survey year for each employer for whom the respondent worked more than two weeks and more than 9 hours a week since the last interview date. The amount of earnings, reported in dollars and cents, is coupled with information on the applicable unit of time, such as per day, per hour, per week, or per year.


Since 2000, information has been collected on all jobs held since either the date of the last interview or January 1, 1994, whichever is more recent. From 1994 through 1998, the reference date for collecting job information was set to January 1 of the year preceding the fielding year. For respondents aging up as first-time young adults, their mother's date of last interview is used. Respondents are asked for the start and stop dates for all employers.


The Young Adult survey has routinely collected information on the occupation of respondents' jobs since last interview, most recent job if none since the date of last interview, and the first job held out of high school, as well as what occupation each certificate, license or journeyman's card was for. In addition to this respondent-specific information, data on occupations are also available for the spouse/partner and the father of the respondent.

Military Service

Created Variables

MILITARY18 (Y42829.00). Military status at date of interview for the 2018 survey year. This variable is also available for 1994 (Y03841.01), 1996 (Y06798.11), 1998 (Y09777.01), 2000 (Y12140.01), 2002 (Y14478.01), 2004 (Y16888.01), 2006 (Y19757.01), 2008 (Y22845.01), 2010 (Y26169.02), 2012 (Y29856.00), 2014 (Y33331.00), and 2016 (Y36769.00).

Labor Force Status

Prior to 2000, the Current Labor Force Status (CPS) questions in the Young Adult were very similar to those asked of the NLSY79 main Youth, as Young Adults not currently serving in the active military were asked about work activities during the last week. The survey determined if the respondent did any work for pay or profit, or unpaid work in a family business or farm.


Verbatim responses to questions such as "What kind of business or industry is this?  What do they make or do?" have been recorded within the Young Adult questionnaire in the Employer Supplements during each year's survey. These verbatims are then coded into various versions of the Census Bureau's industrial classification system which consists of 14 industry groups, representing more than 19,000 industries.

Hours Spent at Work

Young Adult respondents provide the number of hours they usually work for each job reported, as well as the number of hours their spouse/partner usually worked per week at all jobs in the past 12 months.

Shift and Times Worked 

Gaps in Employment

Fringe Benefits

Important Information About Using Fringe Benefits Data

These data do not reflect actual coverage by a specific benefit, but rather a respondent's reported knowledge of whether his or her employer made such a benefit available. Starting in 2000, respondents answered these questions only for Job #1, the current or most recent primary job.


Subscribe to RSS - NLSY79 Children