Thursday, May 7, 2015

LFS Question

I have downloaded quite a number of files the Labour Force Survey for a researcher. In the data directory, there are folders with names like "". When I unzip them the files are .prn files. As I know very little about SPSS, could someone please tell me what these files are and how to use them in SPSS or if they are even for SPSS?


The .prn files are ASCII text data files. You need to edit the SPSS syntax file (the .sps one) to point to the data file location, and then you can run the syntax within SPSS to load the data. Afterwards you can save it as a .sav file or export into any number of different format.

You can find rather more detailed instructions here (
It’s for ICPSR data, but the principle is the same):


These are the data files. In the doc folder I believe is where you will find the SPSS syntax to create the file. I recommend consulting the DLI Survival guide, which helps address how to work with the syntax file.