Resource Library: Glossary

The following terms and acronyms are commonly used in the development and analysis of workforce statistics. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has developed most of the definitions for its data collection programs. Click on a letter below to view the definitions.


 
A   B   C   D   E   F   G   H   I   J   K   L   M   N   O   P   Q   R   S   T   U   V   W   X   Y   Z


 
A
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ACCRA Cost of Living Index - A quarterly survey associated with the American Chamber of Commerce Research Association. Provides comparisons of prices for approximately 300 cities. Indexed to 100 where 100 is the average of U.S. cities. An index of more than 100 means it costs more than average to live in that city. Expenditure patterns reflect “mid-management households.”
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Affirmative Action - A program that became law with the passage of the Equal Economic Opportunity (EEO) Act of 1972. Employers, labor unions, employment agencies, and labor-management apprenticeship programs must actively seek to eliminate discrimination against and increase employment of women and minorities. The EEO Act requires employers to draw up a detailed written plan for equalizing economic opportunity with respect to hiring, promotion, transfers, wages and salaries, training, fringe benefits, and other conditions of employment. These plans include definite numerical goals and timetables for achieving such changes.
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Aging - A process of updating historical wages or wage ranges to reflect a more recent period using the employment cost index.
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Agricultural Employment - Persons who work as owners and operators of farms, as unpaid family workers on farms and as hired workers who are engaged in farm activities.
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America's Labor Market Information System (ALMIS) - The ALMIS Database is a normalized relational database structure developed for the storage and maintenance of employment statistics, labor market information, employer listings and related economic and demographic data.
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American Community Survey (ACS) - The American Community Survey is a nationwide survey designed to provide communities a fresh look at how they are changing. It is a critical element in the Census Bureau's reengineered 2010 census plan. It is used to collect data about the characteristics of the population throughout the decade rather than once every ten years.
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America’s Job Bank - A U.S. Department of Labor system that allows employers to sort job openings on a computerized database and job seekers to search for jobs, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
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America’s Talent Bank - A U.S. Department of Labor system that allows job seekers to place their credentials on a computerized database that can be accessed, by employers, nationwide, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
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Apprenticeship - A structured approach for entering a skilled occupation in most of the major traditional industries. Combines training on the job, with related supplemental instruction in school.
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Associate Degree - A degree received upon completion of a program of study at a community or technical college, associate-degree granting university or qualified private career school. Traditionally, associate degrees require two years of full-time training.
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Auxiliary establishment - A unit that is primarily engaged in performing services for other units of the same company rather than for other companies or the general public. Examples of auxiliary establishments are central administrative offices, research and development or testing labs, and warehouses.
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Average Monthly Employment (AME) - Computed as the average of the three monthly employment figures in a given calendar quarter.
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Average Quarterly Wages (AQW) - Computed as total quarterly wages divided by average monthly employment.
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Average Weekly Wages (AWW) - Computed as average quarterly wages divided by 13.
 
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B
 
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Baccalaureate Degree - A degree received upon completion of a program of study at a university or college. Traditionally, a baccalaureate or bachelor’s degree requires four years of full-time education.
 
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Base Period - A selected period of time, frequently one year, against which changes to other points in time are calculated.
 
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Benchmarking - The process of re-estimating statistics as more complete information becomes available. Estimates are usually calculated using only a sample of the universe (total count). Therefore, benchmarking allows for correction of estimating errors. New benchmarking levels are introduced on an annual basis.
 
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Benefits - Compensation given to employees other than wages, such as life and health insurance, educational courses, etc.
 
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Bureau of the Census - Part of the U.S. Department of Commerce, it conducts censuses of population and housing every 10 years and of agriculture, business, governments, manufacturers, mineral industries, and transportation at 5-year intervals. In cooperation with BLS, the Census Bureau also conducts the monthly Current Population Survey. Information from this survey is the source of unemployment statistics.
 
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Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) - A Federal statistical agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, BEA is responsible for estimation of Gross Domestic Product. Data from the Current Employment Statistical (CES) and the Quarterly Covered Employment and Wages (QCEW) programs are used in the Gross Domestic Product estimates.
 
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Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) - As part of the U.S. Department of Labor, BLS is the Federal agency that functions as the principal data-gathering agency of the Federal government in the field of labor economics. The BLS collects, processes, analyzes, and disseminates data relating to employment, unemployment, the labor force, productivity, prices, family expenditures, wages, industrial relations, and occupational safety and health. Well known data released by BLS includes: the Consumer Price Index, the Producer Price Index, the unemployment rate, and non-agricultural employment levels collected through the Current Employment Statistical (CES) program.
 
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Business Cycle - A periodically repeated sequence of fluctuations in the aggregate economy of an area, or the nation as a whole, varying in duration, but consisting of: a) upturn, including recovery and prosperity; b) cyclical peak; c) downturn, including recession; and d) cyclical trough.
 
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C
 
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Career Development - Career development refers to “the outcome of action on career plans as viewed by both individuals and organizational perspectives.” The outcomes desired by individuals range from job status to job flexibility to monetary rewards, depending on the situation. Desired outcomes for organizations include achieving the best match between people and jobs.
 
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Career One-Stop - The U.S. Department of Labor’s sponsored America’s Labor Market Information System. The Career One-Stop portal includes powerful labor market tools for job seekers and employers in America’s Job Bank (AJB), America’s Career InfoNet, and America’s Service Locator.
 
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Census - An official periodic enumeration including the collection of related demographic information. (e.g. housing, employment, commuting patterns, etc.)
 
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Civilian Labor Force - Generally, civilian labor force includes all persons who are either working or looking for work. Specifically, it is composed of all civilians over 16 years of age, who are either employed or unemployed, except:
  • Persons engaged in housework in their home,
  • Persons in school,
  • Persons with a new job not scheduled to begin for more than 30 days,
  • Persons unable to work because of long-term physical or mental illness,
  • Persons temporarily unable to work,
  • Retired persons,
  • Persons too old to work,
  • Persons doing less than 15 hours weekly of unpaid family work,
  • Seasonal workers surveyed in the off-season and not looking for work,
  • Inmates of institutions,
  • Persons not looking for work because they believe no jobs are available, and
  • Voluntarily idle persons.
Since the labor force includes both employed and unemployed, the unemployment rate is the ratio of unemployed in this category to the total number of individuals in this category. For example, if 4 million persons in a civilian labor force of 100 million are unemployed, the unemployment rate is 4 percent.

 

 
 
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Civilian Non-Institutional Population - Included are persons 16 years of age and older residing in the 50 states and the District of Columbia, who are not inmates of institutions (e.g., penal and mental facilities, homes for the aged), and who are not on active duty in the Armed Forces.
 
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Class of Worker - This is a classification scheme that divides the employed into wage and salary workers, self-employed workers, and unpaid family workers. Wage and salary workers who receive wages, salaries, commissions, tips, or pay-in-kind from an employer are further subdivided into private and government workers. Self-employed workers are those who work for profit in their own business or farm. Unpaid family workers are persons working without pay for at least 15 hours per week in a business or on a farm operated by a member of the household related by birth or marriage.
 
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Commuting Patterns - A labor market concept that refers to worker flows between municipalities and/or counties. Data representing commuting patterns is collected through the decennial census and is available for larger municipalities and counties; measures include the number of workers that travel to jobs between cities and counties. Data on commuting patterns can reveal the most economically developed areas, such as those that draw large amounts of labor, or they may reveal the need for economic development, such as those cities and counties that export large amounts of labor.
 
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Consumer Price Index (CPI) - The Consumer Price Index measures the average change over time in the prices paid by urban consumers for a representative market basket of consumer goods and services. User fees (such as for water) and sales and excise taxes paid by the consumer are included; however, income taxes and investments (like stocks and life insurance) are not included. The CPI-U includes expenditures by urban wage earners and clerical workers, professional, managerial, and technical workers, the self-employed, short-term workers, the unemployed, retirees and others not in the labor force. The CPI-W includes only expenditures by those in hourly wage earning or clerical jobs. It is the most commonly recognized measure of inflation.
 
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Covered Employment - Employees who are subject to State Unemployment Insurance (UI) laws or the Unemployment Compensation for Federal Employee (UCFE) program. These covered employees will appear on the Quarterly Covered Employment and Wage (QCEW) report.
 
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Covered Employment and Wages (CEW) Program - See Quarterly Covered Employment and Wages (QCEW).
 
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Crosswalk - A method that provides a means of matching components of different systems.
 
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Current Employment Statistics (CES) - A federal-state cooperative program administered by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, CES collects data each month on employment, hours, and earnings from a sample of non-farm establishments (including government). From these data, a large number of employment, hours, and earnings series in considerable industry and geographic detail are prepared and published each month. The employment data include series on all employees. Hours and earnings data include average weekly hours, average weekly overtime hours, and average hourly and weekly earnings.
 
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Current Population Survey (CPS) - A national household survey conducted each month by the Census Bureau for the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Information is gathered from a sample of about 60,000 households designed to represent the civilian non-institutional population of persons 16 years of age and older.
 
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Cyclical Unemployment - Temporary downturn in the job market. Cyclical unemployment is the most common form of unemployment when workers are temporarily laid off.
 
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D
 
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Data - Factual information used as a basis for reasoning, discussion or calculation.
 
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Database - A collection of information organized so that a computer program can quickly select desired data.
 
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Demand - In labor market information this term is usually used in reference to the need for workers in a particular occupation or workers with specific skills.
 
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Demographics - The characteristics of the population such as age, income, ethnicity, etc.
 
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Department of Labor (DOL) - Cabinet-level Federal agency that enforces laws protecting workers, promotes labor-management cooperation, sponsors employment training and placement services, oversees the unemployment insurance system, and produces statistics on the labor force and living conditions.
 
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Dictionary of Occupational Titles (DOT) - The Department of Labor’s Dictionary of Occupational Titles (DOT) has been replaced by the Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) system. See Standard Occupational Classification.
 
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Discouraged Workers - Individuals who say they did not look for work because they think none is available or they believe they lack the skills necessary to compete in the labor market. They are not counted as unemployed because they have not made specific efforts to find work.
 
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Dislocated Workers - As defined under the Workforce Investment Act of 1998, an individual who: (A) 1. has been terminated or laid off or received notice of same: and 2. is eligible for or has exhausted entitlement to unemployment compensation, or has demonstrated attachment to the workforce but is not eligible for unemployment compensation: and 3. is unlikely to return to a previous industry or occupation. Or (B) 1. has been terminated or laid off, or has received notice of same, as a result of permanent closure or substantial layoff at a plant, facility or enterprise; or 2. is employed at a facility at which the employer has made a general announcement that such facility will close within 180 days; or, 3. for purposes of receiving certain services, is employed at a facility at which the employer has made a general announcement that such facility will close. Or (C) was self-employed but is unemployed as a result of general economic conditions in the community in which the individual resides or because of natural disasters. Or (D) is a displaced homemaker.
 
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Displaced Homemaker - An individual who has been providing unpaid services to family members in the home and who (A) has been dependent on the income of another family member but is no longer supported by that income; and (B) is unemployed or underemployed and is experiencing difficulty in obtaining or upgrading employment.
 
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Doctorate - The highest award a student can earn for graduate (post-baccalaureate) study.
 
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Durable Goods - Products that aren’t consumed or quickly disposed of and can be used for several years, also called hard goods. Includes 3-digit NAICS codes 321, 327, 331, 333, 334, 335, 336, 337, and 339. Automobiles, furniture, and household appliances are examples. Because of their nature, expenditures for durable goods may be postponed. Consequently, durable goods sales are the most volatile component of consumer expenditures.
 
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E
 
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Earnings - Money that is received as a result of the normal business activities of an individual or a business. For example, most individual’s income is the money received from a regular paycheck.
 
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Economic Development - The entire array of activities, some conducted by government, and some by the private sector, often in partnership with government, that is intended to expand the economy of a designated area by increasing the number of jobs available to it’s population.
 
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Economic Fluctuations - Variations above and below the trend line of an economy. These variations have long been referred to as business cycles, but because they are not limited to the business sector of an economy and because cycle suggests a regularity, which most investigators cannot find, many writers today use the expression economic fluctuations. Many theories are given to explain these fluctuations. Wars, of course, have a major influence on an economy, as do natural disasters such as storms or droughts. More subtle forces include changes of governments, the irregularity of major innovations, the phasing-out of products, and population growth.
 
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Economic Indicator - A set of data that serves as a tool for analyzing current economic conditions and future prospects. Usually classified according to their timing in relationship to the ups and downs of the business cycle, i.e., whether they anticipate (lead), coincide with, or lag behind general business conditions.
 
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Economic Resources - The basic inputs or component parts of an economy. They have long been recognized as land, labor, and capital; modern writers usually include entrepreneurial ability as a fourth economic resource.
 
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Employed Persons - Individuals who are 16 years of age and older who worked for pay any time during the week which includes the 12th day of the month, or who worked unpaid for 15 hours or more in a family-owned business, and individuals who were temporarily absent from their jobs due to illness, bad weather, vacation, labor dispute, or personal reasons. Excluded are persons whose only activity consists of work around the house and volunteer work for religious, charitable, and similar organizations.
 
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Employment and Training Administration (ETA) - A part of the U.S. Department of Labor. This agency oversees the State UI programs and job training and placement services provided by State Employment Security Agencies.
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Employment Cost Index - A measure of the change in the cost of labor, free from the influence of employment shifts among occupations and industries. The compensation series includes changes in wages and salaries and employer costs for employee benefits. Benefits covered by the ECI are: Paid leave-vacations, holidays, sick leave, and other leave; supplemental pay-premium pay for work in addition to the regular work schedule (such as overtime, weekends, and holidays), shift differentials, and non-production bonuses (such as referral bonuses and lump-sum payments provided in lieu of wage increases); insurance benefits-life, health, short-term disability, and long-term disability; retirement and savings benefits-defined benefit and defined contribution plans; legally required benefits-Social Security, Medicare, Federal and State unemployment insurance, and workers' compensation; and other benefits-severance pay and supplemental unemployment plans.
 
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Entry-Level - Jobs or occupations for which employers hire workers with little or no previous work experience or with relatively minimum training or education. Occupations that require more education or training may have specific entry-level classifications such as “apprenticeship” or “internship.”
 
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ES-202 - See Quarterly Covered Employment and Wage (QCEW) Program.
 
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Establishment - An economic unit such as a farm, factory, store, or mine that produces goods or provides services. It is usually at a single physical location and engaged in one predominant type of economic activity.
 
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Estimate - A numerical quantity calculated from sample data or from a model intended to provide information about a universe.
 
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Estimated Delivery System (EDS) - An important quality control tool employed by the Occupational Employment Statistics survey to provide a consistent and automated framework for survey processing. EDS is a system that produces occupational wage and employment data from the results of the semi-annual occupational employment survey. It can update wage estimates to a later period than the date of the survey based on the Employment Cost Index (ECI) factors or produce occupational wage and employment estimates for custom geographic areas.
 
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F
 
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Farm Employment - Persons who work as owners and operators of farms, as unpaid family workers on farms, and/or as hired workers who are engaged in farm activities.
 
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Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS) - Standards for information processing issued by the National Bureau of Standards in the U. S. Department of Commerce includes a numeric designation for geographic areas such as cities and counties.
 
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Federal Interagency Commission on Education (FICE) - Assigns a unique code to each postsecondary school and training institution in the United States.
 
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Firm - A business entity, either corporate or otherwise, that may consist of one or several establishments.
 
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Forecast - To calculate or predict some future event or condition: usually as a result of study and analysis of available pertinent data.
 
 
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Frictional Unemployment - Occurs when a person voluntarily leaves one job and has not yet begun another job. The worker is voluntarily unemployed and is utilizing his/her right to change jobs.
 
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Full-time Employment - Defined by the U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics as employment of 35 or more hours in a week.
 
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G
 
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Geographic Information Systems (GIS) - A sophisticated computer based mapping and information gathering system. Includes three components:
  • A computer graphics program that draws maps,
  • External databases that are linked to the GIS maps, and
  • Tools that graphically interpret data through the use of color or shadings on maps.
 
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Gross Domestic Product (GDP) - The total of all goods and services produced by the U.S. economy. GDP is compiled quarterly by the U.S. Department of Commerce.
 
 
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Gross National Product - The market value of all final goods and services produced (in a particular period) with labor and property supplied by US residents.
 
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Growth Rate - The percentage change of job openings created due to newly created jobs for long-term and short-term projections.
 
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H
 
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Hours - Refers to hours paid, during the reference pay period in the Current Employment Statistics (CES) program, for production, construction or non-supervisory workers. Includes hours paid for holidays, vacations, and sick leave.
 
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Household - As defined by the Census Bureau, all persons who occupy a housing unit, room or group of rooms intended for occupancy as separate living quarters and having either a separate entrance or complete cooking facilities for the exclusive use of the occupants.
 
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Housing Permits - Counted by the Bureau of the Census, new housing permits include permits issued for all new privately owned, attached and detached single-family houses.
 
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I
 
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Income - Total amount of money earned by an individual from all sources that may include salary, investments, real estate earnings, etc.
 
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Industry - A generic term for a distinct group of economic activities. Industries are described and classified by their primary activity or product.
 
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Industry Cluster - Non-specific terms (such as tourism) used to group industries with similar economic activities such as linking a business with its suppliers. (An example might be a cluster representing growers, packing and shipping businesses in an agricultural cluster).
 
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Industry Employment - Full-time and part-time workers (including employees on paid vacation or paid sick leave) who work or receive compensation from establishments for any part of the pay period including the 12 th of the month. Those workers involved in labor-management disputes are excluded. This count of the number of jobs is available by industry.
 
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Inflation - Defined as a process of continuously rising prices, or equivalently, of continuously falling value of money.
 
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Infrastructure - The resources required for an activity. The underlying foundation or basic framework.
 
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Internship - A structured program where a person gains supervised practical experience in an occupation.
 
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Initial Claim - A notice filed by a worker, at the beginning of a period of unemployment, requesting a determination of insured status for jobless benefits.
 
 
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J
 
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Job Bank - A computerized listing of the job openings placed by employers with One-Stop Career Centers. This service is provided at no cost to either employers or applicants. In addition to computer printouts, Career Center offices are equipped with computers and resource rooms to assist applicants in locating a job for which they are qualified.
 
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Job Insurance - See Unemployment Insurance.
 
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Job Opening - A single job opening for which the One-Stop Career Center has on file a request to select and refer an applicant or applicants.
 
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K
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No K listings
 
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L
 
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Labor Dispute - Any controversy concerning terms or conditions of employment, or concerning the association or representation of persons in negotiating, fixing, maintain, changing, or seeking to arrange terms or conditions of employment, regardless of whether or not the disputants stand in the proximate relation of employer and employee.
 
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Labor Force - All persons 16 years of age and over who are classified as employed, unemployed and seeking employment, or involved in a labor-management dispute. The labor force does not include persons who never worked a full-time job lasting two weeks or longer and "discouraged workers" who have been unemployed for a substantial length of time and are no longer actively seeking employment. Members of the armed forces stationed either in the United States or abroad are counted by their place of residence. The civilian labor force excludes members of the armed forces and the institutionalized population.
 
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Labor Force Participation Rate - The proportion of the total civilian non-institutional population or of a demographic subgroup of that population classified as "in the labor force."
 
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Labor Market Area (LMA) - As defined by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, an economically integrated geographic area within which individuals can reside and find employment within a reasonable distance or can readily change employment without changing their place of residence.
 
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Labor Market Information (LMI) - The body of information that deals with the functioning of labor markets and the determination of the demand for and supply of labor. It includes, but is not limited to, such key factors as changes in the level and/or composition of economic activity, the population, employment and unemployment, income and earnings, wage rates, and fringe benefits.
 
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Labor Surplus Area - A civil jurisdiction where the average unemployment rate is at least 20 percent above the average unemployment for all states, or its unemployment during the previous two calendar years was 10 percent or more. The designation allows establishments in the area preference in bidding for certain federal contracts.
 
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Layoff - Suspension from pay by a company for reasons such as lack of orders, plant breakdown, shortage of materials, or termination of seasonal or temporary employment, etc.
 
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Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS) - The statistical program that produces estimates of the labor force, employment, unemployment, and unemployment rate. This Federal/State cooperative program administered by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) is responsible for producing the Labor Force Estimates (unemployment rate) each month.
 
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Local Employment Dynamics (LED) - The Local Employment Dynamics Program at the Census Bureau, together with its state partners, provides employment information at the county, city and Workforce Investment Area level. This information tracks workers in different industries by age and gender and provides statistics on job creation, separation, turnover, and wages.
 
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Local Workforce Investment Area - See Workforce Investment Area.
 
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Local Workforce Investment Board - See Workforce Investment Board.
 
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Location Quotients - A formula to measure an industry's concentration or specialization in one geographical area relative to a larger area.
 
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Long-Term Unemployment - Persons who have been unemployed for 15 or more consecutive weeks.
 
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M
 
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Manufacturing - Includes establishments engaged in the mechanical or chemical transformation of materials or substances into new products. These establishments are usually described as plants, factories, or mills and characteristically use power-driven machines and materials handling equipment. The new product of a manufacturing establishment may be "finished" in the sense that it is ready for utilization and consumption, or it may be "semi-finished" to become a raw material for an establishment engaged in further manufacturing.
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Market Basket - A package of goods and services that consumers purchase for day-to-day living. The weight of each item is based on the amount of expenditure reported by a sample of households. Market Basket is used as a measuring tool for the Consumer Price Index (CPI). See Consumer Price Index.
 
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Mass Layoff Statistics (MLS) Program - This is a federal/state cooperative effort to identify, describe, and track the effects of major jobs cutbacks using each State’s unemployment insurance database. The program has reports on mass layoff actions that result in workers being separated from their jobs.
 
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Mean - The mean is another term for average. In a given distribution, the mean is calculated by adding the value of the observations, then dividing that sum by the number of observations in that distribution.
 
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Median - The middle value or midpoint between two middle values in a set of data arranged in order of increasing or decreasing magnitude. As such, one-half of the items in the set are less than the median and one-half are greater.
 
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Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) - As defined by the federal Office of Management and Budget, MSAs have at least one urbanized area of 50,000 or more population, plus adjacent territory that has a high degree of social and economic integration with the core as measured by commuting ties. MSAs are defined as whole counties or independent cities.
 
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Middle Range - The middle fifty percent of a range of data. Thus twenty-five percent of the observation falls on the high end, and twenty-five percent on the low end of the middle range.
 
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Mode - The number in a distribution of numbers that appears most frequently.
 
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N
 
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New Entrants - Persons entering the labor force for the first time.
 
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Non-agricultural Employment - See Non-farm employment.
 
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Non-durable Goods - Manufactured items that generally last for only a short time (three years or less). Food, beverages, apparel and gasoline are common examples. Because of their nature, non-durable goods are generally purchased when needed.
 
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Non-farm Employment - The total number of persons on establishment payroll employed full or part time that received pay for any part of the pay period, which includes the 12th day of the month. Temporary and intermittent employees are included, as are any workers who are on paid sick leave, on paid holiday, or who work during only part of the specified pay period. A striking worker who only works a small portion of the survey period, and is paid, is included. Persons on the payroll of more than one establishment are counted in each establishment. Proprietors, self-employed, unpaid family or volunteer workers, farm workers, and domestic workers are excluded. Persons on layoff the entire pay period, on leave without pay, on strike for the entire period or who have not yet reported for work is not counted as employed.
 
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North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS) - An economic classification system that replaces the 1987 Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) for statistical purposes. NAICS is a system for classifying establishments by type of economic activity. Its purposes are: (1) to facilitate the collection, tabulation, presentation, and analysis of data relating to establishments, and (2) to promote uniformity and comparability in the presentation of statistical data describing the economy. NAICS will be used by Federal statistical agencies that collect or publish data by industry. It is widely used by State agencies, trade associations, private businesses, and other organizations.
 
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O
 
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Occupation - The name or title of a job that identifies a person's principal business or work activity.
 
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Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) - The OES program collects data on occupational employment from employers. These data are used in the program that creates the occupational employment projections. The OES code structure is used in reporting occupational statistics in many state and federal reports.
 
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Occupational Projections - A statistical procedure developed by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics to provide future labor demand information by occupation for states and major areas.
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O*Net - The Occupational Information Network is a computerized database of information on occupations developed by the U.S. Department of Labor.
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Ownership Code - A numerical code that specifies the government and private sector portion of the economy on statistical reports.
  • 10 Federal government
  • 20 State government
  • 30 Local government
  • 40 International or foreign government
  • 50 Private
 
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P
 
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Part-Time Employment - As defined by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in which a worker is regularly scheduled to work 1 to 34 hours per week.
 
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Payroll - Total wages paid by a business to its employees for work performed during the pay period (weekly, bi-weekly, semi-monthly, or monthly).
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Per Capita Personal Income - The annual total personal income of individuals from all sources—wage and salary disbursements, other labor income, proprietors' income, rental income, dividends, personal interest income, and transfer payments--minus personal contributions for social security insurance, divided by resident population as of July 1.
 
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Personal Income - A measure of the net earnings, rental income, personal dividend income, personal interest income, and transfer payments by place of residence before the deduction of personal income taxes and other personal taxes.
 
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Planning District Commission (PDC) - A Planning District Commission is a political subdivision made up of elected officials and citizens appointed to the commission by member local governments. The purpose of a Planning District Commission is to encourage and facilitate local government cooperation and state-local cooperation in addressing, on a regional basis, problems of greater than local significance. The cooperation resulting is intended to facilitate the recognition and analysis of regional opportunities and take account of regional influences in planning and implementing public policies and services. PDCs also promote development of physical, social and economic elements of the district by planning, encouraging and assisting localities to plan for the future.
 
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Population - An estimate or count of the number of residents of an area by a specific date, usually July 1, of a given year.
 
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Preliminary Data - Data that are issued before the final or revised data—in other words, data that will probably change.
 
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Private Household Workers - Persons who work for profit or fees in private households such as childcare workers, cooks, housekeepers or other household staff.
 
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Producer Price Index (PPI) - A Bureau of Labor Statistics program that measures the average change in producers' selling prices of a fixed set of goods and services. The Producer Price Index is sometimes thought of as the "Wholesale" or "Industrial" Price Index.
 
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Production Worker - Employees who are directly engaged in manufacturing the product of an establishment. Among those excluded from this category are persons in executive and managerial positions and persons engaged in activities such as accounting, sales, advertising, routine clerical work, and professional and technical functions.
 
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Projections - An estimate of a future occurrence, event or activity based on historical evidence of past experience. Projections of employment are based on historical employment statistics, cyclical and structural factors, and estimates of economic growth, trends in the U.S., state, and regional characteristics that are likely to affect the region’s economy.
 
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Q
 
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Quarterly Covered Employment and Wages (QCEW) - A Federal/State cooperative program that collects and compiles employment and wage data for workers covered by state unemployment insurance (UI) laws and the Federal civilian workers covered by UCFE. These data are maintained at the state in micro and macro levels and also sent to BLS quarterly.
 
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Quartile - One of four divisions of observations that have been grouped into four equal-sized sets based on their rank.
 
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R
 
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Race and ethnicity - People who identify themselves as being of a racial or ethnic heritage other than white. Racial minority groups include Black/African American, Native American, Asian and Pacific Islanders. Persons of Hispanic ethnicity can be of any race.
 
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Re-entrants - People who are re-entering the labor force after an absence.
 
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Reference Week - The week for which data are collected. For the CPS and LAUS programs, the reference week is the calendar week including the 12th of the month.
 
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Replacements - The number of job openings in long and short-term projections that occur because of workers who leave their jobs to enter other occupations, retire, or leave the labor force for other reasons.
 
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Revised Data - The result of changes based upon additional or improved information.
 
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S
 
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Salary - Fixed compensation paid for labor or services. Most salaries are paid for a fixed period of working hours.
 
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Sample - A limited part of a statistical population whose properties are studied to gain information about the whole.
 
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Seasonal Adjustments - The adjustment of time-series data to eliminate the effect of variations that tends to occur each year in approximately the same manner. Examples of such variations include: school terms, holidays, and yearly weather patterns.
 
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Seasonal Factors - Seasonal factors are events that cause normal fluctuations in business activity within individual or combinations of industries. Seasonal factors include, but are not limited to, such events as: weather conditions, holidays, and school schedules.
 
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Seasonal Industry - An industry, in which activity is affected by regularly recurring weather changes, holidays, vacations, etc. The construction and recreational industries are typically characterized as "seasonal."
 
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Seasonal Unemployment - A condition resulting from jobs being available for only a portion of the year. For example, migrant workers who follow the harvest of various crops, but have little chance of working when that crop is completed, are seasonally unemployed.
 
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Self-Employed Workers - Persons who work for profit or fees in their own business, profession, trade, or farm. Only the unincorporated self-employed are included in the self-employed category. Self-employed persons who respond that their businesses are incorporated are included among wage and salary workers, because technically, they are paid employees of a corporation.
 
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Service Producing Industries - Industry sectors in this group include: trade, transportation, and utilities; information; financial activities; professional and business services; education and health services; leisure and hospitality; other services; and government (federal, state, and local).
 
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Shift Share Analysis - This economic analysis tool is a means of attributing change in a region’s economy (jobs or earnings) to various factors such as change in the nation’s economy, the particular industry mix in the region, and the competitiveness of the region’s economic base industries compared to similar industries elsewhere.
 
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Staffing Pattern - Each business employs workers with different types of skills to produce a good or provide a service. A staffing pattern summarizes this array of workers for an industry. The cost of labor and equipment in a local area will largely determine the mix of workers that a business will employ to remain competitive. Industry staffing patterns are often used to determine the ability of a local area to support economic development by being able to provide a skilled workforce.
 
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Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) This file is in PDF format. You must have Adobe Acrobat Reader 6.0 in order to view this file. - Last updated in 1987 this coding taxonomy was used to describethe primary goods and services offered by a business. It has been replaced with a new classification structure entitled NAICS or North American Industrial Classification System, containing comparable industry codes for the United States, Canada, and Mexico.
 
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Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) - A standard classification used in social and economic statistical reporting programs, such as the Census Bureau or Bureau of Labor Statistics programs.
 
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Structural Unemployment - This type of unemployment occurs when the basic nature of the economy changes over time; when employers no longer demand skills that unemployed workers possess. Structural unemployment is involuntary unemployment and typically requires retraining or education of displaced workers to bring their skills in line with demand.
 
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Survey - A study of all or a portion of the whole, conducted for purposes of making generalized statements about the whole.
 
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Survey Week - The week including the 12 th of the month.
 
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T
 
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Temporary Workers - Those workers who have no long-term attachment to an employer. They may work for several days, or several months, and often work for temporary help agencies.
 
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Total Openings - The sum of the number of job openings for short-term and long-term projections due to growth (new jobs) and the number of job openings due to replacements.
 
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Total Personal Income - The sum of net earnings by place of residence, rental income of persons, personal dividend income, personal interest income and transfer payments. Personal income is measured before the deduction of personal income taxes and other personal taxes and is reported in current dollars (no adjustment is made for price changes).
 
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Total Wages - All yearly remuneration paid to non-agricultural workers, including gross wages, commissions, bonuses, cash value of meals, lodging and other gratuities when furnished as payment for the job. Reimbursement for travel and other business expenditures are not included.
 
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Trainee - An individual hired for a job, which may or may not require previous experience or education. A trainee could start in an entry-level, apprenticeship level, or internship level position.
 
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Trend - The long-term or overall movement of a data series over time. Any economic time series is made up of trend, irregular, cyclical, and seasonal movements.
 
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Turnover - The rate of replacement of employees.
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U
 
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Underemployed - Persons working full-time or part-time in jobs that are below their earning capacity or level of competence. The terms "underemployed" and "underutilized" are used interchangeably. Underemployment has also been defined as "involuntary part-time" employment or employment of a person on a part-time basis when full-time work is desired.
 
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Unemployed - The number of people who, during the reference week (includes the 12th of the month):
  • Had no employment but were available for work and;
  • Had engaged in any specific job-seeking activity within the past four weeks, such as registering at a public or private employment office, meeting with prospective employers, checking with friends or relatives, placing or answering advertisements, or writing letters of application; or
  • Were waiting to be called back from a job from which they had been laid off; or
  • Were waiting to report to a new wage or salary job within 30 days.
 
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Unemployment - Occurs when any of the factors of production (labor, land, capital, and entrepreneurship) are not employed in production of goods and services. Unemployment occurs when labor, a factor of production, is not being fully utilized due to the unavailability of suitable jobs. It is strictly defined as a situation where people who are willing and able to work cannot find employment.
 
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Unemployment Insurance (UI) - Unemployment insurance is a program for the accumulation of funds paid by employers to be used for the payment of unemployment insurance to workers during periods of unemployment which are beyond the workers' control. Unemployment insurance replaces a part of the worker's wage loss if he becomes eligible for payments. UI serves as an economic stabilizer by maintaining an individual's purchasing power when unemployed.
 
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Unemployment Insurance Wage Records - The Unemployment Insurance (UI) wage records indicate how much employers paid each employee during a given quarter of the year. Most employers are required to report these earnings, facing stiff penalties if they fail to respond accurately. These wage figures determine how much unemployment compensation people receive if they lose their jobs. Not everyone’s wages fall under the auspices of UI laws. Those who are self-employed and those who work for certain not-for-profit organizations or family farms often do not have their wages reported to the UI division of the state employment offices.
 
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Unemployment Rate - The number of unemployed people as a percentage of the labor force. The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate eliminates the influence of regularly recurring seasonal fluctuations that can be ascribed to weather, crop-growing cycles, holidays, vacations, regular industry model changeover periods, etc., and therefore, more clearly shows the underlying basic trend of unemployment.
 
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V
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Veteran - A veteran is generally defined as a person who has had at least six months of active duty in the United States military services and was not dishonorably discharged. Within that broad definition there are veteran groups who receive additional preference in the Department of Workforce Services system. They include Vietnam Era Veterans, Gulf War Veterans, Disabled Veterans, Special Disabled Veterans and Recently Separated Veterans.
 
 
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W
 
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Wage and Salary Workers - Workers who receive wages, salaries, commissions, tips, payment in kind, or piece rates. The group includes employees in both the private and public sectors.
 
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Wages - Consist of earnings before payroll deductions, including production bonuses, incentive earnings, commissions and cost-of-living adjustment.
 
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Workforce Center - One-stop access to workforce, employment and training services of various programs and partner organizations. Each Workforce Center provides services required by federal legislation plus services designed to meet the needs of the local community.
 
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Workforce Development - All programs that prepare people for work, including educational segments and special programs, and job training and employment programs, whether operated by public, private or non-profit entities.
 
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Workforce Investment Act (WIA) of 1998 - WIA authorizes Federal funds to provide the employment and training services of various programs and organizations through a system of one-stop career centers that include programs of job training, adult education and literacy, and vocational rehabilitation in order to establish a coordinated, streamlined and more flexible workforce development system. It focuses on providing employers with skilled workers, and the economic and workforce information they need to conduct business effectively. In addition, it provides workers with the information advice, job search assistance, and training they need to get and keep good jobs.
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Workforce Investment Area - A geographical area, designated by the governor, within which employment and training services are provided under the Workforce Investment Act.
 
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Workforce Investment Board (WIB) - Responsible for establishment and continued operation of Workforce Centers in each of the Workforce Investment Areas. Workforce Investment Boards provide a forum to assure that workforce training and employment initiatives meet the economic development and business needs of each local area.
 
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Workforce Statistics - The body of information that deals with the functioning of labor markets and the determination of the demand for and supply of labor. It includes, but is not limited to, such key factors as changes in the level and/or composition of economic activity, the population, employment and unemployment, income and earnings, and wage rates and fringe benefits.
 
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