Research and Analysis by Michael Compson

The 2006 Earnings Public-Use Microdata File: An Introduction
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 71 No. 4 (released November 2011)
by Michael Compson

This article introduces the 2006 Earnings Public-Use File (EPUF), a data file containing earnings records for individuals drawn from a 1-percent sample of all Social Security numbers issued before January 2007. The EPUF contains selected demographic and earnings information for 4.3 million individuals. It provides aggregate earnings data for 1937 to 1950 and annual earnings data for 1951 to 2006.

Comparing Earnings Estimates from the 2006 Earnings Public-Use File and the Annual Statistical Supplement
Research and Statistics Note No. 2012-01 (released January 2012)
by Michael Compson

The Social Security Administration recently released the 2006 Earnings Public-Use File (EPUF). The EPUF contains earnings information for individuals drawn from a systematic random 1-percent sample of all Social Security numbers issued before January 2007. This note presents the process of evaluating the earnings data in EPUF. It also identifies and explains four key differences between the data in EPUF and the estimates published in the Annual Statistical Supplement to the Social Security Bulletin. The note specifically compares EPUF data with Annual Statistical Supplement estimates of earnings, number of workers with earnings, median earnings by sex and age group, and percentage of workers with earnings below the taxable maximum by sex. After accounting for the expected differences, the remaining discrepancies between EPUF and Annual Statistical Supplement estimates are relatively small.

Estimating the First Instance of Substantive-Covered Earnings in the Labor Market
Research and Statistics Note No. 2008-04 (released September 2008)
by Michael Compson