Graduate Student Researcher

The California Policy Lab seeks a University of California graduate student researcher interested in working with administrative employment data from the State of California. The data includes roughly two decades worth of linked employer-employee earnings and unemployment insurance (UI) claims microdata for the universe of UI-covered jobs in California. The GSR would be embedded at the CA Employment Development Department (EDD) and will be jointly supervised by CPL research affiliates and by EDD research staff. The position is currently part telecommute and part in-person at the EDD’s Sacramento offices. The GSR will have the option to arrange a mutually agreeable schedule combining mostly remote work with some in-person work.

This position at CPL is 100% off campus work and thus is only available to U.S. Citizens. International students (non-US citizens or permanent residents) are not eligible.

The GSR would have the opportunity to work on several important pending projects, including the dynamics of the UI system, exploration of employment patterns among individuals receiving public programs, and others. The GSR would also be in a position to propose potential projects of his/her own choosing using the EDD microdata — including records on Unemployment Insurance, Paid Family Leave, State Disability Insurance, and matched worker-firm data — with the additional possibility of linking data to other local or California state data sources to which CPL has existing partnerships. (This model has been successful for three current CPL graduate students placed at EDD.)

The primary tasks for the GSR would include data wrangling, data cleaning and analysis, and partnership relationship management. It is a great opportunity to improve data analysis skills and to work with this important data source.

CPL is seeking candidates who are strongly quantitative and have a background in programming, data manipulation, and database queries. Candidates should have experience coding in Stata. Experience coding in SAS preferred but not required; some on-the-job-training in EDD systems will be provided.

We seek a 50%-time GSR (with fee remission) starting as soon as possible and no later than March 2023. We prefer candidates who will also be available through the Spring Quarter of 2025 or 2026, as we expect this work to be ongoing. A Summer appointment could be as much as full-time. The salary range for this position is $70,000-$95,000 and compensation will be commensurate with experience in accordance with UC GSR salary scales.

This position is only open to University of California graduate students. To apply, please send a CV and short statement of interest to ucla@capolicylab.org. Please be sure to indicate (a) when you could start, (b) how many days per week you’d be available, and (c) your statistical programming experience. Feel free to contact CPL-UCLA faculty director Till von Wachter (tvwachter@econ.ucla.edu) or CPL-UCLA executive director Janey Rountree (janeyrountree@ucla.edu) with any questions.

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