Browse our comprehensive listing of labor market terminologies and their definitions.
Accession Rate – the number of additional employees hired during a specific period, expressed as a percentage of total employment. The additions cover all types of employees, including both new and rehired workers on either a permanent or a temporary basis.
Affirmative Action – a program that became law with the passage of the Equal Employment Opportunity Act of 1972. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 originally outlawed discrimination in employment practices. The 1972 law, later strengthened by executive orders, required employers, labor unions, employment agencies, and labor-management apprenticeship programs to make an affirmative effort to eliminate discrimination against and increase employment of females and minorities. Affirmative Action Plan refers to detailed written plans drawn up by an employer for equalizing opportunity with respect to hiring, promotion, transfers, wages and salaries, training programs, fringe benefits, and other conditions of employment. These plans include definite numerical goals and timetables for achieving such changes.
Aggregate Demand – the total effective demand for the nation’s total output of goods and services.
Aggregate Supply – the total amount of goods and services available from all industries in the economy.
Agribusiness – the sector of the economy concerned with the production, processing, and distribution of agricultural products and farm supplies (machinery, fertilizer, pesticides, herbicides). It also includes businesses that provide agricultural services (animal husbandry) and economic agencies and financial institutions that serve agricultural producers (credit institutions, marketing associations, etc.).
Alien Labor Certification – Prior to bringing foreign workers into the U.S., employers must demonstrate their attempts to recruit U.S. workers through advertising, the State Employment Security System and by other means.
All Other Nonagricultural Employment – This includes self-employed, unpaid family workers, and domestics in private households.
America’s Job Bank (AJB) – a national job bank administered through the U.S. Department of Labor that is available via the Internet. The AJB is linked to all state Employment Security Agency job banks as well as to employer homepages.
America’s Labor Market Information System (ALMIS) – This system provides comprehensive economic and occupational data to job seekers, employers, students, counselors, economic development staff and other users.
Area of Substantial Unemployment (ASU) – A specific geographical area, with a population of 10,000 or more, which is defined in the JTPA legislation as being characterized by an average unemployment rate of 6.5 percent or more for the most recent twelve month period.
Applicant – a person who registers with a local Employment Security office to seek employment or obtain employability development services. Applicants remain “active” until they are placed in a permanent job or in training or as long as they continue to actively seek services from a local Employment Security office.
Area Sample – a sample based on the population of a geographic area; for example, all the residents of a given county.
Auxiliary Establishment – In the Standard Industrial Classification coding system, 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, development or testing labs, warehouses, and power plants.
Average Annual Openings – Annual number of job openings expected in an occupation due to growth plus replacement need.
Average Annual Wage – The average annual wage is calculated by taking the total wages (payroll) and dividing by the average annual employment.
Average Hourly Earnings – Average hourly earnings are on a "gross" basis. They reflect not only changes in basic hourly and incentive wage rates, but also such variable factors as premium pay for overtime and late-shift work and changes in output of workers paid on an incentive plan.
Average Weekly Earnings (CES/BLS-790 Program) – average total money earnings in non-farm employment, during the survey week, of production workers plus non-supervisory workers not in production including overtime, paid vacation, and sick leave.
Average Weekly Wages (CEW/ES-202 Program) – average total money earnings in the survey week of all workers in employment covered by unemployment compensation.
BLS-790 – The Federal Office of Management and Budget assigns numbers to all U.S. government survey forms. BLS-790 is the assigned number of the form used to collect data for the CES survey.
Base Period – a selected period of time, frequently one year (called a base year), against which changes in succeeding years are calculated. The relationship is usually expressed as “base year = 100”.
Benchmark – comprehensive data that are used as a basis for developing and adjusting interim estimates made from sample information. Most economic time series are estimates based on a sample trend made of the best data available at the time. The series are adjusted periodically as more data become available. This periodic adjustment is a “benchmark revision”, and the point-in-time for which the more complete data were available is the “benchmark date”. Data are commonly referenced by their benchmark date, e.g. “data based on a March 1995 benchmark”.
Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) – Part of the U.S. Department of Commerce. A federal statistical agency responsible for estimation of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Data from the Current Employment Statistics and Employment Statistics-202 programs are used in the GDP estimates.
Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)– the U.S. government’s principal data-gathering agency in the field of labor economics, particularly with respect to the collection and analysis of data on manpower and labor requirements, the labor force, employment and unemployment, hours of work, wages and other compensation, prices, living conditions, labor-management relations, productivity, technological developments, occupational safety and health, etc. Practically all of the data BLS collects are supplied voluntarily by workers, businesses, and government agencies. Its chief publications include the Monthly Labor Review, “Consumer Price Index”, “Wholesale Prices and Price Indexes”, and “Employment and Earnings”.
Business Cycle – A pattern of fluctuation in economic activity, characterized by alternate expansion and contraction. In general, business activity expands with rising industrial production, employment, prices, wages, and profits. It reaches a high point of prosperity and remains there for a time. Then activity begins to contract, with business volume receding, and production, employment, prices, etc., declining for a time until a low point is reached. After a time, recovery begins and business activity expands again. Economists distinguish four phases, known by various names: 1) expansion (prosperity boom), 2) contraction (crisis, recession, slump, downturn), 3) depression (trough, bust, crash, bottom), 4) recovery (revival, upturn).
Capital – the means of production including factories, office buildings, machinery, tools, and equipment; alternatively, it can mean financial capital, the money to acquire the foregoing and employ land and labor resources.
Census – A census is a complete count or enumeration (as opposed to a sample or an estimate) of a specified population or some other characteristics in a given area (housing, industry, etc.).
Census Bureau or Bureau of the Census (BOC) – The BOC is a bureau 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 five-year intervals. It also conducts the Current Population Survey (CPS) for the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Census Tracts – A small, relatively permanent statistical subdivision of a county delineated by a local committee of census data users for the purpose of presenting data. Census tract boundaries normally follow visible features, but may follow governmental unit boundaries and other non-visible features in some instances; they always nest within counties. Designed to be relatively homogeneous units with respect to population characteristics, economic status, and living conditions at the time of establishment, census tracts average about 4, 000 inhabitants. They may be split by any sub-county geographic entity.
Civilian Labor Force – the non-institutionalized portion of the population age sixteen and older that is employed or actively seeking employment.
Civilian Labor Force Participation Rate – the proportion of the civilian non-institutional population that is actively participating in the civilian labor force.
Class of Worker – There are three classes of workers: 1) wage and salary workers who receive wages, salary, commission, tips, or pay in kind from an employer; 2) self-employed people who work for profit or fees in their own business, profession, or trade, or on their own farms; and 3) unpaid family workers who work without pay for 15 or more hours a week on a farm or in a business operated by a household member to whom they are related by birth, marriage, or adoption.
Collective Bargaining – a process by which decisions regarding the wages, hours, and conditions of employment are determined by the interaction of workers acting through their unions and employers.
Combined Statistical Area – A labor market area representing two or more adjacent micropolitan and/or metropolitan statistical areas in any combination.
Consolidated Metropolitan Statistical Area (CMSA) – a large metropolitan statistical area with a population of one million or more, which is subdivided into two or more primary metropolitan statistical areas.
Consumer Price Index (CPI) – A statistical measure of changes in the prices of a representative sample of urban family purchases relative to a previous period.
Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) – a frequently used provision of labor contracts that grants wage increases based on changes in the consumer price index; often referred to in negotiations as the “escalator clause.”
Covered Employment – employment by an employer who reports wage and tax information to OESC as required by law. In Oklahoma, some of those employed in agriculture, some employed students, as well as the self-employed, those employed by religious organizations, fully commissioned real estate brokers and insurance sellers, and elected and appointed officials are not covered in significant numbers.
Current Employment Statistics (CES) – estimates of non-farm wage and salary employment and production workers’ hours and earnings by industry. They are produced monthly in cooperation with the Bureau of Labor Statistics as part of a nationwide program for each state and Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) from a sample of employing establishments.
Current Population Survey (CPS) – a monthly household survey of the population of the United States, which is the data source for the national estimates of the labor force composition. It is conducted by the Bureau of the Census. Approximately 1,025 Oklahoma households are surveyed. Nationwide the number is approximately 70,000.
Cyclical Industry – an industry whose sales and profits reflect, to a great extent, the ups and downs of the business cycle. Practically all of the capital goods industries (steel, machine tools, etc.) are cyclical because a moderate decline in demand may eliminate the demand for the capital goods needed to make the product.
Cyclical Unemployment – Unemployment that is caused by periodic declines in business activity that give rise to inadequate demand for workers in the economy.
Deliverable – As specified by the Labor Market Information contract, any product required to be delivered by the states to the BLS is generically called a “deliverable.”
Department of Labor (DOL) – A Cabinet-level 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.
Deregulation – The process of eliminating government regulations and reducing the scope and power of regulatory bodies.
Disaggregate – To divide a statistic into its component parts
Discouraged Worker – people who want to work but have made no attempt to find work in the last four weeks because they felt they could not find work. Discouraged workers are not counted among the unemployed or in the labor force.
Disposable Income – the amount of after-tax income that households have available for consumption or saving.
Diversification – the process in which a business firm increases the variety of products it produces and sells, either by introducing new products into the same product line or market, or by going into new product lines or markets.
DOT Codes – an occupational classification system based on both the nature of the work performed and the demands of such work activities upon the workers. These indicators of work requirements include eight separate classification components: training time, aptitudes, interests, temperaments, physical demands, working conditions, work performed, and industry. The U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration publishes these codes in the Dictionary of Occupational Titles.
Durable Goods – items with a normal life expectancy of three years or more. Automobiles, furniture, household appliances, and mobile homes are examples. Because of their nature, expenditures for durable goods are generally postponable. Consequently, durable goods sales are the most volatile component of consumer expenditures.
Earned Income – wages, salaries, and other employee compensation plus earnings from self-employment.
Econometric Model – a set of related equations used to analyze economic data through mathematical and statistical techniques. Such models are devised to depict the essential quantitative relationships that determine the behavior of output, income, employment, and prices. Econometric models are used for forecasting, for estimating the likely quantitative impact of alternative assumptions (including those pertaining to government policies), and for testing various theories about the way the economy works.
Economic Growth – An increase in the production capacity of the economy.
Economic Indicators – a statistical series that has been found to fairly and accurately represent changes in business conditions. There are three major groups of economic indicators that demon strate a consistent relationship to the timing of general business fluctuations:
- Leading indicators signal in advance a change in the basic pattern of economic performance. Examples are new orders for durable goods, construction contracts, formation of new business enterprises, hiring rates, and the average length of the workweek. These indicators move ahead of turns in the business cycle. For this reason, they provide significant clues to future shifts in the general direction of business activity.
- Coincident indicators measure current economic performance. Their movements coincide roughly with total economic activity. Gross Domestic Product, industrial production, personal income, employment, unemployment, wholesale prices, and retail sales are examples.
- Lagging indicators, such as capital expenditures and consumer installment debt, usually move up or down after general business activity has altered its course. (Economic indicators appear in Business Conditions Digest, a monthly publication of the U.S. Department of Commerce.)
Economic Time Series – a set of data collected over regular time intervals (e.g., weekly, monthly, quarterly, annually), which measures some aspect of economic activity. The data may measure a large grouping such as GDP or a narrow segment such as auto sales or the price of copper.
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.
Employed – people work for pay or own their own business at any time during the week, which includes the twelfth day of the month or if they work as unpaid workers for fifteen hours or more in a family-owned business. Persons who were temporarily absent from their jobs due to vacation, illness, bad weather, strike, or personal reasons are also counted as employed. Included in the employed group are those who are employed full-time (35 hours or more during the survey week) and those who are employed part-time.
Employment Benchmark – a reasonably complete count of employment used to adjust estimates derived from a sample. Adjustment is usually done annually. The basic source of benchmark data for the Current Employment Statistics program is data collected from employers by state employment security agencies as a by-product of the unemployment insurance (UI) system. About 98 percent of all employees on nonagricultural payrolls are covered by the UI system.
Employment Cost Index (ECI) – measures the rate of change in employee compensation, which includes wages, salaries, and employer’s cost for employee benefits. The ECI was developed in response to a frequently expressed need for such a statistical series. The ECI is comprehensive in that it:
- includes costs incurred by employers for employee benefits in addition to wages and salaries; and
- covers all establishments and occupations in both the private non-farm and public sectors. It measures the change in the cost of employing a fixed set of labor inputs, so it is not affected over time by changes in the composition of the labor force.
Employment by Place of Establishment (Location of Employment)– data about jobs by place of work.
Employment by Place of Residence – data about people by place of residence.
Employment Level – the estimate of the number of members of the labor force who worked for pay or profit; or had a job from which they were temporarily absent because of illness, vacation, labor dispute, or other reasons not reflecting a shortage of work; or who worked 15 hours or more as unpaid workers in an enterprise operated by a member of the family.
Employment Population Ratio – the proportion of the civilian non-institutional population that is employed.
Employment Status – The indication of whether or not the individual is employed and the regular period of time that the individual is employed.
- Full-time Employment: The 40-hour week, except where fewer hours are normal to the occupation, industry, or given employer, but on no account less than 30 hours per week.
- Part-time Employment: Employment which does not meet the full-time employment definition.
Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) – fair employment laws prohibit discrimination and require the employer to provide equal employment opportunity without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disabling condition, or reprisal.
ES – Employment Service.
ES-202 Program – A federal/state cooperative program that collects and compiles employment and wage data for workers covered by state unemployment insurance (UI) laws, and federal employers. These data are maintained in the state in micro and macrodata forms, and also are provided to BLS. Any data from this program may be generically referred to as “ES-202” data.
Establishment – an economic unit, such as a farm, mine, factory, or store, which produces goods or provides services. It is usually at a single physical location and engaged in one predominant type of economic activity for which a Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) code is applicable.
Estimate – A numerical quantity calculated from sample data, or from a model, and intended to provide information about a universe.
Export (X) – Domestically produced good or service sold abroad.
Extrapolate – To project values of a variable in an unobserved interval from values within an already observed interval.
Fair Labor Standards Act – the Federal Wage and House law adopted by Congress in 1938 that set a minimum wage for most American workers. It also mandates overtime pay beyond an eight-hour workday or over 40 hours a week.
FAQ – (Frequently Asked Questions)– FAQs are documents that list and answer the most common questions on a particular subject. There are hundreds of FAQs on subjects as diverse as Pet Grooming and Cryptography. FAQs are time-saving tool developed by people who repeatedly answer the same questions.
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 states, counties, and metropolitan areas.
Federal/State Cooperative Programs – A series of statistical programs in which the states and federal government cooperate in accomplishing the goals of the program.
Finance, Insurance, Real Estate (FIRE) – In the Standard Industrial Classification coding structure, a service producing industry.
Firm – A business entity, either corporate or otherwise. May consist of one or several establishments.
Fixed Costs – Production costs that do not change with changes in the quantity of output.
Fringe Benefits – Non-wage returns to workers for labor services; include time off with pay for holidays, vacations, and sick leave, retirement benefits, health care, and similar benefits.
Frictional Unemployment – The temporary joblessness that results from individuals who are between jobs, engaged in seasonal work, have quit their jobs and are looking for better ones, or are looking for their first jobs. This type of unemployment is usually short term and is caused by the economy’s inability to match job seekers with jobs quickly.
Full Employment – A state of the economy in which all people who want to work can find employment without much difficulty at prevailing rates of pay. Some unemployment, both voluntary and involuntary, is not incompatible with full employment since allowances must be made for frictional and seasonal factors that are always present to some degree.
Full-Time Employment – Generally includes people who worked 35 hours or more during the survey week (week of the month that includes the 12th). Persons who worked between one and 34 hours are designated as working part-time.
Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA) – This Act became Chapter 23, Sections 3301-3311, of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code, authorizing the tax imposed on employers with respect to people they employ for the purpose of funding unemployment insurance benefits. The FUTA made possible the federal/state system that established an employment security program in each state.
FTP – (File Transfer Protocol)– a very common method of moving files between two Internet sites. FTP is a special way to login to another Internet site for the purposes of retrieving and/or sending files. There are many Internet sites that have established publicly accessible repositories of material that can be obtained using FTP, by logging in using the account name anonymous, thus these sites are called anonymous FTP servers.
Gross Domestic Product (GDP) - the market value of the output of goods and services produced by property and labor located in the United States. GDP is a “gross” measure because no deduction is made to reflect the wearing out of machinery and other capital assets used in production. The GDP is a key measure of the overall performance of the economy and a gauge of the health of important sectors.
Goods Producing Industries – In the Standard Industrial Classification coding structure (soon to be North American Industry Classification System or NAICS), those industries that primarily produce goods: mining, construction, and manufacturing.
Gross National Product (GNP) - differs from gross domestic product in that it covers the goods and services produced by labor and property supplied by United States residents.
Growth (openings due to growth) – Openings in occupation due to industry expansion and the consequent need for additional workers.
High Demand Occupation – an occupation which has a substantial number of job openings both in absolute terms and relative to the number of job applicants for that occupation. High demand may be as a result of high growth, high turnover, or a combination of both.
High Technology – Group I includes industries with a proportion of technology-oriented workers (engineers, life and physical scientists, mathematical specialists, engineering and science technicians, and computer specialists) at least 1.5 times the average for all industries. Group II includes all industries with a ratio of research and development (R&D) expenditures t O*NET sales at least twice the average for all industries. Group III includes manufacturing industries with a proportion of technology-oriented workers equal to or greater than the average for all manufacturing industries and a ratio of (R&D) expenditures to sales close to or above the average for all industries. Two non-manufacturing industries, computer and data processing services, and R&D laboratories are also included.
Hispanic – persons who identify themselves as Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Central or South American, or of other Hispanic origin or descent. In U.S. Census data, persons of Hispanic origin may be of any race; thus, they are included in both the white and black population groups. Conversely, MSAs data identifies Hispanic as a separate entity and does not include their number in any other category.
Household – As defined by the Census Bureau, all people who occupy a housing unit. A housing unit is a 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.
Human Capital – labor that is literate, skilled, trained, healthy, and economically motivated.
Index of Leading Economic Indicators – an index that includes 12 economic variables that have been found to have a historical tendency to precede the turning points of the level of Gross National Product. The index is a composite of those 12 indicators.
Import (M) – A good or service purchased from foreign suppliers.
Import-Competing Industry – A domestic industry that produces the same or a close substitute good that competes in the domestic market with imports.
Index Number – a measure of the relative changes occurring in a series of values compared with a base period. The base period usually equals 100 and any variations from it represent magnitude of change. By use of an index number, volumes of data can be combined and weighted into one number relative to the base value.
Index of Leading Economic Indicators – An index that includes 12 economic variables that have been found to have a historical tendency to precede the turning points of the level of Gross National Product. The index is a composite of those 12 indicators.
Industry – an establishment or group of establishments engaged in producing similar types of goods and services.
Industry Clusters – Industry clusters are groups of competing, collaborating and interdependent businesses working in a common industry and concentrated in a geographic region. Clusters draw on shared infrastructure and a pool of skilled workers and represent the specialization and comparative advantage of the region. A synergistic effect is realized when successful companies that focus on a particular industry then cluster locally.
Industry-Occupation (I-O) Matrix – a tabulation of employment data cross-classified by industry and occupation, arranged in a grid divided into rows and columns. It provides a model representing the occupational, employment staffing patterns of each industry for one point in time.
Inflation – a continuously rising general price level, resulting in a loss of the purchasing power of money.
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.
Insured Unemployment – Unemployment during a week for which waiting period credit or benefits are claimed under the regular unemployment insurance compensation programs, supplemental extended benefit programs, or the railroad unemployment insurance program, is considered insured.
Insured Unemployment Rate (IUR) – The rate computed by dividing insured unemployment by covered employment.
Interpolate – To estimate values of a variable between two known values.
Java – a new programming language invented by Sun Microsystems that is specifically designed for writing programs that can be safely downloaded to your computer through the Internet and immediately run without fear of viruses or other harm to your computer or files. Using small Java programs (called "Applets"), Web pages can include functions such as animations, calculators, and other fancy tricks.
Job Leavers – Job leavers are people who quit or otherwise terminate their employment voluntarily and immediately begin looking for work.
Job Losers – Job losers are people on layoff and those whose employment ended involuntarily and who immediately begin looking for work.
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.
Labor Demand – An estimate of the number of job opportunities which exist and will occur over a given period of time.
Labor Dispute – Any controversy concerning terms or conditions of employment, or concerning the association or representation of persons in negotiating, fixing, maintaining, changing, or seeking to arrange term for conditions of employment, regardless of whether or not the disputants stand in the proximate relation of employer and employee.
Labor Force – The civilian labor force comprises the total of all civilians age 16 or older classified as employed and unemployed.
Labor Force Participation Rate – The proportion of the total civilian non-institutional population 16 years or older, or of a demographic subgroup of that population classified as "in the labor force."
Labor Market Analysis – The measurement and evaluation of economic forces as they relate to the employment process. There are many variables affecting labor, geography, and demand-supply relationships, including such factors as population growth and characteristics, industrial structure and development, technological developments, shifts in consumer demands, volume and extent of unionization and trade disputes, recruitment practices, wage levels and conditions of employment, and training opportunities.
Labor Market Area (LMA) – An economically integrated geographical unit within which workers may readily change jobs without changing their place of residence
Labor Market Information (LMI) – LMI is a body of knowledge that describes the nature, characteristics, and operation of those mechanisms, institutions, and participants involved in the matching of labor supply with demand. LMI is made up of a variety of economic, social, and demographic information that describes current conditions and forecasts conditions at a future date. LMI includes data on population, labor force, occupations, general economic trends, and careers and has many planning uses. The information can be used to determine policy and program needs, to allocate resources, and to establish program performance standards.
Labor Productivity – The value of goods and services in constant prices produced per hour of labor input.
Labor Supply – The number of persons employed and unemployed plus those that would seek employment if they believed jobs were available. Generally, this term has been applied to those who are unemployed.
Labor Surplus Area – This is defined under the Defense Manpower Policy No. 4A as an area with at least 120 percent of the national unemployment rate.
Labor Statistics, Bureau of (BLS) – the U.S. Government’s principal fact-finding agency in the field of Labor Economics, particularly with respect to the collection and analysis of data on labor resources and labor requirements, the labor force, employment and unemployment, hours of work, wages and other compensation, prices, living conditions, labor-management relations, productivity, technological developments, occupational safety and health, etc. Practically all the data BLS collects are supplied voluntarily by workers, businesses, and government agencies. Its chief publications include the Monthly Labor Review, Consumer Price Index, Wholesale Prices and Price Indexes, and Employment and Earnings.
Layoff – Suspension from pay by the company for reasons such as lack of orders, plant breakdown, shortage of materials, or termination of seasonal or temporary employment, etc.
Local Employment Dynamics (LED) – LED is Local at the county and sub-county level – so that decisions can be made in the right context. LED is Employment Information for workers in different industries, different age, and sex groups. Allows the users information on where the jobs are and what the earnings are. LED is Dynamic information on the rapidly changing economy. What industries are creating and destroying jobs and how much turnover there is in each industry together with long-term trends.
Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS) – The federal/state cooperative program under which employment and unemployment estimates for states and local areas are developed. These estimates are prepared by state employment security agencies in accordance with Bureau of Labor Statistics definitions and procedures. They are used for planning and budgetary purposes, as an indication of need for employment and training programs, and to allocate federal funds under the Workforce Investment Act (WIA), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), etc.
Location Quotient (LQ) – This is a measure of an area’s share – or the concentration – of activity as compared to a larger geographic area. An LQ of one means that an area has its share of activity and will likely be importing or paying lower-than-average wages. An LQ of greater than one shows that an area has more than its share of activity, is highly competitive, is likely to be exporting more than it imports, and may have higher than average wages.
Macrodata – A single establishment or household (micro) data aggregated to any level. Data at the estimating cell level and summary cell levels are all macrodata. Compare to microdata.
Manufacturing – includes establishments engaged in the mechanical or chemical transformation of materials or substances into new products. These establishments, usually described as plants, factories, or mills, characteristically use power-driven machines and materials handling equipment. The product of a manufacturing establishment may be “finished” in the sense that it is ready for utilization or consumption, or it may be “semi-finished” to become a raw material for an establishment engaged in further manufacturing.
Mass Layoff Event – This is a layoff in which 50 initial claims or more have been filed against an establishment during a five-week period, with the separations expected to last longer than 30 days.
Mass Layoff Statistics Program (MLS) – A Bureau of Labor Statistics federal/state cooperative program that collects and publishes data on mass layoffs.
Mean (average)– obtained by adding all the observed values together and dividing by their total number.
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.
Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA)– defined by the Federal Office of Management and Budget (OMB) based primarily on commuting patterns data from the U.S. Decennial Census. Generally, an MSA is a county or group of contiguous counties (or cities and towns) with (1) a city of 50,000 or more population, or (2) a United States Bureau of Census defined “urbanized area” of at least 50,000 in population, provided that the component county/counties of the MSA have a total population of at least 50,000.
Microdata – Data reported from an individual establishment or household. Compare to macrodata.
Micropolitan Statistical Area – These areas have at least one urban cluster of at least 10,000 but less than 50,000 population. The areas also include adjacent counties having a minimum of 25 percent commuting to the central county.
Minimum Wage – the minimum hourly rate of pay required by either federal or state law. The state’s basic minimum hourly wage and federal minimum hourly rate became $5.15 on September 1, 1997. The Oklahoma Department of Labor is responsible for enforcing the Oklahoma Minimum Wage Law.
Minority – generally a person identified as a member of a race other than Caucasian and/or a person of Hispanic origin.
Mode – the most frequently occurring value in a group of values. Like the mean, the mode is not influenced by extreme values in the group.
Multiple Job Holders – persons who concurrently hold more than one job.
Multi-Establishment – A firm or reporting unit that consists of more than one establishment.
New Entrants – In the Current Population Survey (CPS), new entrants are new workers looking for a job. They include students entering the labor market after graduation from school and others who have not previously held a full-time job lasting two weeks or longer.
Nominal – economic values expressed in current prices. A general increase in prices will cause nominal prices to rise even if there is no real change in the value (see real).
Non-durable Goods – items that generally last for only a short time (three years or less). Food, beverages, apparel, and gasoline are common examples. Because of the nature of non-durable goods, they are generally purchased when needed.
Non-farm Wage and Salary Employment – employment by place of work that does not include the self-employed, unpaid family workers, or most agricultural workers. This is a consistent economic time series allowing comparisons of different labor markets over an extended period of time.
Non-manufacturing – encompasses all of the industries that are not involved in the production of goods from raw materials. Non-manufacturing industries include mining; construction; transportation, communication, and public utilities; wholesale and retail trade; finance, insurance, and real estate; services; and government.
Non-sampling Error – Any error in the estimate other than the sampling error. Non-sampling error can arise from the use of an inaccurate sampling frame, improper sample allocation and selection procedures, poorly designed survey questionnaires, inaccurate data clarification/verification techniques, inaccurate reporting or coding from survey respondents, errors in estimation methodology, incorrect specifications, human error in execution and validation, computer program errors, etc. It is important to note that non-sampling errors also occur in censuses.
North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS) – This industrial classification system groups establishments into industries based on the activities in which they are primarily engaged. It will soon replace the old Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) system in the United States, Mexico and Canada. NAICS was developed to provide a consistent framework for the collection, analysis and dissemination of industrial statistics used by government policy analysts, by academics and researchers, by the business community, and by the public.
Not-in-the-Labor-Force – All people 16 years of age or older who are neither employed nor unemployed are considered “not in the labor force.” Some examples are students, housewives, retirees, etc.
Occupation – refers to the unique set of tasks, skills, and abilities associated with a worker performing a certain job.
Occupational Employment Statistics (OES)– a program, which produces occupational data describing patterns in major industries. Products of these data include projections by occupation for use by educators and other occupational planners.
Occupational Staffing Patterns – describes an industry in terms of its occupational distribution. For example, an occupational staffing pattern for the electrical machinery industry would indicate how many of the workers in the industry were employed as electrical engineers, electronics technicians, assemblers, etc.
Occupational Information Network (O*NET) – A comprehensive database of worker attributes and job characteristics. As the replacement for the Dictionary of Occupations Titles, O*NET will be the nation's primary source of occupational information.
Occupational Staffing Patterns – This concept describes an industry in terms of its occupational distribution. For example, an occupational staffing pattern for the electrical machinery industry would indicate how many of the workers in the industry were employed as electrical engineers, electronic technicians, assemblers, etc.
Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Program – A federal/state cooperative program that collects detailed occupational employment and wage data by industry.
Overtime Hours – Overtime hours represent the portion of gross average weekly hours which were in excess of regular hours and for which overtime premiums were paid, as calculated by CES.
One-Stop Career Center System – an integrated system of service providers, which is designed to streamline service and reduce duplication of service. There are four main components of a One-Stop system including universality, customer choice, integrated system, and performance-driven outcome-based measures. Normally, a One-Stop system implies co-location between One-Stop partners; however, accessibility to information and services can be provided in other ways including technology-related methods such as the Internet. The provision of Labor Market Information is an integral part of the One-Stop framework as it allows users to make informed and educated choices.
Part-Time Employment – employment of fewer than 35 hours per week.
Per Capita Personal Income – total personal income divided by the total population.
Per Capita Real Income – individual personal income, mostly wages, stated in non-inflationary monetary units. It is calculated by dividing the total national real income (or GNP) by the population size.
Personal Income – private and government wage and salary payments in cash and in-kind, other labor income, agricultural and nonfarm proprietors’ income, interest, net rent, dividends, and transfer payments less personal contributions for social security insurance. It is measured before the deduction of personal income taxes and other personal taxes.
Place of Residence – A concept used to define labor force data where people are counted by where they live, regardless of where they work. This concept is used to derive local area unemployment statistics (LAUS) employment and unemployment estimates.
Place of Work – A concept used to define employment where people are counted by where they work, regardless of where they live. Current Employment Statistics (CES or total non-ag wage and salary estimates) are derived from this concept.
Poverty Line – the family income level below which people are officially classified as poor.
Probability Sampling – (Also referred to as Random Sampling) A sampling procedure that gives each of the possible samples a fixed and determinate probability of selection or that gives each unit on a sampling frame a fixed and known chance of being included in the sample. Probability samples permit the calculation, from the sample data, of measures of reliability for the estimates.
Producer Price Index (PPI) – replaced the Wholesale Price Index as the most important monthly measure of prices at the wholesale level. PPI is really three indexes one for producer finished goods, one for intermediate, and one for crude commodities. The PPI usually refers to the finished goods index.
Production Worker – the group that covers employees, up through the level of working supervisors, who are engaged directly in the manufacture of 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.
Real Earnings – Earnings adjusted to reflect the effects of changes in consumer prices. The deflator for this series is derived from the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers.
Recession – A period of time usually lasting from six months to a year, marked by widespread contractions in many sectors of the economy and a significant decline in total output, income, employment, and trade.
Reentrants – In the Current Population Survey, people who previously worked at a full-time job at least two weeks but who were out of the labor force for two weeks or more prior to beginning to look for work.
Reference Week – The week (Sunday through Saturday) for which data are collected. For the Current Population Survey (CPS), Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS), Current Employment Statistics (CES), and Employment Statistics (ES-202) programs, the reference week is the calendar week including the 12th of the month.
Regression Analysis – Widely used in statistics and econometrics as a method for predicting the value of a dependent variable from known values of independent variables. For example, it might be used to predict the output of certain production workers (dependent variable) based on the results of testing them for mechanical aptitude (independent variable). Simple regression analysis involves just one independent variable; multiple regression analysis involves several independent variables.
Replacement (openings due to replacement) – Job openings that arise from the need to replace workers who have changed occupations or have left the occupation as a result of death, disability, retirement, school, or child-rearing.
Resources – the inputs that are used in products including natural resources (minerals, timber, rivers), labor (blue-collar, white-collar), and capital (machinery, buildings).
Salary – A fixed compensation for services paid on a regular basis, generally on a weekly, monthly, or annual basis.
Sample – a finite part of a statistical population chosen to be representative of the whole population. The properties of the sample are studied to gain information about the whole population.
Sampling Error – an error arising from the fact that it is not statistically possible, short of a 100% sample, to select a sample, which corresponds perfectly to the population from which it is selected. As the size of a sample increases, the magnitude of the sampling error decreases. Sampling error differs from other kinds of statistical errors in that it occurs at random and is unbiased. Non-sampling error, on the other hand, is an error that can be attributed to mistakes in data collection, tabulation, analysis, etc.
SESA – State Employment Security Agency.
Seasonal Adjustment – a statistical procedure that removes the month-to-month seasonal effects from a data series. Over the course of a year, the levels of employment and unemployment undergo sharp fluctuations due to such seasonal developments as changes in weather, the planting and harvesting of crops, major holidays, and the opening and closing of schools. Since these seasonal events follow a more or less regular pattern each year, their influence on statistical trends can be eliminated by adjusting the statistics from month to month. The adjusted figures provide a more useful tool with which to analyze changes in economic activity.
Seasonal Industry – an industry in which activity is affected by regularly recurring weather changes, holidays, vacations, etc. The construction industry is typically characterized as seasonal.
Self-Employed Worker – describes an individual who works more or less regularly, but usually does so in his/her own home or office. This person is not listed on any establishment’s payroll. The self-employed include many truck drivers, professionals (doctors, lawyers, dentists, architects, consultants), and others who work on a free-lance, assignment basis.
Separation – Employment terminations caused by quits, layoffs, or other reasons such as death, retirement, permanent disability, or transfer.
Series Break – An interruption in a time series caused either by a change in definition or in methodology that makes it improper to compare data from after the change with data from before the change.
Service Occupations, Service Industries, & Service Producing Industries – Three terms often used interchangeably and incorrectly. Each has a separate and distinct meaning:
- Service Occupations refers to the category of jobs performed in and around private households; serving individuals in institutions and in commercial and other establishments; and protecting the public against crime, fire, accidents, and acts of war. All industries employ workers in service classifications.
- Service Industries refers to establishments in that division of the industrial structure that renders a wide variety of services to individuals and business establishments. These industries, which employ workers in a wide variety of white-collar, blue-collar, and service occupations, represent just one segment of the much larger group of service-producing industries.
- Service-Producing Industries: In order to assist in the evaluation of underlying economic trends, it is an accepted practice to consider that the economy consists of two major parts: the goods-producing sector (manufacturing, mining, and construction) and the service-producing sector. The latter includes transportation, communication, utilities; trade; finance, insurance, real estate; the service industries; and government. Accordingly, it is a multi-industry group that is characterized by highly complex occupational staffing patterns. In terms of white-collar, blue-collar, and service occupational or job classifications, the latter is the smallest group employed.
Shift Differential – An additional percentage added to the regular hourly rate for workers on other than regular shifts, i.e., swing or graveyard shift workers.
Shift/Share Analysis – A technique to analyze the local economic base using the amount of change in a local economy which is attributable to the changes in the larger area of which it is a part; the industrial mix of the area; and the regional or local share.
Standard Deviation – A measure of dispersion around the mean value of a population. Frequently denoted by sigma. It is the square root of the variance.
Standard Hours – The workweek for which employees receive regular straight-time salaries (exclusive of paid overtime at regular and/or premium rates of pay).
Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) – (see North American Industry Classification System or NAICS).
Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) – This system will be used by all Federal statistical agencies to classify workers into occupational categories for the purpose of collecting, calculating, or disseminating data. All workers are classified into one of over 820 occupations according to their occupational definition. To facilitate classification, occupations are combined to form 23 major groups, 96 minor groups, and 449 broad occupations. Each broad occupation includes detailed occupation(s) requiring similar job duties, skills, education, or experience.
State Employment Security Agency (SESA) – A generic name for the State agency usually responsible for three activities:
- The unemployment insurance (UI) program—UI tax collection, administration, and determination and payment of unemployment benefits.
- The employment or job service program—an exchange for workers seeking work and employers seeking workers.
- Labor market information —collection, analysis, and publication of information on workers and jobs.
Statistics – The data on economic variables; also the techniques of analyzing, interpreting, and presenting data.
Strike – A work stoppage by employees acting together in an attempt to bring pressure on management to give in to their demands concerning wages, working conditions, union recognition, or some other issue.
Structural Unemployment – Long-term joblessness that results from changes in the kinds of workers needed by the economy, either by skill obsolescence, competition from foreign imports, or lack of training for the skills local employers require.
Survey – The process used to collect data for the analysis of some aspect of a group or area.
Survey week – the week that includes the twelfth of the month is used as a reference period for most labor force data.
Time Series – a set of consistent economic quantitative data collected at periodic intervals. (Most LMI is monthly, but weekly and annual data is published for some items.).
Total Openings – Number of job openings expected in an occupation due to growth plus replacement need over the projected period
Transportation, Communication, Public Utilities (TCPU) – In the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) coding structure (soon to be North American Industry Classification System or NAICS), a service-producing industry.
Trend – The long-term or overall movement of a series over time. Any economic time series is assumed to be made up of trend, irregular, cyclical, and seasonal movements.
Turnover – The total movement of paid workers into and out of employed status in an individual establishment. It is divided into two parts:1) accessions, rehires, and new hires and 2) separations and all employment termination.
Underemployed – workers who cannot obtain full-time employment or who are working at jobs for which they are overqualified.
Underemployment – a condition that includes both persons who are working part-time who would prefer full-time work and persons working full-time in an occupation that does not fully utilize their skills derived from prior training or experience.
Unemployment – the condition of those members of the labor force who did not work but were seeking work or were awaiting recall from layoffs or the beginning of a new job within 30 days. This includes persons receiving unemployment insurance benefits, those who have delayed filing for benefits but were eligible to receive them, those who have applied for benefits but were not eligible to receive them, unemployed workers who exhausted benefits in the current benefit year, unemployed workers from employers not covered by unemployment insurance, and unemployed persons newly entering or reentering the labor force. Unemployment can be divided into four different types: frictional, structural, cyclical, and seasonal. Frictional unemployment is short term, encountered in searching for a job or from a temporary layoff. Structural unemployment results from a mismatch between the skill requirements of existing job openings and the skills of those who are currently unemployed. Cyclical unemployment results when the total demand for labor is less than the total supply of available workers. Seasonal unemployment is sometimes considered as part of cyclical unemployment. It is the portion of unemployment resulting from lack of demand in certain occupations due to seasonal patterns.
Unemployment Insurance – a program that provides cash benefits for workers who are unemployed through no fault of their own and who are able to work, available to work, and who are actively seeking work. Eligibility to receive these benefits is set by law. The program is financed through taxes paid into a trust fund by Oklahoma employers for their employees.
Unemployment Rate – the number of unemployed persons expressed as a percentage of the labor force.
Unemployment Trust Fund – a fund established in the Treasury of the United States which contains all monies deposited by state agencies to the credit of their unemployment fund accounts and federal unemployment taxes collected by the Internal Revenue Service. Each state has a separate account in this fund. States deposit Unemployment Insurance contributions into this account and draw on the account to pay unemployment benefits.
Urbanized Area – a geographical area where the population density is at least 1,000 persons per square mile.
Universe – The entire population to be measured.
Value Added – The difference between the value of a firm's sales and purchases of materials and semi finished inputs.
Variance – A mathematical measure of the dispersion of the values of a variable around its mean. The variance may arise from a sampling of the population under study, or may just measure the variability of population values around its mean. The variance is denoted as sigma squared, s2.
Wage – Money paid an employee at relatively short intervals, often daily or weekly, figured on an hourly or piecework basis.
Wages and Salaries – Wages and salaries consist of earnings before payroll deductions, including production bonuses, incentive earnings, commissions, and cost-of-living adjustments.
WIA (Workforce Investment Act) – The Workforce Investment Act is Public Law 105-220, signed into effect on August 7, 1998. It provides the framework for unique national workforce preparation and employment system designed to meet both the needs of the nation's businesses and the needs of job seekers and those who want to further their careers.
WIA Investment Areas – The state of Oklahoma has been divided into 12 regions for which workforce statistics are created and maintained for Workforce Investment Act planning.
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.