Educational attainment cluster (Employment Projections)
Six clusters are defined based on the distribution
of educational attainment across occupations. The
clusters are as follows: high school occupations,
high school/some college occupations, some college
occupations, high school/some college/college occupations,
some college/college occupations, and college occupations.
The highest diploma or degree, or level of work towards
a diploma or degree, an individual has completed.
Employed persons (Current Population Survey)
Persons 16 years and over in the civilian noninstitutional
population who, during the reference week, (a) did
any work at all (at least 1 hour) as paid employees;
worked in their own business, profession, or on their
own farm, or worked 15 hours or more as unpaid workers
in an enterprise operated by a member of the family;
and (b) all those who were not working but who had
jobs or businesses from which they were temporarily
absent because of vacation, illness, bad weather,
childcare problems, maternity or paternity leave,
labor-management dispute, job training, or other family
or personal reasons, whether or not they were paid
for the time off or were seeking other jobs. Each
employed person is counted only once, even if he or
she holds more than one job. Excluded are persons
whose only activity consisted of work around their
own house (painting, repairing, or own home housework)
or volunteer work for religious, charitable, and other
Employed persons (American Time Use Survey)
Same as definition for Employed persons (Current Population
Survey), EXCEPT that in the American Time Use Survey,
the definition includes persons 15 years and over
and the reference period is the last 7 days prior
to the American Time Use Survey interview.
Employer (Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages)
A person or business employing one or more persons
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
Employer Costs for Employee Compensation (National
The Employer Costs for Employee Compensation (ECEC)
series shows employer costs per hour worked for wages
and salaries and individual benefits. Cost data are
presented in both dollar amounts and as percentages
Employment Cost Index (National Compensation Survey)
The Employment Cost Index (ECI) is a measure of the
change in the cost of labor, free from the influence
of employment shifts among occupations and industries.
The series measures changes in compensation costs
(wages and salaries and employer costs for employee
Employment-population ratio (Current Population
The proportion of the civilian noninstitutional population
aged 16 years and over that is employed.
The physical location of a certain economic activity--for
example, a factory, mine, store, or office. A single
establishment generally produces a single good or
provides a single service. An enterprise (a private
firm, government, or nonprofit organization) can consist
of a single establishment or multiple establishments.
All establishments in an enterprise may be classified
in one industry (e.g., a chain), or they may be classified
in different industries (e.g., a conglomerate).
Event or exposure (Safety and Health Statistics)
Signifies the manner in which an occupational injury
or illness was produced or inflicted--for example,
overexertion while lifting, or a fall from a ladder.
Expenditure shares (Consumer Expenditure Survey)
Expenditure shares are the portions of total expenditures
(as percentages) allotted to each expenditure category.
Tables organized by various demographic characteristics
Expenditures (Consumer Expenditure Survey)
Expenditures consist of the transaction costs, including
excise and sales taxes, of goods and services acquired
during the interview or recordkeeping period. Expenditure
estimates include expenditures for gifts, but exclude
purchases or portions of purchases directly assignable
to business purposes. Also excluded are periodic credit
or installment payments on goods or services already
acquired. The full cost of each purchase is recorded
even though full payment may not have been made at
the date of purchase. Expenditure categories include
food, alcoholic beverages, housing, apparel and services,
transportation, health care, entertainment, personal
care products and services, reading, education, tobacco
products and smoking supplies, cash contributions,
personal insurance and pensions, and miscellaneous).
A domestic good or service that is sold to a foreign
resident from a U.S. resident. Exports include government
and nongovernment goods and services; however they
exclude goods and services sold to the U.S. military
and diplomatic and consular institutions abroad. Exports
do include goods and services that were previously
Extended mass layoff
Layoff of at least 31 days in duration and involving
50 or more individuals from a single establishment
filing initial claims for unemployment insurance during
a consecutive 5-week period.
Fatality rate (Safety and Health Statistics)
Represents the number of fatal injuries per 100,000
workers, calculated as follows: (N/W) X 100,000, where
N = number of fatal injuries, W = number of workers
employed, and 100,000 = base to express the fatality
rate per 100,000 workers.
Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS)
Standards for information processing issued by the
National Institute of Standards and Technology of
the U.S. Department of Commerce; includes a numeric
designation for geographic areas such as States, counties,
and metropolitan areas.
A type of plan under Section 125 of the Internal Revenue
Code that provides employees a choice between permissible
taxable benefits, including cash, and nontaxable benefits
such as life and health insurance, vacations, retirement
plans, and child care. Although a common core of benefits
may be required, the employee can determine how his
or her remaining benefit dollars are to be allocated
for each type of benefit from the total amount promised
by the employer.
Full-time employees (National
Employees are classified as full time or part time
as defined by their employer.
Full-time workers (Current Population Survey and
American Time Use Survey)
Persons who work 35 hours or more per week.
Goods-producing industries (Standard Industrial
Includes manufacturing, mining, and construction.
Goods-producing industries (North American Industry
Includes manufacturing, construction, and natural
resources and mining.
Health insurance plan
Insurance plans that include coverage for one or more
of the following: medical care, dental care, and vision
Hire (Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey)
Any addition to an establishment's payroll, including
newly hired and rehired employees.
Hires rate (Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey)
The number of hires 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
Hispanic or Latino ethnicity
Refers to persons who identified themselves in the
enumeration process as being Spanish, Hispanic, or
Latino. Persons of Hispanic or Latino ethnicity may
be of any race.
Hourly compensation (Productivity and Costs)
Compensation costs are defined as the sum of wage
and salary accruals and supplements to wages and salaries.
Wage and salary accruals consist of the monetary remuneration
of employees, including the compensation of corporate
officers; commissions, tips, and bonuses; voluntary
employee contributions to certain deferred compensation
plans, such as 401(k) plans; employee gains from exercising
nonqualified stock options; and receipts in kind that
represent income. Supplements to wages and salaries
consist of employer contributions for social insurance
and employer payments (including payments in kind)
to private pension and profit-sharing plans, group
health and life insurance plans, privately administered
workers' compensation plans. For employees (wage and
salary workers), hourly compensation is measured relative
to hours at work and includes payments made by employers
for time not at work, such as vacation, holiday, and
sick pay. Because compensation costs for the business
and nonfarm business sectors would otherwise be severely
understated, an estimate of the hourly compensation
of proprietors of unincorporated businesses is made
by assuming that their hourly compensation is equal
to that of employees in the same sector.
Hourly compensation costs (Foreign Labor Statistics)
Hourly compensation costs, as measured in the BLS
international comparison series, are defined as (1)
all payments made directly to workers--pay for time
worked (basic time and piece rates plus overtime premiums,
shift differentials, other premiums and bonuses paid
regularly each pay period, and cost-of-living adjustments),
pay for time not worked (such as for vacations and
holidays), seasonal or irregular bonuses and other
special payments, selected social allowances, and
the cost of payments in kind--before payroll deductions
of any kind, and (2) employer expenditures for legally
required insurance programs and contractual and private
benefit plans (such as retirement plans, health insurance,
unemployment insurance, and family allowances). In
addition, for some countries, compensation is adjusted
for other taxes on payrolls or employment (or reduced
to reflect subsidies), even if they do not finance
programs that directly benefit workers, because such
taxes are regarded as labor costs. The BLS definition
of hourly compensation costs used in its international
comparisons series is based on the International Labour
Office standard definition of total labor costs. However,
it does not include all items of total labor costs;
the items excluded are the costs of recruitment, employee
training, and plant facilities and services, such
as cafeterias and medical clinics. Hourly compensation
costs include all the items of compensation covered
in the BLS series Employer Costs for Employee Compensation,
the Employment Cost Index, and the index of hourly
compensation (published with the index of labor productivity);
hourly compensation costs also include the costs of
payments in kind and other taxes and subsidies, which
may not be included in the other BLS compensation
series. The classification of the compensation items
and the terminology used in the definitions differ
among the series.
Hours at work (Productivity and Costs)
For productivity measurement, the proper measure of
hours is "hours at work," which include paid time
working, traveling between job sites, coffee breaks,
and machine downtime. Hours at work, however, exclude
hours for which employees are paid but not at work
(examples: vacation time, holidays, and paid sick
Hours worked (Current Population Survey)
There are two different hours concepts measured in
the CPS: usual hours and actual hours at work. Usual
hours refer to a person’s normal work schedule versus
their actual hours at work during the survey reference
week. For example, a person who normally works 40
hours per week, but was off for a 1-day holiday during
the reference week, would report his or her usual
hours as 40 but actual hours at work for the reference
week as 32.
A good or service that is sold to a U.S. resident
from a foreign resident. Imports include government
and nongovernment goods and services; however they
exclude goods and services to the U.S. military, diplomatic,
and consular institutions abroad. Imports do include
goods and services that were previously exported.
Incidence rate (Safety and Health Statistics)
Represents the number of injuries and/or illnesses
per 100 full-time workers, calculated as follows:
(N/EH) X 200,000, where: N = number of injuries and/or
illnesses, EH = total hours worked by all employees
during the calendar year, and 200,000 = base for 100
full-time equivalent workers (working 40 hours per
week, 50 weeks per year).
Income before taxes (Consumer Expenditure Survey)
Income before taxes is the total money earnings and
selected money receipts of all consumer unit members
aged 14 years or older during the 12 months prior
to the interview date. It includes the following components:
wages and salaries; self-employment income; Social
Security, private and government retirement; interest,
dividends, rental income, and other property income;
unemployment, workers’ compensation and veteran’s
benefits; public assistance, supplemental security
income, and food stamps; regular contributions for
support (including alimony and child support); other
income (including cash scholarships, fellowships or
stipends not based on working, and meals and rent
A group of establishments that produce similar products
or provide similar services. For example, all establishments
that manufacture automobiles are in the same industry.
A given industry, or even a particular establishment
in that industry, might have employees in dozens of
occupations. The North American Industry Classification
System (NAICS) groups similar establishments into
industries. NAICS is replacing the former Standard
Industrial Classification (SIC) system.
Inflation has been defined as a process of continuously
rising prices, or equivalently, of a continuously
falling value of money.
A person who files any notice of unemployment to initiate
a request either for a determination of entitlement
to and eligibility for compensation, or for a subsequent
period of unemployment within a benefit year or period
The description of a good or service that includes
all price-determining characteristics and any other
information necessary to distinguish the item from
Job leavers (Current Population Survey)
Unemployed persons who quit or otherwise terminated
their employment voluntarily and immediately began
looking for work.
Job losers (Current Population Survey)
Unemployed persons who involuntarily lost their last
job or who had completed a temporary job. This includes
persons who were on temporary layoff expecting to
return to work, as well as persons not on temporary
layoff. (See Unemployed
persons.) Those not on temporary layoff include
permanent job losers and persons whose temporary jobs
had ended. (See Permanent
Job opening (Job Openings
and Labor Turnover Survey)
A specific position of employment to be filled at
an establishment; conditions include the following:
there is work available for that position, the job
could start within 30 days, and the employer is actively
recruiting for the position.
Job openings rate
(Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey)
The number of job openings on the last business day
of the month divided by the sum of the number of employees
who worked during or received pay for the pay period
that includes the 12th of the month and the number
of job openings on the last business day of the month.
Job tenure (Current Population Survey)
The length of time an employee has worked for his
or her current employer. The data do not represent
completed spells of tenure.
Labor force (Current Population Survey)
The labor force includes all persons classified as
employed or unemployed in accordance with the definitions
contained in this glossary.
Labor force participation rate
The labor force as a percent of the civilian noninstitutional
A conflict between employees, typically represented
by a union, and management or the employer. This general
term covers all types of conflicts from a grievance
to a strike or a lockout. Labor management disputes
are more common during collective bargaining or union
Labor productivity refers to the relationship between
output and the labor time used in generating that
output. It is the ratio of output per hour.
Sum(p2q1)/Sum(p1q1): A weighted aggregative index
showing the ratio of expenditures in the current period
(p2q1, where p2 is the current period price and q1
is the base period quantity) to the expenditure in
the base period (p1q1, where p1 is the base period
price and q1 is the base period quantity) to purchase
the identical market basket of items. It answers the
question "How much more or less does it cost now to
purchase the same items as in the base period?" The
main shortcoming of the Laspeyres index is that it
does not track actual expenditures because consumers
adjust their buying in response to changes in relative
price, which changes the composition of the market
basket. This invalid assumption that consumer demand
is totally price inelastic causes the index to overstate
the actual effect on consumers when there is a change
Layoff (Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey)
A separation of an employee from an establishment
that is initiated by the employer; an involuntary
separation; a period of forced unemployment
Layoff and discharges rate (Job Openings and Labor
The number of layoffs and discharges 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.
Legally required benefits (National Compensation
Legally required benefits include the employer's costs
for Social Security, Medicare, Federal and State unemployment
insurance, and workers' compensation.
A contract that pays the beneficiary a set sum of
money upon the death of the policyholder. These plans
pay benefits usually in the form of a lump sum, but
they may be distributed as an annuity.
Locality of origin indexes
U.S. import price indexes based on country or region,
rather than product type.
Ratio that compares the concentration of a resource
or activity, such as employment, in a defined area
to that of a larger area or base. For example, location
quotients can be used to compare State employment
by industry to that of the nation. More
A temporary withholding or denial of employment during
a labor dispute in order to enforce terms of employment
upon a group of employees. A lockout is initiated
by the management of an establishment.
Long-term disability insurance (National Compensation
Provides a monthly benefit to employees who, due to
a non-work-related injury or illness, are unable to
perform the duties of their normal occupation or any
other, for periods of time extending beyond their
short-term disability or sickness and accident insurance.
(National Longitudinal Surveys and Business Employment
Data in which the same units are observed over multiple
time periods. Another term for longitudinal data is
panel data. For example, the BLS National Longitudinal
Surveys (NLS) program collects data from several groups
of individuals over many years on an annual or biennial
Lost-worktime cases (Safety and Health Statistics)
Cases involving days away from work, or days of restricted
work activity, or both.
Lost-worktime cases involving days away from work
(Safety and Health Statistics)
Cases resulting in days away from work, or a combination
of days away from work and days of restricted work
Lost-worktime cases involving restricted work
activity (Safety and Health Statistics)
Cases resulting in restricted work activity only.
Lost-worktime rate (Current Population Survey)
Hours absent as a percent of hours usually worked.
Absences are defined as instances when persons who
usually work 35 or more hours per week worked less
than 35 hours during the reference week for one of
the following reasons: own illness, injury, or medical
problems; childcare problems; other family or personal
obligations; civic or military duty; and maternity
or paternity leave.
Lump-sum payments (National Compensation Survey)
Payments made to employees in lieu of a general wage
rate increase. The payment may be a fixed amount as
set forth in a labor agreement or an amount determined
by a formula--for example, 2.5 percent of an employee’s
earnings during the prior year. Lump-sum payments
are not incorporated into an employee’s base pay rate
or salary, but are considered as nonproduction bonuses
in the Employment Cost Index and Employer Costs for
Employee Compensation series.
attached workers (Current Population Survey)
Persons not in the labor force who want and are available
for work, and who have looked for a job sometime in
the prior 12 months (or since the end of their last
job if they held one within the past 12 months), but
were not counted as unemployed because they had not
searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey.
Discouraged workers are a subset of the marginally
attached. (See Discouraged
Market basket (Consumer Price Index)
The market basket is a package of goods and services
that consumers purchase for day-to-day living. The
weight of each item is based on the amount of expenditure
reported by a sample of households.
A situation in which 50 or more persons have filed
initial claims for unemployment insurance benefits
against an establishment during a consecutive 5-week
Mean wage (Occupational Employment Statistics)
An average wage; an occupational mean wage estimate
is calculated by summing the wages of all the employees
in a given occupation and then dividing the total
wages by the number of employees.
Median days away from work (Safety and Health
The measure used to summarize the varying lengths
of absences from work among the cases with days away
from work. The median is the point at which half of
the cases involved more days away from work and half
involved less days away from work.
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.
Medical care coverage
A type of insurance coverage that provides for the
payment of benefits as a result of sickness or injury.
Medical care coverage can be provided in a hospital
or a doctor's office. There are two main types of
medical care plans. An indemnity plan--also called
a fee-for-service plan--reimburses the patient or
the provider as expenses are incurred. The most common
type of indemnity plan is a preferred provider organization
(PPO). A PPO provides coverage to the enrollee through
a network of selected health care providers (such
as hospitals and physicians). Enrollees may go outside
the network, but would incur higher costs in the form
of higher deductibles and higher coinsurance rates
than if they stayed within the network. The second
type of medical care plan is called a prepaid plan—also
called a health maintenance organization. A prepaid
plan assumes both the financial risks associated with
providing comprehensive medical services and the responsibility
for health care delivery in a particular geographic
area, usually in return for a fixed prepaid fee from
Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs)
The general concept of an MSA is one of a large population
nucleus, together with adjacent communities which
have a high degree of economic and social integration
with that nucleus. These are defined by the Office
of Management and Budget as a standard for Federal
agencies in the preparation and publication of statistics
relating to metropolitan areas. More
Most significant source of postsecondary education
or training (Employment Projections)
An occupation is classified into 1 of 11 categories
that best describes the postsecondary education or
training needed by most workers to become fully qualified
in the occupation. The categories are as follows:
first professional degree; doctoral degree; master's
degree; bachelor's or higher degree, plus work experience;
bachelor's degree; associate degree; postsecondary
vocational award; 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.
For the private business and private nonfarm business
sectors, the growth rate of multifactor productivity
is measured as the growth rate of output less the
growth rate of combined inputs of labor and capital.
Labor is measured by a weighted average of the number
of hours worked classified by education, work experience,
and gender. Capital services measure the flow of services
from the stocks of equipment and software, structures,
land, and inventories. For the manufacturing
sector, multifactor productivity is the growth rate
of output less the combined inputs of labor, capital,
and intermediate purchases. Labor is measured by the
number of hours worked. Capital services measure the
flow of services from the stocks of equipment and
software, structures, land, and inventories. Intermediate
purchases are composed of materials, fuels, electricity,
and purchased services.
Multiple jobholders (Current Population Survey
and American Time Use Survey)
Employed persons who, during the reference week, either
had two or more jobs as a wage and salary worker,
were self-employed and also held a wage and salary
job, or worked as an unpaid family worker and also
held a wage and salary job. Excluded are self-employed
persons with multiple businesses and persons with
multiple jobs as unpaid family workers.
Nature of injury or illness
Names the principal physical characteristic of a disabling
condition, such as sprain/strain, cut/laceration,
or carpal tunnel syndrome.
New entrants (Current Population Survey)
Unemployed persons who never worked before and who
are entering the labor force for the first time.
Nonfarm business sector (Productivity and Costs)
The nonfarm business sector is a subset of the domestic
economy and excludes the economic activities of the
following: general government, private households,
nonprofit organizations serving individuals, and farms.
The nonfarm business sector accounted for about 77
percent of the value of gross domestic product (GDP)
Nonfinancial corporations (Productivity and Costs)
The nonfinancial corporate business sector is a subset
of the domestic economy and excludes the economic
activities of the following: general government, private
households, nonprofit organizations serving individuals,
and those corporations classified as offices of bank
holding companies, offices of other holding companies,
or offices in the finance and insurance sector. Nonfinancial
corporations accounted for about 54 percent of the
value of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2000.
Nonlabor payments (Productivity and Costs)
These payments include profits, consumption of fixed
capital, taxes on production and imports less subsidies,
net interest and miscellaneous payments, business
current transfer payments, rental income of persons,
and the current surplus of government enterprises.
North American Industry Classification System
The successor to the Standard Industrial Classification
(SIC) system; this system of classifying business
establishments is being adopted by the United States,
Canada, and Mexico. More
Not employed (American Time Use Survey)
The term refers to persons who are classified as unemployed
as well as those classified as not in the labor force
(using Current Population Survey definitions).
Not in the labor force (Current Population Survey)
Includes persons aged 16 years and older in the civilian
noninstitutional population who are neither employed
nor unemployed in accordance with the definitions
contained in this glossary. Information is collected
on their desire for and availability for work, job
search activity in the prior year, and reasons for
not currently searching. (See Marginally
Not seasonally adjusted
This term is used to describe data series that have
not been subjected to the seasonal adjustment process.
In other words, the effects of regular or seasonal
patterns have not been removed from these series.
A set of activities or tasks that employees are paid
to perform. Employees that perform essentially the
same tasks are in the same occupation, whether or
not they work in the same industry. Some occupations
are concentrated in a few particular industries; other
occupations are found in many industries. (See Industry.)
A group of related occupations; examples: sales occupations
and service occupations.
Any abnormal condition or disorder, other than one
resulting from an occupational injury, caused by exposure
to factors associated with employment. It includes
acute and chronic illnesses or diseases which may
be caused by inhalation, absorption, ingestion, or
Any injury such as a cut, fracture, sprain, amputation,
etc., which results from a work-related event or from
a single instantaneous exposure in the work environment.
Occupational Injury and Illness Classification
System (Safety and Health Statistics)
Defines many of the data elements--such as nature,
part, event, and source--that are used in the production
of safety and health statistics by BLS. More
Employees who are not permanent, but are called to
work as needed, often on short notice, although they
can be scheduled to work for several days or weeks
in a row.
Other separation (Job Openings and Labor Turnover
A separation of an employee from an establishment
for miscellaneous reasons, including retirement, death,
separation due to employee disability, or transfer
to another location of the enterprise.
Other separations rate (Job Openings and Labor
The number of other 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
Paid leave (National Compensation Survey)
Paid leave includes vacations, holidays, sick leave,
and other leave with pay.
Panel data (National Longitudinal Surveys and
Business Employment Dynamics)
Part of body affected (Safety and Health Statistics)
Directly linked to the nature of injury or illness
cited, such as back, finger, or eye.
Part-time workers (Current Population Survey and
American Time Use Survey)
Persons who work less than 35 hours per week.
Pay period that includes the 12th of the month
Standard measurement period for all Federal agencies
collecting employment data from business establishments;
time unit that employers use to pay employees that
overlaps the 12th of the month; length of the pay
period does not matter, as long as the 12th of the
month is included in the pay period: For establishments
with a Monday-through-Friday pay period, if the 12th
of the month falls on a Saturday, it should be taken
as the last day of the requested pay period, and if
the 12th of the month falls on a Sunday, it should
be taken as the first day of the requested pay period.
Payroll employment (Current Employment Statistics)
Employment is the total number of persons on establishment
payrolls employed full or part time who received pay
for any part of the pay period which includes the
12th day of the month. Temporary and intermittent
employees are included, as are any workers who are
on paid sick leave, on paid holiday, or who work during
only part of the specified pay period. A striking
worker who only works a small portion of the survey
period, and is paid, would be included as employed
under the CES definitions. Persons on the payroll
of more than one establishment are counted in each
establishment. Data exclude proprietors, self-employed,
unpaid family or volunteer workers, farm workers,
and domestic workers. Persons on layoff the entire
pay period, on leave without pay, on strike for the
entire period or who have not yet reported for work
are not counted as employed. Government employment
covers only civilian workers. With the release of
NAICS-based estimates in June 2003, the scope and
definition of Federal Government employment estimates
changed due to a change in source data and estimation
methods. The previous series was an end-of-month federal
employee count produced by the Office of Personnel
Management, and it excluded some workers, mostly employees
who work in Department of Defense-owned establishments
such as military base commissaries. Beginning in June
2003, the CES national series began to include these
workers. Also, Federal Government employment is now
estimated from a sample of Federal establishments,
is benchmarked annually to counts from unemployment
insurance tax records, and reflects employee counts
as of the pay period including the 12th of the month,
consistent with other CES industry series. The historical
time series for Federal Government employment was
revised to reflect these changes.
Percentile wage estimate
Shows what percentage of workers in an occupation
earn less than a given wage and what percentage earn
more. For example, a 25th percentile wage of $15.00
indicates that 25% of workers (in a given occupation
in a given area) earn less than $15.00; therefore
75% of workers earn more than $15.00.
Permanent job losers
(Current Population Survey)
Unemployed persons whose employment ended involuntarily
and who began looking for work.
Primary activity (American Time Use Survey)
A primary activity is the main activity a respondent
was doing at a specified time. Most published time
use estimates reflect time spent in primary activities
A price index is a tool that simplifies the measurement
of price movements in a numerical series. Movements
are measured with respect to the base period, when
the index is set to 100.
Producer Price Index (PPI)
A family of indexes that measure the average change
over time in selling prices received by domestic producers
of goods and services. PPIs measure price change from
the perspective of the seller. This contrasts with
other measures that measure price change from the
purchaser's perspective, such as the Consumer Price
Index (CPI). Sellers' and purchasers' prices may differ
due to government subsidies, sales and excise taxes,
and distribution costs.
A measure of economic efficiency that shows how effectively
economic inputs are converted into output. Productivity
is measured by comparing the amount of goods and services
produced with the inputs that were used in production.
Professional Employer Organization (PEO)
A business that supplies management and administrative
services with regard to human resource responsibilities
for employers; it serves as the co-employer of the
client’s employees for payroll, benefits, and related
purposes. PEOs are referred to as "employee leasing
companies" in the Standard Industrial Classification
Quit (Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey)
A separation of an employee from an establishment
that is initiated by the employee; a voluntary separation;
a resignation from a job or position.
Quits rate (Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey)
The number of quits 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
Race (Current Population Survey)
The CPS provides data by race, with the race given
by the household respondent. Since 2003, respondents
are allowed to choose more than one race; previously,
multiracial persons were required to select a single
primary race. Persons who select more than one race
are classified separately in the category “two or
more races.” Persons who select one race only are
classified in one of the following five categories:
1) white, 2) black or African American, 3) Asian,
4) Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander, and
5) American Indian or Alaska Native. Only data for
whites, blacks, and Asians are currently published
because the number of survey respondents for the other
racial categories is not large enough to produce statistically
Recordable injuries and illnesses (Safety and
Recordable cases include work-related injuries and
illnesses that result in one or more of the following:
death, loss of consciousness, days away from work,
restricted work activity or job transfer, medical
treatment (beyond first aid), significant work-related
injuries or illnesses that are diagnosed by a physician
or other licensed heath care professional (these include
any work-related case involving cancer, chronic irreversible
disease, a fracture or cracked bone, or a punctured
eardrum); additional criteria include any needle-stick
injury or cut from a sharp object that is contaminated
with another person's blood or other potentially infectious
material, any case requiring an employee to be medically
removed under the requirements of an OSHA health standard,
tuberculosis infection as evidenced by a positive
skin test or diagnosis by a physician or other licensed
health care professional after exposure to a known
case of active tuberculosis.
Reentrants (Current Population Survey)
Unemployed persons who previously worked but were
out of the labor force prior to beginning their job
Reference person (Consumer Expenditure Survey)
The first member mentioned by the respondent when
asked to "Start with the name of the person or one
of the persons who owns or rents the home." It is
with respect to this person that the relationship
of the other consumer unit members is determined.
Region -- Midwest
Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota,
Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota,
Region -- Northeast
Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire,
New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island,
Region -- South
Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, District of Columbia,
Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi,
North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee,
Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia.
Region -- West
Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho,
Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington,
Data are presented for four major regions: Northeast,
Midwest, South, and West.
Relative importance (Consumer Price Index
BLS publishes what is called a "relative importance"
for each commodity and commodity grouping. The relative
importance of an item represents its basic value weight,
including any imputations, multiplied by the relative
of price change from the weight date to the date of
the relative importance calculation, expressed as
a percentage of the total value weight for the "all
Represented by unions (Current Population Survey)
Data refer to union members, as well as workers who
reported no union affiliation but whose jobs are covered
by a union or an employee association contract.
condition due to toxic agents (Safety and Health statistics)
Examples: Pneumonitis, pharyngitis, rhinitis or acute
congestion due to chemicals, dusts, gases, or fumes;
Retirement plans (National Compensation Survey)
Includes defined benefit pension plans and defined
contribution retirement plans.
A subset of a universe; usually selected randomly
and considered representative of the universe.
A listing of all units in the universe from which
a sample can be drawn.
Seasonal adjustment removes the effects of events
that follow a more or less regular pattern each year.
These adjustments make it easier to observe the cyclical
and other nonseasonal movements in a data series.
persons (Current Population Survey and American Time
Those persons who work for profit or fees in their
own business, profession, trade, or farm. Only the
unincorporated self-employed are included in the self-employed
Secondary or simultaneous activity (American Time
A secondary or simultaneous activity is an activity
done at the same time as a primary activity. With
the exception of the care of children under age 13,
information on secondary activities is not systematically
collected in the American Time Use Survey.
Separation (Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey)
Separations rate (Job Openings and Labor Turnover
A form-based application that uses BLS time series
identifiers as input in extracting data from each
survey-specific database according to a specified
set of date ranges and output options.
Service-producing industries (Standard Industrial
Includes transportation; communications; electric,
gas, and sanitary services; wholesale trade; retail
trade; finance, insurance, and real estate; and services.
Service-providing industries (North American Industry
Includes trade, transportation, and utilities; information;
financial activities; professional and business services;
education and health services; leisure and hospitality;
Short-term disability insurance
Provides short-term (typically 26 weeks) income protection
to employees who are unable to work due to a non-work-related
accident or illness.
Shortage (as in shortage of workers)
Shortages occur in a market economy when the demand
for workers for a particular occupation is greater
than the supply of workers who are qualified, available,
and willing to do that job.
An effort, typically organized by a union, in which
employees decrease productivity in order to bring
pressure upon management. Generally a slowdown is
used as an alternative to a strike and is seen as
Source of injury or illness (Safety and Health
The object, substance, exposure, or bodily motion
that directly produced or inflicted the disabling
condition cited. Examples include lifting a heavy
box; exposure to a toxic substance, fire or flame;
and bodily motion of an injured or ill worker.
Stage-of-processing indexes (Producer Price Index)
Stage-of-processing (SOP) price indexes regroup commodities
at the subproduct class (6-digit) level according
to the class of buyer and the amount of physical processing
or assembling the products have undergone. The PPI
publishes aggregate price indexes organized by commodity-based
processing stage. The three stages of processing include
Finished Goods; Intermediate Materials, Supplies,
and Components; and Crude Materials for Further Processing.
Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) system
The SIC system has been used throughout the Federal
Government to group establishments into industries.
The SIC system is being gradually replaced by the
North American Industry Classification System (NAICS).
More information on the SIC system can be found in
Industrial Classification Manual, 1987 (Executive
Office of the President, Office of Management and
Budget), available in many libraries.
Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) system
This system is being adopted by Federal statistical
agencies to classify workers into occupational categories
for the purpose of collecting, calculating, or disseminating
data. All workers are classified into 1 of more than
800 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 occupations) requiring similar job duties,
skills, education, or experience. More
Standard tables (Consumer Expenditure Survey)
Standard tables contain annual expenditure data organized
by various demographic characteristics. The following
standard tables are available: age of reference person,
composition of consumer unit, education of reference
person, higher income before taxes, Hispanic or Latino
origin of reference person, housing tenure and type
of area, income before taxes, number of earners in
consumer unit, occupation of reference person, population
size of area of residence, quintiles of income before
taxes, race of reference person, region of residence,
size of consumer unit, and selected age of reference
A temporary stoppage of work by a group of workers
(not necessarily union members) to express a grievance
or enforce a demand. A strike is initiated by the
workers of an establishment.
Supplemental pay (National Compensation Survey)
Supplemental pay includes overtime and premium pay
for work in addition to the regular work schedule
(such as weekends and holidays), shift differentials,
and nonproduction bonuses (such as referral bonuses
and lump-sum payments provided in lieu of wage increases).
Supply of workers
Often refers to the labor force. The concept focuses
on worker characteristics, especially their education
and training, but also characteristics such as experience
(often considered to be correlated with age), physical
strength (often considered to be inversely correlated
with age), ability to work in teams, etc. Some demographic
characteristics that are not to be considered in hiring
and promotion decisions, but that are studied, include
gender, race, ethnicity, parental and marital statuses.
Survey reference week (Current Population Survey)
The CPS, a survey of households, asks respondents
about their labor market activities during a specific
week each month. That week, called the survey reference
week, is defined as the 7-day period, Sunday through
Saturday, which includes the 12th of the month.
A series of payments to the dependents of deceased
employees. Survivor benefits come in two types: First,
the "transition" type pays the named beneficiary a
monthly amount for a short period (usually 24 months).
Transition benefits may then be followed by "bridge
benefits," which are a series of payments that last
until a specific date, usually the surviving spouse's
Temporary help agency
Establishment primarily engaged in supplying workers
to client businesses for limited periods of time to
supplement the work force of the client; the individuals
provided are employees of the temporary help service
establishment, but these establishments do not provide
direct supervision of their employees.
Terms of trade
Allocation of inputs into two or more economies that
take advantage of differences in comparative advantages
and, through specialization, improve the production
of the economies. Note that a change in the terms
of trade should cause all domestic production to change
(that is, reallocates all inputs), rather than just
Time off benefit
Provides paid or unpaid leave for specific uses, such
as lunch periods, holidays and vacations, and maternity
and paternity leave.
A way of expressing, in percentage terms, the change
in some variable from a given point in time to another
point in time. For example, suppose output increased
by 10 percent from an initial year (1987) to a subsequent
year (1988). The index for the base year of 1987 in
this example would be 100.0, while the index for 1988
would be 110.0. Conversely, if output had declined
in 1988 by 10 percent, the 1988 index value would
Touchtone Data Entry (TDE)
An automated method of collecting data in which respondents
call a toll-free number and enter their data using
a touchtone telephone.
The market sale price of a good or input shows what
has to be given in exchange to obtain a good or service.
It is usually denoted in money terms, although payment
need not be in a monetary form. The relative price
is expressed in terms of the quantity of some other
good which has to be given in exchange for the original
good. Thus, if all prices increase at the same rate,
absolute prices will rise but relative prices will
Turnover (Job Openings and
Labor Turnover Survey)
Separation of an employee from an establishment (voluntary,
involuntary, or other).
Turnover rate (Job Openings
and Labor Turnover Survey)
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).
(Current Population Survey)
Persons aged 16 years and older who had no employment
during the reference week, were available for work,
except for temporary illness, and had made specific
efforts to find employment sometime during the 4-week
period ending with the reference week. Persons who
were waiting to be recalled to a job from which they
had been laid off need not have been looking for work
to be classified as unemployed.
The unemployment rate represents the number unemployed
as a percent of the labor force.
Union membership data
Refers to wage and salary workers who report that
they are members of a labor union or an employee association
similar to a union.
Unit labor costs (Productivity and Costs)
Unit labor costs show the growth in compensation relative
to that of real output. These costs are calculated
by dividing total labor compensation by real output.
Changes in unit labor costs can be approximated by
subtracting the change in productivity from the change
in hourly compensation.
Unit value indexes
Unit value indexes are calculated by dividing the
total value of goods in a commodity area by the total
quantity of goods in that commodity area.
The total number of units (for example, individuals,
households, or businesses) in the population of interest.
Unpaid family workers (Current Population Survey
and American Time Use Survey)
Persons who work without pay for 15 or more hours
per week on a farm or in a business operated by a
member of the household to whom they are related by
birth or marriage.
Usual hours (Current Population Survey)
Respondents are asked the number of hours per week
they usually work. This provides a measure of the
usual full-time or part-time status of employed persons.
All employed persons, both those who were at work
and those who were absent from work, are asked about
the number of hours they usually work.
Usual weekly earnings (Current Population Survey)
Wage and salary earnings before taxes and other deductions;
includes any overtime pay, commissions, or tips usually
received (at the main job, in the case of multiple
jobholders). Earnings reported on a basis other than
weekly (for example, annual, monthly, hourly) are
converted to weekly. The term "usual" is as perceived
by the respondent. If the respondent asks for a definition
of usual, interviewers are instructed to define the
term as more than half the weeks worked during the
past 4 or 5 months. Data refer to wage and salary
workers only, excluding all self-employed persons
(regardless of whether their businesses were incorporated)
and all unpaid family workers.
Vacancy (Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey)
See Job opening.
Vacancy rate (Job Openings and Labor Turnover
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 nonproduction
bonuses such as lump-sum payments provided in lieu
of wage increases. (See Earnings.)
The expected or actual period of employment for the
week, usually expressed in number of hours. Some uses
of the term may relate to the outside dimensions of
a week (for example, 7 consecutive days).
Wholesale Price Index (WPI)
The Wholesale Price Index (WPI) was the original name
of the Producer Price Index (PPI) program from its
inception in 1902 until 1978, when it was renamed
(PPI). At the same time, emphasis was shifted from
one index encompassing the whole economy, to three
main indexes covering the stages of production in
the economy. By changing emphasis, BLS greatly reduced
the double-counting phenomenon inherent in aggregate
Work levels (National Compensation Survey)
The National Compensation Survey produces earnings
data by levels of work within an occupation. The duties
and responsibilities of a job are evaluated using
four factors (such as knowledge, and complexity of
the work) to determine a work level. Levels vary by
occupation, ranging from 1 to 15. For example, level
1 may represent an entry level, while level 15 may
represent master-level skills.
Work relationship (Safety and Health Statistics)
An employee must have had a verifiable work relationship
with his or her employer to be included in the Census
of Fatal Occupational Injuries. A work relationship
exists if an event or exposure results in fatal injury
or illness to a person under the following conditions:
(1) ON the employer’s premises and the person was
there to work; or (2) OFF the employer’s premises
and the person was there to work, or the event or
exposure was related to the person’s work status as
an employee. The employer’s premises include buildings,
grounds, parking lots, and other facilities and property
used in the conduct of business. Work is defined as
legal duties, activities, or tasks that produce a
product as a result and that are done in exchange
for money, goods, services, profit, or benefit.
A strike or a lockout.
Estimates of the number of years individuals would
spend in the labor force based on mortality conditions,
labor force entry and exit rates, and demographic
characteristics. BLS has not produced worklife estimates
since February 1986. Last publication: Worklife Estimates:
Effects of Race and Education PDF