California Unemployment Insurance (UI) Earning Data

State of California Employment Development Department (EDD)

Information on pre-UI employment, wage records, and UI benefits for workers in California. 

Unit of Observation:
Individual beneficiary; claim
Personally Identifiable Information Available for Linking:
California, United States of America
Years Available:
Unknown - Present
Frequency of Updates:

99% of workers in California. Excluded are those who are self-employed, civilian employees of the federal government, military, railroad workers, and a small number of others


Published research suggests that California UI Data may be available for research purposes. While there is no publicly available access procedure, researchers may direct specific questions about obtaining data to a Confidential Data Coordinator at (916) 262-2162, per the website.

Timeline for Access


Lag Time





The method for linking is unknown. 

Identifiers Available for Linking

  • Address
  • First and Last name
  • Social Security Number

Linking to Outside Data Sources


Data Contents

The California UI Earning data consists of individual-level details on beneficiaries’ pre-UI employment records and their UI benefits. Employment records include information for separation at a pre-UI job and the details about the position. UI benefits include the weeks of benefits the beneficiaries are eligible for and the actual amount they claimed. 

Partial List of Variables

Age, ethnicity, race, gender, quarterly income, quarterly UI benefits, pre-UI job information, weekly benefits amount, weeks of benefits claimed 

J-PAL Randomized Evaluations Using this Data Set

Sanbonmatsu, Lisa, Lawrence F. Katz, Jeffrey B. Liebman, and Jeffrey R. Kling. 2011."Moving to Opportunity for Fair Housing Demonstration Program: Interim Impacts Evaluation." Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Other Research Using this Data Set

Fairlie, Robert, and Peter R. Bahr. "The Effects of Computers and Acquired Skills on Earnings, Employment and College Enrollment: Evidence from a Field Experiment and California UI Earnings Records." Economics of Education Review 63, no. C (2018): 51-63.

Lee, Joanne, Karen Needels, and Walter Nicholson. “A Longitudinal Survey of Unemployment Insurance Recipients in Two Regions in California.” Mathematica Policy Research (2017). 

Last reviewed