Survey of Unemployed Workers in New Jersey

The goal of this survey is to learn more about how unemployed workers spend and experience their time over their spell of unemployment. In addition, the survey aims at finding out more about how unemployed people search for jobs.

For that purpose, unemployed workers were invited to participate in the study each week for a period of up to 12 weeks, and the long-term unemployed were surveyed for an additional 12 weeks. The survey is distinguished from past studies by the use of high-frequency longitudinal data on time use, job search activity and job offers.

This unique data promises new insights into the process of job search and job finding, as it makes it possible to track time spent on job search activities over the spell of unemployment. The data for this survey were collected in the fall of 2009 and the beginning of 2010. The appendix in Krueger and Mueller (2011) describes in detail the survey design and methodology.

Data Release

The public release includes two data files: Entry Survey and Weekly Follow-up Survey. The Entry Survey Public Use Data file has demographic, income and wealth information on 6,025 unemployed workers sampled from the universe of the roughly 360,000 individuals receiving Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits in New Jersey as of September 28, 2009. The Weekly Follow-up Survey Public Use Data file contains focused information on the job search activities, reservation wage, and receipt of job offers. There are overall 39,201 person-week observations in the Weekly data.

Data Update

The weekly data file is updated on Nov. 12, 2013. The new file name is "weekly20131112". It has the same number of observations (N=39,201) but has 48 more variables (total 551 variables) than the previous data file.


  • Krueger, Alan B. and Andreas Mueller (2011). "Job Search, Emotional Well-Being and Job Finding in a Period of Mass Unemployment: Evidence from High-Frequency Longitudinal Data." Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, The Brookings Institution, Volume 42, Issue 1 (Spring). Available at Brookings Papers on Economic Activity web site.

Registration Required

To access these datasets, please login or register as a user of the data archive.