Glossary

Glossary of Terms and Acronyms

The following terms and acronyms are commonly used in the development and analysis of labor market statistics.

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A

AFFIRMATIVE ACTION

Information to assist employers in the completion of their Affirmative Action Plan (AAP). Specifically, information is provided that will assist employers in comparing the percentage of women and minorities that comprise of all employment in their establishment to the percentage of women and minorities with requisite skills in the recruitment area. Information is also provided regarding the percentage of women and minorities in the population and in the labor force.

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.

ALL OTHER NONAGRICULTURAL EMPLOYMENT

Includes self-employed, unpaid family and private household workers.

ALMIS

America’s Labor Market Information System (ALMIS). The name ALMIS was changed in October 2006. See Workforce Information Database for description.

American Community Survey (ACS)

The ACS is an on-going survey that the Census Bureau plans to use to replace the long form census survey done every ten years, starting with the 2010 Census. It is a way to provide the data that communities need every year instead of once every ten years.

See also Census Tract

AVERAGE ANNUAL JOB OPENINGS DUE TO GROWTH AND NET REPLACEMENTS

Average annual job openings indicate the average number of job openings anticipated each year for people who are new to an occupation. Total job openings are the sum of newly created jobs and net replacement openings. Net replacement openings result when people permanently exit an occupation. Permanent exits occur if someone dies, retires, or otherwise decides not to work any more. Permanent exits also include openings resulting from someone permanently changing occupations. For example, a person leaves their job as a cashier and becomes a truck driver. Openings resulting from people changing employers, but staying in the same occupation are not included.

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B

BASE PERIOD

A point in time used as a reference point for comparison with some later period.

BASIC INDUSTRY

An export industry, or an industry that produces goods and services that are sold to customers outside a region. The export of these goods and serves brings money into an economy and results in a net increase in local income. Basic industries are typically represented by a location quotient greater than one.

BENCHMARKING

Points of reference (either an estimate or a count) from which measurement can be made or upon which adjustments are based. In general, updated data from other programs becomes available and makes it possible to compare the original estimates with more complete data sources. The benchmarking process involves collecting and analyzing the data, implementing changes, and monitoring and reviewing improvements.

Local Area Unemployment Statistics Benchmarking - Every year updated data from other programs becomes available and is incorporated into revised estimates. Benchmarking makes it possible to compare the original civilian labor force, employment, unemployment, and unemployment rate estimates with the more complete data sources. LAUS estimates made during the year are adjusted to the CPS annual average for that year, while maintaining as much of the original series seasonal pattern as possible.

Current Employment Statistics Benchmarking - Employment estimates are adjusted annually to a complete count of jobs, called benchmarks, derived principally from tax reports which are submitted by employers who are covered under State Unemployment Insurance (UI) Laws. The benchmark information is used to adjust the monthly estimates between the new benchmark and the preceding one and also to establish the level of employment for the new benchmark month. Thus, the benchmarking process establishes the level of employment, and the sample is used to measure the month-to-month changes in the level for the subsequent months.

BENEFITS

A Non-wage compensation provided to employees such as:

  • paid leave (vacations, holidays, sick leave);
  • supplementary pay (premium pay for overtime and work on holidays and weekends, shift differentials, non-production bonuses);
  • retirement (defined benefit and defined contribution plans);
  • insurance (life insurance, health benefits, short-term disability, and long-term disability insurance); and
  • legally required benefits (Social Security and Medicare, Federal and State unemployment insurance taxes, and workers’ compensation).

BUREAU OF ECONOMIC ANALYSIS (BEA)

A part of the U.S. Department of Commerce. A Federal statistical agency responsible for estimation of Gross Domestic Product and Per Capita Personal Income.

BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS (BLS)

Part of the U.S. Department of Labor, BLS functions as the principal data-gathering agency of the Federal government in the field of labor economics. 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.

BALANCE OF STATE (BOS)

For the Occupational Employment Statistics program any County that is not part of a Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) is placed in a Balance of State area. These areas should consist of counties that are contiguous - connected - as much as possible. In Wisconsin there are five of these areas and they are redefined about every ten years.

BUREAU OF THE CENSUS

Being part of the U.S. Department of Commerce, this bureau conducts censuses of population and housing every 10 years and of agriculture, business, governments, manufacturers, mineral industries, and transportation at 5-year intervals. The entire nation is divided into small sections called Census Tracts, and within each tract the Census Bureau attempts to count the number of persons and demographic, economic, and housing characteristics of the individuals living in that tract. The first official US Census was done in 1790. The data in the census is key to planning for both private business and government.

The Census Bureau also conducts the monthly Current Population Survey, in cooperation with the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Data from this survey are the source of unemployment statistics.

See also American Community Survey

BUSINESS CYCLE

Recurring expansion and contraction of the economy.

See also Productivity, Recession, Unemployment

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C

CAREER CLUSTER

In their simplest form, Career Clusters are groupings of occupations/career specialties used as an organizing tool for curriculum design and instruction. Occupations/career specialties are grouped into the Career Clusters based on the fact that they require a set of common knowledge and skills for career success. The Knowledge and Skills represented by Career Clusters prepare learners for a full range of occupations/career specialties, focusing on the holistic, polished blend of technical, academic and employability knowledge and skills. This approach enhances the more traditional approach to career and technical education in which instruction may focus on one or two occupations and emphasize only specific occupational skills.

CAREER PATHWAY

In their simplest forms, Pathways are sub-groupings of occupations/career specialties used as an organizing tool for curriculum design and instruction. Occupations/career specialties are grouped into Pathways based on the fact that they require a set of common knowledge and skills for career success.

CENSUS

See Bureau of the Census

CENSUS TRACT

A small relatively permanent statistical subdivision of a county delineated by local committees of census data users for the purpose of collecting and presenting census data. It is worth noting that census tract conform with county lines (that is they are always sub-sets of a county), but may not follow zip code lines.

See also American Community Survey

CURRENT EMPLOYMENT STATISTICS (CES)

In cooperation with the State of Wisconsin, the Bureau of Labor Statistics conducts the CES survey to collect data each month on employment, hours, and earnings from a sample of nonfarm establishments (including government). The survey is often called the establishment survey or payroll survey. The sample includes over 7,000 reporting units in Wisconsin. From these data, employment, hours, and earnings estimates are produced for various industry detail at the state and the major metropolitan statistical area level. The data are published each month and are considered one of the earliest indicators of the state’s economic health in terms of employment.

See also Seasonal Adjustment FAQs

CEW

See QCEW

CIVILIAN LABOR FORCE

The sum of all employed and unemployed people excluding people less than 16 years of age, institutional population, and those in the military.

CIVILIAN INSTITUTIONAL POPULATION

The institutional population is comprised of people residing in the following types of institutions: penal institutions, mental institutions, sanitariums, homes for the aged or infirm, and homes for the needy.

COMBINED STATISTICAL AREA (Combined SA)

Combined Statistical Areas (Combined SA) are metropolitan statistical areas and micropolitan statistical areas joined that meet employment interchange criteria. (Census 2000 definition)

COMMUTING PATTERNS

Refers to worker flows between municipalities, counties, and/or states. Data representing commuting patterns is collected through the decennial census.

COMPARATIVE ADVANTAGE

The ability to produce one good at a lower opportunity cost relative to other goods. Comparative advantage suggests that economies benefit by specialization and exchange. Initially an idea developed to compare national economies, comparative advantage is also important for local economies.

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.

CPI-U

The Consumer Price Index-Urban (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.

CONTINUED CLAIM

Continued Claim is Certification of Eligibility for UI benefits during a seven-day period (calendar week) of total, partial, or part-total unemployment. Continued claims information are used in the LMI product County Snapshots.

COUNTY LABOR SUPPLY AREA

A region composed of non-MSA counties connected by location, commuting patterns, transportation infrastructure, and similarities in wage rates and employment by industry. Because of its highly rural character, Wisconsin has 11 such regions as of 2004.

COVERED EMPLOYMENT

Employment in any industry insured under the provisions of the Wisconsin Unemployment Insurance Law. This term is a business terms used by employers to determine if their business comes under the Unemployment Insurance Law hence "covered" and when covered an employer incurs tax liability with any one of the following conditions are met:

  • Commercial Employers who has one or more workers in any 20 weeks during a calendar year, or whose payroll is $1,500 or more during a calendar quarter;
  • Agricultural Employers who has ten or more workers in any 20 weeks during a calendar year, or who pays #20,000 or more in wages in any calendar quarter;
  • Domestic Employers who pays $1,000 or more for domiestic service during any calendar quarter;
  • state and local governments have mandatory coverage
  • Nonprofit Employers who is an Internal Revenue recognized as a non-profit organization as described by Section 501(c)(3) and you employed four or more individuals on a day in 20 or more weeks in any calendar year.

CPS

Current Population Survey. A monthly survey conducted by the Census Bureau of approximately 60,000 households (1,450 in Wisconsin). This survey of the civilian non-institutional population of the United States provides monthly statistics on employment, unemployment, demographic characteristics, and related subjects which are analyzed by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

CYCLICAL UNEMPLOYMENT

Unemployment that results from periodic declines in the business cycle (for example, recessions). Downswings in the level of economic activity create unemployment as a result of inadequate demand for workers. During a recovery, cyclical unemployment will be reduced or eliminated. The most common form of cyclical unemployment occurs when workers are temporarily laid off.

Advocates of economic cycles propose that the economy grows, stabilizes or declines, in some kind of regular waves. It has been proposed that cyclical unemployment usually lags the business cycle slightly; employers tend to hold onto labor in the hope that they might ride out the cycle. If ultimately forced to shed jobs they are likely to be wary of rehiring as demand increases until they are more certain of the better conditions.

See also Frictional Unemployment, Normal Unemployment, Seasonal Unemployment, Structural Unemployment, Unemployment

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D

DET

Division of Employment and Training. A Division within the Department of Workforce Development.

DOT

Dictionary of Occupational Titles. A classification structure for occupations observed in the American economy. The DOT code structure has been replaced by the SOC (Standard Occupational Classification) code structure.

DISLOCATED WORKERS

A dislocated worker is a person who has been laid off, received a notice of termination or layoff, or were self-employed and are now unemployed due to economic conditions or natural disaster.

DISCOURAGED WORKERS

Persons, not included in the count of unemployed, who make no active attempt to find a job because they think none is available, or they believe they lack the skills necessary to compete in the labor market. Discouraged workers are not considered to be in the labor force.

DISPLACED WORKERS

Persons 20 years and over who lost or left jobs because their plant or company closed or moved, there was insufficient work for them to do, or their position or shift was abolished.

DOL

United States Department of Labor; Cabinet-level Federal agency which 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.

DURATION OF UNEMPLOYMENT

A measure of the number of full weeks that a person has been unemployed. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) publishes several series on duration, showing the number unemployed for various lengths of time. There are also two published measures of average duration of unemployment: mean duration and median duration. Mean duration is the arithmetic average duration of unemployment in weeks; median duration is the midpoint of a distribution of weeks of unemployment.

DWD

Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development. Formerly DILHR: Department of Industry, Labor and Human Relations.

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E

EARNINGS

Pay or wages of a worker or group of workers for services performed during a specific period of time.

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

The entire array of activities, some conducted by government, and some by the private sector, often in partnership with government, which are intended to expand the economy of a designated area to increase the number of jobs available to the population of that area.

ECONOMIC GROWTH

Economic Growth is an increase in the total output of an economy over a period of time. When new productive resources are available or when more products and goods are produced with existing resources, economic growth takes place. New resources could be a larger working age population, larger investments in infrastructure, or machines used to help increase current worker productivity.

ECONOMIC INDICATOR

Economic Indicators are data used to analyze and describe current specific trends occurring in the economy as well as future prospects. Examples of economic indicators include employment and unemployment rates, income, savings, volume of building permits, volume of sales, Consumer Price Index and Gross Domestic Product.

Leading indicators tend to reach their peak before the corresponding business cycle turns down. Employment (hours of work) is an economic indicator that tends to lead the economic cycle as consumption is a major component of GDP.

Usually classified according to their timing in relationship to the ups and downs of the business cycle, that is, whether they anticipate (lead), coincide with, or lag behind general business conditions.

ECONOMIC TIME SERIES

A set of quantitative data collected over regular time intervals (such as weekly, monthly, quarterly, or annually) which measures an aspect of economic activity. For example, the Current Employment Statistics program has collected industry employment data by month from 1990 to the present.

EDS

Estimates Delivery System. Produces occupational wage and employment estimates at geographic levels not provided for in the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) program. These estimates are not intended to be quoted in any official or certifying capacity.

EDUCATIONAL ATTAINMENT

The highest diploma or degree, or level of work towards a diploma or degree, an individual has completed.

EMERGING OCCUPATIONS

An occupation is designated as "emerging" if changes occurred due to technology, legislation, demographics, social concerns and/or the marketplace (e.g., biotechnology occupations).

See also Occupation

EMPLOYED

Definition differs by Bureau of Labor Standards (BLS) program:

CPS/LAUS Employed*

Individuals 16 years of age and older who worked at least one hour for pay or who worked unpaid for at least 15 hours in a family business during the reference week which includes the 12th of the month. Individuals are also counted if they had a job but were temporarily absent from their jobs due to illness, bad weather, vacation, a labor dispute, or for personal reasons. *CPS=Current Population Survey; LAUS=Local Area Unemployment Statistics.

CES Employed*

Includes all paid employees, regardless of age, who worked during or received pay for any part of the pay period that includes the 12th day of the month. *CES= Current Employment Statistics

QCEW Employed*

The number of workers on the payroll who earned wages during the pay period including the 12th day of the month. Persons on paid leave are included, but those on leave without pay for the entire payroll period are excluded. *QCEW=Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages.

EMPLOYER

A person or business that employees one or more people for wages or salary; the legal entity responsible for payment of quarterly unemployment insurance taxes or for reimbursing the state fund for unemployment insurance benefits costs in lieu of paying the quarterly taxes.

ENTRY WAGE

This number represents what an entry-level worker might expect to make. It is defined as the average (mean) wage earned by the lowest third of all workers in the selected location, occupation, and industry.

See also Experienced Wage, Mean Wage (Average Wage), Median Wage, Minimum Wage

ESTABLISHMENT

The physical location of a certain economic activity, for example: a factory, store, or office. Generally a single establishment produces a single good or provides a single service. An enterprise (a private firm, government, or non-profit organization) could consist of a single establishment or multiple establishments. A multi-establishment enterprise could have all its establishments in one industry (i.e., a chain), or could have various establishments in different industries (i.e., a conglomerate).

ETA

Employment and Training Administration. A part of the U.S. Department of Labor. This agency oversees the State Unemployment Insurance (UI) programs and job training and placement services provided by State Employment Security Agencies, such as the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development. The ETA also coordinates the efforts of America’s Labor Market Information System.

EMPLOYMENT-POPULATION RATIO

The proportion of the population that is employed.

ES-202

See QCEW

ESTABLISHMENT

An economic unit that produces goods or services, usually at a single physical location, and engaged in one or predominantly one activity.

ESTABLISHMENT SURVEY

A survey that collects information that is pertinent to a place of work. The Current Employment Statistics survey is an establishment survey that collects employment, payroll and hours data from employers for specific work site locations.

EXPERIENCED WAGE

This number represents what an experienced worker might expect to make. It is defined as the average (mean) wage earned by the upper two-thirds of all workers in the selected location, occupation, and industry.

See also Entry Wage, Mean Wage (Average Wage), Median Wage, Minimum Wage

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F

FINAL PAYMENTS

Final Payments is the last regular benefit an unemployment claimant receives in a benefit year because the claimant has no further entitlement to payment. i.e. has exhausted entitlement by drawing the full amount of benefits from program funds.

FRICTIONAL UNEMPLOYMENT

This one of three kinds of unemployment occurs as people move between jobs, and represents a temporary period of unemployment. For example, 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.

In a situation approaching full employment, frictional unemployment may form a significant share of all unemployment: in conditions of high unemployment, it is likely to make a small contribution.

See also Cyclical Unemployment, Normal Unemployment, Seasonal Unemployment, Structural Unemployment and Unemployment

FULL-TIME EMPLOYMENT

Defined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics as employment of 35 hours or more in a week.

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G

GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT (GDP)

Gross Domestic Product is a measure of the total production and consumption of goods and services in the U.S. The BEA constructs two complementary measures of GDP, one based on income and one based on expenditures. GDP is measured on the product side by adding up the labor, capital, and tax costs of producing the output. On the consumption side, GDP is measured by adding up expenditures by households, businesses, government and net foreign purchases. Theoretically, these two measures should be equal. However, due to problems collecting data, there is often a discrepancy between the two measures. The GDP price deflator is used to convert output measured at current prices into constant-dollar GDP. This data is used to define business cycle peaks and troughs. Total GDP growth of between 2.0% and 2.5% is generally considered to be optimal when the economy is at full employment (unemployment between 5.5% and 6.0%). Higher growth than this leads to accelerating inflation, while lower growth indicates a weak economy.

GOODS PRODUCING INDUSTRIES

In NAICS, identified as a domain that includes the following supersectors: Natural Resources and Mining; Construction; and Manufacturing. These supersectors are further identified as sectors, which include Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing, and Hunting; Construction; and Manufacturing.

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H

HIGH GROWTH OCCUPATIONS

High growth occupations are based on percentage change and must have at least 500 job openings over the latest long-term projections period to make the list. The larger the percentage change the faster the occupation is growing.

HOT PROJECTED JOB GROWTH OCCUPATIONS/ HOT JOBS

Hot projected job growth occupations must meet these criteria:

  1. Occupations must have an average annual wage above the state median;
  2. the percentage change must be greater than the state average; and
  3. the number of job openings must be greater than the state average.

These occupations are also grouped by occupational categories.

HOUSEHOLD

As defined by the Census Bureau, all persons 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.

HOUSEHOLD SURVEY

A survey, such as the CPS, that collects information that is pertinent to a place of residence.

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I

INDUSTRY

A distinct group of productive or profit-making enterprises. In NAICS, industries are defined and classified by how products and services are created.

INDUSTRY/OCCUPATIONAL STAFFING PATTERNS

With occupational projections, the occupations within industries (staffing patterns) are obtained through an Occupational Employment Statistic program survey. Approximately 30,000 Wisconsin establishments out of about 160,000 are surveyed over a three year period on how many individuals they employ in each occupation along with their wage. The results generate an occupational distribution or staffing pattern for each industry. The Projections program uses the occupational employment within industries, or staffing patterns, data that is developed from the survey.

See also Industry Projections , Occupational Projections , Projections

INDUSTRY PROJECTIONS

The source for the historic industry employment is the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages. This employment comes from Wisconsin’s Unemployment Insurance Program.

See also Industry/Occupational Staffing Patterns , Occupational Projections , Projections

INFLATION

A sustained increase in prices that lead to a decrease in the amount of goods and services that can be purchased for the same amount of money.

INITIAL CLAIM

An initial claim is any notice of unemployment filed by an individual to initiate:

  1. a determination of entitlement to and eligibility for compensation (a new claim);
  2. a subsequent period of unemployment within a benefit years or period of eligibility; (an additional claim); or
  3. a new claim filed to request a determination of eligibility and establishment of a new benefit years within an existing spell of unemployment (transitional claim).

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J

JOB ZONE

Job Zone Levels are used on the O*Net to categorize jobs according to complexity. There are five job zone levels, from level one (jobs requiring little or no training) to level five (jobs requiring higher education, training and experience). Refer to O*Net's Job Zones definition for more information.

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L

LABOR DISPUTE

A disagreement or conflict between an employer and employees, or between the employers association and employees trade union.

LABOR FORCE

The civilian labor force comprises the total of all civilians classified as employed and unemployed. The labor force, in addition, includes members of the armed forces stationed in the United States. This is the working definition as used by the Local Area Unemployment Statistics program. Also see civilian labor force.

LABOR FORCE PARTICIPATION RATE

The labor force as a percent of the working-age civilian non-institutional population. See civilian labor force.

LABOR MARKET

The economic transactions involving the hiring of people on the one side and the selling of one's labor on the other side. Labor market does not refer to a physical marketplace.

LABOR MARKET ANALYSIS

Labor market analysis is how one measures and assesses the economic forces that impact the employment process. There are many variables affecting the labor market: population growth and characteristics, industrial structure and development, new technologies, changes in consumer demand, unionization and trade disputes, recruitment practices, wage levels and conditions of employment, and training opportunities. Done correctly, labor market analysis can address a variety of questions, such as:

  • What are local economic conditions?
  • What parts of the local economy have been growing?
  • What industries have been declining?
  • How does the local economy compare to similar communities, the state, and the nation?
  • What are the factors leading to local employment and wage growth?
  • How do we identify new opportunities for economic development?

The answers to these questions can assist developers and policy makers identify industries to support or grow, help job seekers target growing occupations and industries and, ultimately, crate a picture of future strengths and weaknesses in the labor market. The basic data needed to answer these questions are demographic information, including population trends and projections; unemployment statistics, current and historic; employment statistics by industry; payroll and wages by place of work; and industry profiles and projections.

LABOR MARKET AREA (LMA)

An economically integrated geographical unit within which workers may readily change jobs without changing their place of residence. All States are divided into exhaustive LMA’s, which include a county or a group of contiguous counties.

LABOR MARKET INFORMATION (LMI)

Labor Market Information is 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.

LOCAL AREA UNEMPLOYMENT STATISTICS (LAUS)

A Federal-State cooperative program between the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the State of Wisconsin that develops monthly estimates of the labor force, employment, unemployment, and unemployment rates for the State of Wisconsin, all counties, Workforce Development Areas, small labor market areas, metropolitan divisions, combined statistical areas, metropolitan and Micropolitan statistical areas, and cities with a population of 25,000 or more.

LOCAL EMPLOYMENT DYNAMICS (LED)

A voluntary partnership between state labor market information agencies and the Census Bureau to develop new information about local labor market conditions at low cost, with no added respondent burden, and with the same confidentiality protections afforded census and survey data.

LOCATION QUOTIENT

A location quotient is an index used to compare industry share in a local economy to some reference (usually national) economy, calculated as a ratio of the local economy to the reference economy.

LOCKOUT

Refusal by an employer to allow employees to come in to work until they agree to the employers terms. Alternative term is workstop.

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M

MASS LAYOFF STATISTICS (MLS)

A Federal-State cooperative program between the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the State of Wisconsin that identifies, describes, and tracks the effects of major job cutbacks which result in workers being separated from their jobs.

MEAN WAGE (a.k.a. average wage)

Not to be confused with median wage, this number represents the average pay earned by all workers in the selected location, occupation, and industry. It is calculated by summing the adjusted wages for all workers and dividing by the number of workers. It is a very general measure of what all workers earn.

Example: If Bill Gates walks into a bar, the average wage (arithmetic mean) gets skewed by millions of dollars, but the median wage (50th percentile) will not shift by more than one person.

See also Entry Wage, Experienced Wage, Median Wage, Minimum Wage

MEDIAN WAGE

An occupational median wage estimate is the boundary between the highest paid 50 percent and the lowest paid 50 percent of workers in that occupation. Half of the workers in a given occupation earn more than the median wage, and half the workers earn less than the median wage. It is a measure of what the average worker might expect to make.

Example: If Bill Gates walks into a bar, the average wage (arithmetic mean) gets skewed by millions of dollars, but the median wage (50th percentile) will not shift by more than one person.

See also Entry Wage, Experienced Wage, Mean Wage (Average Wage), Minimum Wage

METROPOLITAN DIVISION

Metropolitan Divisions consist of one or more counties that represent an employment center plus adjacent counties with strong commuting ties to the core Metropolitan statistical areas of 2.5 million or more may be divided into metropolitan divisions. (Census 2000 definition)

METROPOLITAN STATISTICAL AREA (MSA or Metro SA)

Metropolitan Statistical Areas (Metro SAs) contain at least one urbanized area with at least 50,000 people (the “core”). Counties are included or excluded in the metro based on commuting criteria. (Census 2000 definition)

MICROPOLITAN STATISTICAL AREA (Micro SA)

Micropolitan Statistical Areas (MicroSAs) contain at least one urban cluster with between 10,000 and 50,000 people (the “core”). Counties are included or excluded in the Micropolitan area based on commuting criteria. (Census 2000 definition))

MINIMUM WAGE

The smallest hourly wage that an employee may be paid as mandated by federal and state laws.

See also Entry Wage, Experienced Wage, Mean Wage (Average Wage), Median Wage

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N

NORTH AMERICAN INDUSTRY CLASSIFICATION SYSTEM (NAICS)

An industry classification system that groups establishments into industries based on the activities in which they are primarily engaged. It is a joint venture with Canada and Mexico. In the United States there are 20 sectors and 1179 industries. NAICS replaced the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) system.

NAICS STRUCTURE

A hierarchical structure based on a production-oriented or supply-oriented framework which groups establishments into industries according to similarities in processes used to create goods or services. All industries are identified within a domain (goods producing or services producing), within a supersector, and then by sector.

NEW HIRE REPORTING

A process by which an employer reports information on newly hired employees to Wisconsin's Department of Workforce Development within 20 days after the employee starts work or employees who return to work after an unpaid interval of more than 90 days (seasonal workers.) States match New Hire reports against their child support records to locate parents, establish an order, or enforce an existing order. In addition to matching within a state, states transmit the New Hire reports to the National Directory of New Hires (NDNH). State agencies operating employment security (unemployment insurance) and workers' compensation programs have access to their state New Hire information to detect and prevent erroneous benefit payments. In addition, each state can conduct matches between its own New Hire database and other state programs to prevent unlawful or erroneous receipt of public assistance, including welfare and Medicaid payments and food stamps.

NONAGRICULTURAL WAGE AND SALARY EMPLOYMENT

Includes all full-time and part-time employees of all classes (including employees on paid sick leave, paid holiday, or paid vacation) who work in or receive compensation from nonagricultural establishments for any part of the pay period that includes the 12th of the month. It is a count of jobs by place of work.

It does not include pensioners, members of the armed forces, self-employed or unpaid volunteer or family workers, domestic workers in households, or persons laid off, on leave of absence without pay, or on strike for the entire reference period. These statistics are collected in coordination with the Current Employment Statistics (CES) program. (Term also referred to as NFWS and Nonfarm Wage and Salary)

NON-BASIC INDUSTRY

An industry that produces goods and services that are consumed locally. Because these industries do not export their goods and services outside their region, they do not provide a net addition to the local economy. Non-basic industries are typically represented by a location quotient less than one.

NON TRADITIONAL OCCUPATIONS

These are occupations in which either men or women are underrepresented. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, nontraditional occupations for women are jobs that employ 25 percent or less women.

NORMAL UNEMPLOYMENT

The unemployment rate which exists because of imperfections in job markets. Imperfections are such factors as absence of costless job information, lack of perfect mobility, membership limitation by unions, and licensing for purposes of restricting quantities of workers. Also called natural rate of unemployment.

See also Cyclical Unemployment, Frictional Unemployment, Seasonal Unemployment, Structural Unemployment, Unemployment

NOT SEASONALLY ADJUSTED

This term is used to describe data series not subject to the seasonal adjustment process. In other words, the effects of regular, or seasonal, patterns have not been removed from these series.

See also Unemployment Rate, Seasonal Adjustment FAQs

NOT IN THE LABOR FORCE

All people 16 years of age and older who are neither employed nor unemployed. This group consists mainly of students, people tending to family and/or household duties, retirees, residents of institutions, disabled people, and unpaid people working less than 15 hours a week in a family business.

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O

OCCUPATION

An activity in which one engages to earn a livelihood.

See also Emerging Occupations

OCCUPATIONAL EDUCATION AND TRAINING REQUIREMENTS CATEGORIES

Occupations are classified into 1 of 11 categories that describe the education or training needed by most workers to become fully qualified. The categories are: first professional degree, doctoral degree, master’s degree, work experience in an occupation requiring a bachelor’s or higher degree, bachelor’s degree, associate degree, post-secondary vocational training, work experience in a related occupation, long-term on-the-job training, moderate-term on-the-job training, and short-term on-the-job training.

OCCUPATIONAL GROUPS

Defined occupations selected for study classified in one of the following groups: Professional, technical, and related; clerical and sales; and blue-collar and service.

OCCUPATIONAL PROJECTIONS

To obtain the occupational employment projections, staffing patterns are applied to the base and projected year industry employment. Because occupational employment changes over time and is not static, adjustments are made to the staffing patterns to predict future staffing needs. Factors provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics are used to make these adjustments. These factors tell whether an occupation is growing in importance in an industry, declining in importance or is not changing in importance.

Also estimated are the number of openings that are expected to occur in each occupation over the projected period. There are two sources of openings that are estimated. The first, openings due to growth, are the numeric change expected over the projections period. The second and equally important source of openings is net replacement openings. These openings occur when workers leave the labor force or change occupations. Again, information provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics allows OES to make estimates of these job openings.

See also Industry/Occupational Staffing Patterns, Industry Projections, Projections

OCCUPATIONAL EMPLOYMENT STATISTICS (OES)

A cooperative endeavor of the Bureau of Labor Statistics and State of Wisconsin. The OES program produces employment and wages estimates for over 700 occupations for the State as a whole, MSA’s, and Balance of State areas.

O*NET

The Occupational Information Network, a comprehensive database of worker attributes and job characteristics. Though O*NET does not use the same coding for occupations as the Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) system, “O*NET Online” provides a crosswalk between O*NET and SOC classifications.

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PART-TIME EMPLOYMENT

Defined by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics as employment between 1 and 34 hours per week.

PER CAPITA PERSONAL INCOME

Per capita income is the average income computed for every man, women, and child (population) in a particular group (usually a local geographic region or a state). The average per capita income is computed by using total income received by individuals (personal income vs business income) 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 insurance, divided by the population.

PERCENTILE WAGE ESTIMATE

Shows what percentage of workers in an occupation earns less than a given wage and what percentage earns more. For example, a 25th percentile wage of $15.00 per hour indicates that 25 percent of workers (in a given occupation in a given area) earn less than $15.00 per hour; therefore 75 percent of workers earn more than $15.00 per hour.

PERSONAL INCOME

Income received by persons from all sources. It is the sum of compensation of employees, proprietors’ income, rental income, income receipts on assets, and current transfer receipts minus contributions for government social insurance.

PREVAILING WAGE

The hourly basic rate of pay, plus the hourly contribution for health insurance benefits, vacation benefits, pension benefits and any other bona fide economic benefit, paid directly or indirectly for a majority of the hours worked in a trade or occupation for all types of local public works projects, for all types of state public works projects, except highways and bridges, and for all state contract highway and bridge construction projects.

PRIVATE HOUSEHOLD WORKERS

People who work for profit or fees, in private households, as child care workers, cooks, housekeepers or servants.

PRIVATE SECTOR

A portion of the total economy that does not directly involve any level of government, as opposed to the public sector, which includes all operations of all levels of government.

PRODUCTIVITY

Amount of output by worker per unit of labor hours.

See also Consumer Price Index

PROGRAM OF STUDY

A program of study is a sequence of instruction (based on recommended standards and knowledge and skills) consisting of coursework, co-curricular activities, work-site learning, service learning and other learning experiences. This sequence of instruction provides preparation for a career.

PROJECTIONS

An estimate of future employment based on historical employment trends and anticipated shifts in economic, social, and demographic factors.

The purpose of Wisconsin’s Projections program is to offer some insight into questions regarding the future growth or decline of Wisconsin's industries and occupations. Long- and short-term outlooks of employment are provided. The long-term projections are for ten years out into the future where as short-term projections are for two years out.

See also Industry/Occupational Staffing Patterns , Industry Projections , Occupational Projections

PUBLIC SECTOR

A portion of the total economy that includes only Federal, State, and local government.

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Q

QCEW

Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages. A cooperative endeavor of the Bureau of Labor Statistics and State of Wisconsin. Using quarterly data, BLS summarizes employment and wage data for workers covered by State Unemployment Insurance (UI) laws and for civilian workers covered by the program of Unemployment Compensation for Federal Employees (UCFE). Commonly called the ES-202 program. Previously called Covered Employment and Wages (CEW).

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R

RECESSION

A recurring period of decline in total output, income, employment, and trade, usually lasting from six months to a year, and marked by widespread contractions in many sectors of the economy.

See also Gross Domestic Product (GDP), Per Capita Personal Income and Unemployment Rate

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S

SEASONAL UNEMPLOYMENT

Unemployment associated with predictable swings in employment and job seeking that occurs at similar times each year. These seasonal events include seasonal changes in weather, reduced or expanded production, harvests, major holidays, the opening and closing of schools, and other swings that follow a more or less regular pattern each year.

Industries affected by seasonal unemployment include agricultural related industries, construction, and any industry affected by seasonal fluctuations in the demand for their products.

SEASONALLY ADJUSTED

A statistical technique that eliminates the influences of weather (i.e. food processing or construction), holidays, the opening and closing of schools, and other recurring seasonal events from economic time series. This permits easier observation and analysis of cyclical, trend, and other nonseasonal movements in the data. By eliminating seasonal fluctuations, the series becomes smoother and it is easier to compare data from month to month and thus is more likely to reflect true changes in the economy.

Seasonal events will hide underlying trends that could be significant for interpreting an economic time series. Removal of seasonal influences from the statistical counts allows for assessing only the economic changes over time, thus allowing for a better analysis of the more important underlying reasons for month-to-month changes in joblessness.

See also Unemployment Rate, Seasonal Adjustment FAQs

SELF-EMPLOYED WORKERS

Persons who work for profits or fees in their own unincorporated business, trade or professional practice as their main source of income. Persons working in their own incorporated business are counted as wage and salary workers.

SERVICE PRODUCING INDUSTRIES

Those industries that primarily produce services. In NAICS, identified as a domain that includes the following supersectors: Trade, Transportation, and Utilities; Information; Financial Activities; Professional and Business Services; Education and Health Services; Leisure and Hospitality; Other Services; Public Administration; Unclassified. These supersectors are further identified by NAICS sectors: Wholesale Trade; Retail Trade; Transportation and Warehousing; Utilities; Information; Financial and Insurance; Real Estate and Rental and Leasing; Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services; Management of Companies and Enterprises; Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services; Educational Services; Health Care and Social Assistance; Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation; Accommodation and Food Services; Other Services; Public Administration; and Unclassified.

SHIFT-SHARE ANALYSIS

Shift-share analysis is a way to analyze economic growth by separating it into three components: national growth, industrial mix, and regional competitiveness.

STANDARD INDUSTRIAL CLASSIFICATION (SIC)

The SIC system classified establishments by the type of activity in which they are engaged. Has been replaced by the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS).

STANDARD OCCUPATIONAL CLASSIFICATION (SOC)

A system for classifying all occupations in the economy. Occupations are classified into one of 23 major groups that are further divided into 96 minor groups, 449 broad occupations, and 821 detailed occupations.

STANDARD NAME AND ADDRESS PROGRAM (SNAP)

A database containing names and addresses of employers covered by Wisconsin’s Unemployment Insurance Law. Upon request customers can obtain information at greater industry or geographic detail.

STRIKE

A concerted refusal to work by employees, with the aim of improving wages or employment conditions, voicing a grievance, making a protest, or supporting other workers in such an endeavor. Alternative term is workstop.

STRUCTURAL UNEMPLOYMENT

This type of unemployment occurs when the basic nature of the economy changes over time such that skills which unemployed workers possess are no longer demanded by employers. Structural unemployment is involuntary unemployment and typically requires retraining or education of displaced workers to bring their skills into line with demand.

See also Cyclical Unemployment, Frictional Unemployment, Normal Unemployment, Seasonal Unemployment and Unemployment

SPECIFIC VOCATIONAL PREPARATION

Each O*Net Job Zone level is associated with an SVP range. The SVP is the specific vocational preparation training time permitted for an occupation. "Permitted" means that the DOL has determined the SVP for each occupation (normal requirements in the USA), and employers may not set higher requirements than those described by the SVP, without documentation of business necessity. Refer to O*Net's SVP definition for more information.

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T

TARGETED EMPLOYMENT AREAS

A designation to encourage foreign investment and economic growth by reducing the requirements for obtaining EB-5 immigrant investor visas. Targeted Employment Areas are areas that, at the time of investment, are rural areas or areas experiencing unemployment of at least 150 percent of the national unemployment rate.

TECHNOLOGICAL UNEMPLOYMENT

A form of structural unemployment created by the substitution of automated equipment for labor, or by changing technologies.

TURNOVER

Separation of an employee from an establishment (voluntary, involuntary, or other).

TURNOVER RATE

The number of total separations during the month divided by the number of employees who worked during or received pay for the pay period that includes the 12th of the month (monthly turnover); the number of total separations for the year divided by average monthly employment for the year (annual turnover).

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U

UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE (UI)

Unemployment Insurance is a Federal/State of Wisconsin cooperative program for the accumulation of funds paid by employers, to be used for the payment of Unemployment Insurance benefits to workers during periods of unemployment, which are beyond their control.

UNEMPLOYED

Individuals 16 years of age or older who do not have a job but are available for work, are actively seeking work, and had made specific efforts to find employment sometime during the 4 week-period ending with the reference week (the week including the 12th of the month). People who were waiting to be recalled to a job from which they had been laid off within the past 6 months, or those waiting to report to a new job within 30 days are also counted as unemployed.

UNEMPLOYMENT

A situation where people who are willing and able to work cannot find employment. It is considered an involuntary situation instead of one in which persons voluntarily choose leisure over work. There are several types of unemployment categorized by their uses and characteristics. They are: cyclical unemployment, frictional unemployment, seasonal unemployment, structural unemployment, and technological unemployment.

See also Cyclical Unemployment, Frictional Unemployment, Normal Unemployment, Structural Unemployment and Unemployment

UNEMPLOYMENT RATE

The number of people unemployed, expressed as a percentage of the civilian labor force. There are two kinds of unemployment rates: Seasonally Adjusted and Not Seasonally Adjusted.

See also Seasonally Adjusted, Not Seasonally Adjusted, Seasonal Adjustment FAQs

UNIT

An establishment (i.e., store, plant, warehouse) that produces goods and services, usually at a single physical location, and is engaged in one or predominantly one industry activity.

UNPAID FAMILY WORKERS

Persons who worked without pay for 15 hours a week or more in a business operated by a family member.

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W

WAGE - definitions

  • Average wage (Mean wage) - Not to be confused with median wage, this number represents the average pay earned by all workers in the selected location, occupation, and industry. It is calculated by summing the adjusted wages for all workers and dividing by the number of workers. It is a very general measure of what all workers earn.
  • Average Weekly is the quotient obtained by dividing the total of the wages reported by all insured employers by the monthly average insured employment during the immediately preceding calendar year and further dividing the quotient by 52 to obtain a weekly rate.
  • Entry wage - This number represents what an entry-level worker might expect to make. It is defined as the average (mean) wage earned by the lowest third of all workers in the selected location, occupation, and industry. This is the definition used for Alien Labor Certification, and is used in the Workforce Information Database.
  • Experienced wage - This number represents what an experienced worker might expect to make. It is defined as the average (mean) wage earned by the upper two-thirds of all workers in the selected location, occupation, and industry. This is the definition used for Alien Labor Certification, and is used in the Workforce Information Database.
  • 25th Percentile estimate indicates that 25 percent of the workers in an occupation earn less than a given wage. Conversely, 75 percent of the workers in that same occupation will earn more than the given wage.
  • 75th Percentile estimate indicates that 75 percent of the workers in an occupation earn less than a given wage. Conversely, 25 percent of the workers in that same occupation will earn more than the given wage. For example if the wage is $15.00, 75 percent of the workers in that occupation will be earning less than $15.00, while 25 percent of the workers will be earning more than $15.00.

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.

WAGES AND SALARIES

Hourly straight-time wage rate or, for workers not paid on an hourly basis, straight-time earnings divided by the corresponding hours. Straight-time wage and salary rates are total earnings before payroll deductions, excluding premium pay for overtime and for work on weekends and holidays, shift differentials, and non-production bonuses such as lump-sum payments provided in lieu of wage increases (Also see Earnings).

WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT AREA (WDA)

Eleven politically defined areas in the State of Wisconsin, which receive services responsive to local conditions and needs.

WORKFORCE INFORMATION DATABASE (WID)

WID, previously known as ALMIS, is a structure intended for use by states as a tool for the storage and dissemination of local, state, regional, and national workforce information, compiling of labor market, economic, demographic and occupational data.

In more detail, WID is a normalized, relational database structure that was created to provide all states with a "common structure" for data delivery. The structure is designed to be independent of operation systems and database application requirements. The structure has been implemented and tested in both MS SQL and Oracle platforms, as well as in several less sophisticated databases such as MS Access and Visual FoxPro.

WORKING-AGE POPULATION

A corrected census count of those individuals 16 years of age and older.

WORKSTOP

See Strike or Lockout.

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Last updated 8/31/2010

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