Glossary of Terms

Here's a list of terms that are often used in connection with employment and labor market information.
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10th Percentile Wage is the point at which 10% of the employment was below this wage and 90% was above.

25th Percentile Wage is the point at which 25% of the employment was below this wage and 75% was above.

50th Percentile Wage is the point at which 50% of the employment was below this wage and 50% was above.

75th Percentile Wage is the point at which 75% of the employment was below this wage and 25% was above.

90th Percentile Wage is the point at which 90% of the employment was below this wage and 10% was above.

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Affirmative Action - A program that became law with the passage of the Equal Employment Opportunity Act of 1972. This Act was an amendment to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which originally outlawed discrimination in employment practices. The Act requires employers, labor unions, employment agencies, and labor-management apprenticeship programs to make an affirmative effort to eliminate discrimination against and increase employment of females and minorities.

Average Weekly Earnings - Average total money earnings in non-farm employment during the survey week of production workers, construction workers, or non-supervisory workers in the service sector. Earnings are reported before deductions of any kind, and include pay for overtime, holidays, vacations, and sick leave paid directly by the firm.

Average Weekly Wages - Total wages paid by employers divided by average employment and further divided by the number of weeks in the reference period.

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Benchmark - Once a year estimates published as "preliminary" and "subject to revision" (such as nonfarm wage and salaried worker levels or labor force data) have to be benchmarked (or revised) using data from other sources that were not available at the time of estimation, such as unemployment insurance tax records and results of surveys conducted on employers not covered by unemployment insurance. The benchmarking sources show actual employment counts and are used to revise estimated data. Revised estimates are then published, replacing all previously published  data.

BLS - The Bureau of Labor Statistics ( BLS ) is one branch of the United States Department of Labor. R&S is able to get monthly U.S. labor force data, the consumer price index, and various other labor reports from the BLS information services section.

Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) - The BEA is an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce. The BEA is part of the Department's Economics and Statistics Administration. The BEA produces and disseminates economic account statistics that provide government, businesses, households, and individuals with a comprehensive, up-to-date picture of economic activity.

Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) - The ( BLS ) is one branch of the United States Department of Labor. This Federal agency is the principal data-gathering agency of the Federal government in the field of economics. The BLS collects, processes, analyzes, and disseminates data relating to employment, unemployment, the labor force, productivity, prices, family expenditures, wages, industrial relations, and occupational safety and health. Well known data released by the BLS include: the Consumer Price Index, the Producer Price Index, the unemployment rate, and nonagricultural employment levels.

Bureau of the Census (BOC) - The Census Bureau is one branch of the U.S. Department of Commerce. This agency conducts the censuses of population and housing every 10 years and of agriculture, business, governments, manufacturers, mineral industries, and transportation at 5-year intervals. The Census Bureau also conducts the monthly Current Population Survey ( CPS ) in cooperation with the Bureau of Labor Statistics ( BLS ). Data from this survey are the source of unemployment statistics.

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Census Bureau - The Census Bureau serves as the leading source of quality data about the nation's people and economy.

Civilian Labor Force - That portion of the population age sixteen and older which is either employed or unemployed and actively seeking employment, excluding members of the armed forces and the institutionalized population.

Claimant - The claimant is a person who files either an initial claim or a continued claim under a state or federal unemployment compensation program.

Consumer Price Index (CPI) - The Consumer Price Index (CPI ) is a measure of the average change over time in the prices paid by urban consumers for a market basket of consumer goods and services.

Covered Employment - Covered employment refers to those employers who fall under the coverage of the state and federal unemployment insurance programs and pay unemployment taxes on their workers.

Covered Employment and Wages (ES-202) Program - This program is now referred to as the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW).   It produces employment and wage data for workers covered by State unemployment insurance laws and Federal workers covered by the Unemployment Compensation for Federal Employees Program.

Current Employment Statistics (CES) - Statistics based on a monthly survey of non-farm business establishments. The numbers include wage and salary employment, worker hours and payroll by industry and area statistics. Through a Federal/State cooperative effort, these data are used to compute current monthly employment, hours and earnings estimates, by industry, for the nation, the 50 states and the District of Columbia and over 250 Metropolitan Areas.

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Data - Factual information used as a basis for reasoning, discussion or calculation.

Database - A collection of information organized so that a computer program can quickly select desired data. Think of a database as an electronic filing system.

Demographics - The characteristics of the population such as age, income, ethnicity, etc.

The Dictionary of Occupational Titles - The DOT is   an occupational classification structure for jobs observed in the American economy, using a standard method of grouping jobs based on the function performed, the tools used, the persons served, the techniques used, and the product or service provided. This taxonomy has been largely replaced by other occupational classification systems, such as the Standard Occupational Classification ( SOC ) and O*Net , the Occupational Information Network, a comprehensive database of worker attributes and job characteristics and the official replacement for the DOT.

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Economic Indicator - A set of data that serves as a tool for analyzing current economic conditions and future prospects. Usually classified according to their timing in relationship to the ups and downs of the business cycle, that is, whether they anticipate (lead), coincide with, or lag behind general business conditions.

Education and Training Classification SystemThe Bureau of Labor Statistics provides information about education and training requirements for hundreds of occupations. BLS uses a system to assign categories for entry-level education, work experience in a related occupation, and typical on-the-job training to each occupation for which BLS publishes projections data. The assignments allow occupations to be grouped to create estimates of the outlook for occupations with various types of education and training needs. This classification system was first used with 2010-2020 Projections and replaced an earlier system that was used between 1995 and 2008. The two systems are not comparable. BLS assigned occupations to a designation within three categories: Education, Work Experience, and On-The-Job Training.

Education - An Education and Training classification category represents the typical education level most workers need to enter an occupation, The assignments for this category can be found here.

Employed - the members of the labor force who worked for pay or profit, or had a job from which they were temporarily absent because of illness, vacation, labor dispute, or other reasons not reflecting a shortage of work, or who worked fifteen hours or more as unpaid workers in an enterprise operated by a member of the family.

Employer Database - This information represents employers' statistics over the spanning from the previous six months. This dataset is analyzed and sourced from the InfoUSA group.

Employment and Training Administration (ETA) - A branch of the U.S. Department of Labor. This agency oversees the State Unemployment Insurance Programs and job training and placement services provided by the State Employment Security Agencies.

ES-202 Program - Refer to the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages Program (QCEW).

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.

Estimate - Numerical data calculated from sample data, or from a model, and intended to provide information about a larger set of data.

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Fair Labor Standards Act – the Federal Wage and House law adopted by Congress in 1938 that set a minimum wage for most American workers.   It also mandates overtime pay beyond an eight-hour workday or over 40 hours a week.

Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS) - Standards for information processing issues by the National Bureau of Standards in the U.S. Department of Commerce. Includes a numeric designation for geographic areas such as States, counties, and Metropolitan Areas.

Firm - A business entity, either corporate or otherwise. May consist of one or several establishments.

Forecast - To calculate or predict some future event or condition; usually as a result of study and analysis of available pertinent data.

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Household - People living in a single residence regardless of relationship.

Housing and Urban Development (HUD), U. S. Department - Oversees homeownership, supports community development and increases access to affordable housing free from discrimination.

Housing Permits - Counted by the Bureau of the Census, new housing permits include permits issued for all new privately owned, attached and detached single-family houses.

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Industry - An establishment or group of establishments engaged in producing similar types of goods and services.
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Labor Draw Area (LDA) - This area represents the collection of Georgian counties that are surrounded by one representative Georgian county.To access Labor Draw area publication please go here

Labor Force - The sum of individuals who are 16 years old or older and either employed or counted as unemployed, including persons in the military.

Labor Market Information (LMI) - Labor Market Information describes both supply and demand in the world of work. It includes what types of jobs are needed now and in the future, how many people are employed and in which occupations, and how much they earn. Knowing the labor market for your region, state, and county can help you decide which occupations are likely to be in demand in your area.

Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS) - A Federal/State cooperative program which produces employment, labor force and unemployment estimates for States and local areas.

Local Workforce Development Area (LWDA) - A labor market area that is usually a group of contiguous counties, where employment, training, and educational services are provided; established through the Workforce Investment Act to provide services for dislocated workers and other eligible individuals. The State of Georgia is divided into nineteen local workforce investment areas. Area was previously denoted as Workforce Investment Area (WIA).

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Mean (average) - Obtained by adding all the observed values together and dividing by the total number of observed values.

Median - The mid-point in a data set after the numbers are sorted. The median is the point where half of the numbers lie above and half lie below this value.

Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) - A term applied by the U.S. Office of  Management and Budget to counties or aggregations of counties that have one or more central cities and that meet specified criteria of population, population density, commuting patterns, and social and economic integration.

Micropolitan Statistical Area (MC) - An MC is a geographical area comprised of a parish containing a central city of at least 10,000 but less than 50,000 inhabitants and contiguous parishes that are socially and economically integrated with the central city.

Mode - The number in a distribution of numbers that appears most frequently.

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NAICS - NAICS is an acronym for North American Industry Classification System and is an industry classification system that groups establishments into industries based on the activities in which they are primarily engaged.

North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) - The successor to the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) System. The United States , Mexico , and Canada will universally use this system of classifying business establishments. Due to differences in NAICS and SIC structures, industry data for 2001 are not comparable to the SIC-based data for earlier years. NAICS focuses on how products and services are created, as opposed to the SIC focus on what is produced.

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Occupational Employment Statistics Survey (OES) - A Federal/State cooperative program that produces employment and wage estimates from employment and wage data collected by the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) survey. One of the primary functions of this program is to identify occupation and wage profiles.

Occupational Information Network (O*NET) - The Occupational Information Network is a comprehensive database of worker attributes and job characteristics.

O*Net - A comprehensive database of worker attributes and job characteristics, providing a common language for defining and describing occupations. This classification system is the replacement for the now outdated Dictionary of Occupational Titles (DOT).

On-The-Job Training - An Education and Training classification category that indicates what is needed to attain competency in the skills needed in the occupation. The assignments for the categories can be found here

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Per Capita Personal Income - The annual total personal income of residents divided by the resident population as of July 1.

Personal Income - The sum of wage and salary disbursements, other labor income, proprietors' income with inventory valuation and capital consumption adjustments, rental income of persons with capital consumption adjustment, personal dividend income, personal interest income, and transfer payments to persons, less personal contributions for social insurance. State personal income is defined as the income received by, or on behalf of, all the residents of the State.

Population - The total number of inhabitants occupying an area.

Projections - An estimate of a future occurrence, event or activity based on historical evidence of past experience.

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Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) - This program was formerly referred to as the Covered Employment and Wages (ES-202) Program. It produces employment and wage data for workers covered by State unemployment insurance laws and Federal workers covered by the Unemployment Compensation for Federal Employees Program.
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Seasonal Adjustment - Seasonal adjustment is a statistical technique which eliminates the influences of weather, holidays, the opening and closing of schools, and other recurring seasonal events from economic time series. This permits easier analysis of cyclical, trend, and other non-seasonal movements in the data. By eliminating seasonal fluctuations, the series becomes smoother and it is easier to compare data from month to month.

Size Class - This information represents total number of persons employed and establishments classified by the employment size within a specified area and period.

Service Delivery Region (SDR) - There are 12 Service Delivery Regions within Georgia. The areas were created for delivering state services to local units of government and citizens and for the purpose of establishing state agency regional boundaries. This region may also be called Service Delivery Area (SDA), Economic Development Region (EDR) , Regional Commision (RC).

Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) - The Standard Industrial Classification system is a hierarchical classification system that defines all establishments to a specific industry based on their primary output or product. The SIC is being replaced by the North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS).

Staffing Pattern - Each business employs workers with different types of skills to produce a good or provide a service. A staffing pattern summarizes this array of workers for an industry. The costs of labor and equipment in a local area will largely determine the mix of workers that a business will employ to remain competitive. Industry staffing patterns are often used to determine the ability of a local area to support economic development by being able to provide a skilled workforce.

Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) - A numerical coding system that classifies occupational data for the purpose of collecting, calculating, or disseminating data.

State Employment Security Agency (SESA) - The agency in each state with responsibility for implementing laws and regulations related to employment.

Supply/Demand - In labor market information this term usually refers to the supply of workers in relationship to the demand for workers.

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Top Employers - This information represents the top companies with the most persons employed with a specified area and period.

Trend - The persistent underlying movement that takes place over a period of time. It is the basic growth or decline that would occur if no variations in activity existed.

Turnover - The rate of replacement of employees.

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Unemployed - the members of the labor force who did not work but were seeking work or were awaiting recall from layoffs or the beginning of a new job within thirty days.

Unemployment Insurance (UI) Program - A national program administered by the U.S. Department of Labor under the Social Security Act. Provides temporary weekly payments to workers who lose their jobs through no fault of their own. he payments are financed by contributions from employers on the wages of their covered workers. Eligibility for benefits requires that the claimant be able to work, be seeking work and be willing to accept a suitable job.

Unemployment Rate - The unemployment rate is derived by dividing the number of unemployed by the labor force. The result is expressed as a percentage.

U.S. Department of Labor - Cabinet-level U.S. agency that enforces laws protecting workers, promotes labor-management cooperation, sponsors employment and training placement services, oversees the unemployment insurance system, and produces statistics on the labor force and living conditions.      

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Wages - A payment, usually of money, for labor or services performed.

WID - The Workforce Information Database is a normalized relational database structure developed for the storage and maintenance of employment statistics, labor market information, business listings and related economic and demographic data.  The database development project originated from the need for a single, multi-purpose database structure to drive analytical and data display systems. Direct federal funding for WID comes from the U.S. Department of Labor's Employment & Training Administration (ETA).  

Work Experience - An Education and Training classification category that indicates the amount of work needed in a related occupation which is commonly considered necessary by employers for entry into the occupation, or is commonly accepted substitute for formal types of training. The assignments can be found here.

Workforce Investment Area - Please see Local Workforce Development Area.

Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) - This 2014 Act is designed to help job seekers access employment, education, training, and support services to succeed in the labor market and to match employers with the skilled workers they need to compete in the global economy. WIOA supersedes the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) of 1998.

Workforce Investment Act (WIA) - This 1998 Act provides the framework for a unique national system. The most important aspect of the Act is its focus on meeting the needs of businesses for skilled workers and the training, education, and employment needs of individuals. Key components of the Act will enable customers to easily access information and services they need through the “One-Stop” system; empower adults to obtain the training they find most appropriate through Individual Training Accounts, and ensure that all State and local programs meet customer expectations. This Act has been superseded by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act