Interviews began in 1966 for the NLS older men, a group of 5,020 men ages 45-59. Older men were well into their careers, and were on the threshold of decisions about the timing and extent of their labor force withdrawal. Data collection focused on topics such as work and nonwork experiences, retirement planning, health conditions, insurance coverage, and the ways in which respondents spent their leisure time. The survey also tracked labor market decisions such as middle-age job changes, retirement expectations and experiences, and reentry to the labor market after initial retirement. Interviews with this cohort ceased in 1981. In 1990, information was collected from respondents and widows or other next-of-kin deceased sample members. Also includes cause of death information collected from state vital records departments in 1990.
Interviews also began in 1966 for 5,225 young men, ages 14 to 24. The surveys of the young men traced in detail their educational experiences including a separate survey of respondents' high schools, training investments, and career choices, as well as marital and fertility histories. Their work history is also followed, allowing for research on areas such as returns to schooling, effects of teenage unemployment, the transition from school to work, job search, racial wage differentials, and earnings mobility and inequality. Interviews with this cohort ceased in 1981.