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Labor Market Information - Glossary of Terms
Glossary Acronyms Geographic Area Definitions
  Labor Market Information - Glossary of Terms Last Updated: June 29, 2011 
A      B      C      D      E      F       G      H      I      J      K      L      M      N       O      P      Q      R      S      T      U       V      W      X      Y      Z
A
Affirmative Action Plan: A program that became law with the passage of the Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Act of 1972, whereby employers, labor unions, employment agencies, and labor-management apprenticeship programs must actively seek to eliminate discrimination against and increase employment of women and minorities. The EEO Act requires employers to draw up a detailed written plan for equalizing economic opportunity with respect to hiring, promotion, transfers, wages and salaries, training, fringe benefits, and other conditions of employment. These plans include definite numerical goals and timetables for achieving such changes.
B
Base Period: A selected period of time, frequently one year, against which changes to other points in time are calculated (also see Index Number).
Benchmarking: The process of re-estimating statistics as more complete data become available. Estimates are usually calculated using only a sample of the universe (total count). Therefore, benchmarking allows for correction of estimating errors. New benchmarking levels are introduced on an annual basis.
C
Covered Employment:  Employment in any industry insured under the provisions of the Connecticut Unemployment Compensation Law.
Current Employment Statistics:  This program provides the most current estimates of nonfarm employment, hours, and earnings data by industry (place of work) for the nation as a whole, all states, and most major metropolitan areas. The CES survey is a federal-state cooperative endeavor in which states develop state and sub-state data using concepts, definitions, and technical procedures prescribed by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Estimates produced by the CES program include both full- and part-time jobs. Excluded are self-employment, as well as agricultural and domestic positions. In CT, more than 4,000 employers are surveyed each month to determine the number of the jobs in the State.
Current Population Survey:  A national household survey conducted each month by the Census Bureau for the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Information is gathered from a sample of about 50,000 households (500-600 in Connecticut) designed to represent the civilian noninstitutional population of persons 16 years of age and over.
D
Discouraged Workers: Persons not included in the unemployment count, who say they did not look for work because they think none is available, or they believe they lack the skills necessary to compete in the labor market.
Dislocated Workers:  As defined under the Workforce Investment Act of 1998, an individual who: (A) 1. has been terminated or laid off, or received notice of same; and 2. is eligible for or has exhausted entitlement to unemployment compensation, or has demonstrated attachment to the workforce but is not eligible for unemployment compensation; and 3. is unlikely to return to a previous industry or occupation. Or (B) 1. has been terminated or laid off, or has received notice of same, as a result of permanent closure or substantial layoff at a plant, facility or enterprise; or 2. is employed at a facility at which employer has made a general announcement that such facility will close within 180 days; or, 3. for purposes of receiving certain services, is employed at a facility at which the employer has made a general announcement that such facility will close. Or (C) was self-employed but is unemployed as a result of general economic conditions in the community in which the individual resides or because of natural disasters. Or (D) is a displaced homemaker.
Displaced Homemaker: An individual who has been providing unpaid services to family members in the home and who (A) has been dependent on the income of another family member but is no longer supported by that income; and (B) is unemployed or underemployed and is experiencing difficulty in obtaining or upgrading employment.
Durable Goods: Items with a normal life expectancy of three years or more. Automobiles, furniture, household appliances and mobile homes are examples. Because of their nature, expenditures for durable goods are generally postponable. Consequently, durable goods sales are the most volatile component of consumer expenditures.
E
Employed Persons: Those individuals who are 16 years of age and over who worked for pay any time during the week which includes the 12th day of the month, or who worked unpaid for 15 hours or more in a family-owned business, and individuals who were temporarily absent from their jobs due to illness, bad weather, vacation, labor dispute, or personal reasons. Excluded are persons whose only activity consists of work around the house and volunteer work for religious, charitable, and similar organizations.
Establishment: An economic unit such as a farm, mine, factory, or store, which produces goods or provides services. It is usually at a single physical location and engaged in one predominant type of economic activity.
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F
Farm 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.
Full-time Employment: Employment of 35 or more hours per week, but on no account fewer than 30 hours.
H
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.
I
Index Number: A measure of the relative changes occurring in a series of values compared with a base period. The base period usually equals 100, and any changes from it represent percentages. By use of an index number, large or unwieldy data, such as sales in thousands of dollars or costs in dollars and cents, are reduced to a form in which they can be readily understood.
Industry: A generic term for a distinct group of economic activities. Industries are described and classified by their primary activity or product.
Initial Claim: A notice filed by a worker, at the beginning of a period of unemployment, requesting a determination of insured status for jobless benefits.
L
Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS):  This program produces monthly employment, unemployment, and labor force data for Census regions and divisions, States, counties, metropolitan areas, and many cities, by place of residence. The LAUS program is a federal-state cooperative endeavor in which states develop state and sub-state data using concepts, definitions, and technical procedures prescribed by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). A major source of labor force data estimates, the Current Population Survey (CPS) includes a sample of over 1,200 Connecticut households each month regarding the labor force status of their occupants.
Labor Force:  All persons 16 years of age and over who are classified as employed, unemployed and seeking employment, or involved in a labor-management dispute. The labor force does not include persons who never worked a full-time job lasting two weeks or longer and "discouraged workers" who have been unemployed for a substantial length of time and are no longer actively seeking employment. Members of the armed forces stationed either in the United States or abroad are counted by their place of residence. The civilian labor force excludes members of the armed forces and the institutionalized population.
Labor Force Participation Rate:  The proportion of the total civilian noninstitutional population or of a demographic subgroup of that population classified as "in the labor force."
Labor Market Area (LMA):  As defined by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, an economically integrated geographic area within which individuals can reside and find employment within a reasonable distance or can readily change employment without changing their place of residence.
Labor Market Information (LMI): The body of information that deals with the functioning of labor markets and the determination of the demand for and supply of labor. It includes, but is not limited to, such key factors as changes in the level and/or composition of economic activity, the population, employment and unemployment, income and earnings, wage rates, and fringe benefits.
Labor Surplus Area: A civil jurisdiction where the average unemployment rate is at least 20 percent above the average unemployment for all states, or its unemployment during the previous two calendar years was ten percent or more. The designation allows establishments in the area preference in bidding for certain federal contracts.
Location Quotients:  Measure an industry's concentration or specialization in one geographical area relative to a larger area.
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M
Manufacturing:  Includes establishments engaged in the mechanical or chemical transformation of materials or substances into new products. These establishments are usually described as plants, factories, or mills and characteristically use power-driven machines and materials handling equipment. The new product of a manufacturing establishment may be "finished" in the sense that it is ready for utilization and consumption, or it may be "semi-finished" to become a raw material for an establishment engaged in further manufacturing.
Median: The middle value or midpoint between two middle values in a set of data arranged in order of increasing or decreasing magnitude. As such, one-half of the items in the set are less than the median and one-half are greater.
Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA):  As defined by the federal Office of Management and Budget, an urban area that meets specified size criteria: either it has a core city of at least 50,000 inhabitants within its corporate limits, or it contains an urbanized area of at least 50,000 inhabitants and has a total population of at least 100,000. Connecticut has seven MSAs.
N
NECTAs (New England City and Town Areas):  The United States Office of Management and Budget (OMB) determines NECTAs for New England states similarly to the way they define metropolitan and micropolitan statistical areas for the rest of the country. They apply published standards to decennial Census data to designate a core area containing a substantial population nucleus, together with adjacent communities having a high degree of economic and social integration with that core.
Nondurable Goods: Items that generally last for only a short time (three years or less). Food, beverages, apparel, and gasoline are common examples. Because of their nature, nondurable goods are generally purchased when needed.
Nonfarm Employment (CES):  The total number of persons on establishment payroll 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, is included. 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.
O
Occupation:  The name or title of a job that identifies a person's principle business or work activity. Occupations are classified in two major schemes:
a) Standard Occupational Classification (SOC), a standard classification used in social and economic statistical reporting programs,
such as the Census or U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) programs. There are far fewer occupations defined by the SOC than in the

b) Dictionary of Occupational Titles (DOT), a 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.
Occupational Employment Statistics (OES):  This program produces employment and wage estimates for over 800 occupations. These are estimates of the number of people employed in certain occupations, and estimates of the wages paid to them. These estimates are available for the nation as a whole, for individual States, and for metropolitan areas; national occupational estimates for specific industries are also available.
P
Part-Time Employment:  As defined by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in which a worker is regularly scheduled to work fewer than 30 hours a week.
Per Capita Personal Income:  The annual total personal income of residents divided by resident population as of July 1.
Personal Income:  Measures the net earnings, rental income, personal dividend income, personal interest income, and transfer payments by place of residence before the deduction of personal income taxes and other personal taxes. Reported in current dollars.
Private Household Workers:  Persons who work for profit or fees in private households such as child care workers, cooks, housekeepers or other household staff.
Production Worker:  Employees, up through the level of working supervisor, who are directly engaged in the manufacture of the product of an establishment. Among those excluded from this category are persons in executive and managerial positions and persons engaged in activities such as accounting, sales, advertising, routine clerical work, and professional and technical functions.
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Q
Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW / ES-202):  this program serves as a near census of employment and wage information. The program produces a comprehensive tabulation of employment and wage information for workers covered by Connecticut Unemployment Insurance (UI) laws and Federal workers covered by the Unemployment Compensation for Federal Employees (UCFE) program. Data on the number of establishments, employment, and wages are reported by industry for Connecticut and for the counties, towns and Labor Market Areas (LMAs).
S
Seasonal Adjustments:  The adjustment of time-series data to eliminate the effect of intrayear variations that tend to occur each year in approximately the same manner. Examples of such variations include: school terms, holidays, and yearly weather patterns.
Seasonal Industry:  An industry in which activity is affected by regularly recurring weather changes, holidays, vacations, etc. The construction and recreational industries are typically characterized as "seasonal".
Self-Employed Workers:  Persons who work for profit or fees in their own business, profession, trade, or farm. Only the unincorporated self-employed are included in the self-employed category in the class of worker typology. Self-employed persons who respond that their businesses are incorporated are included among wage and salary workers, because technically, they are paid employees of a corporation.
Service Delivery Area (SDA):  A geographical area, designated by the governor, within which employment and training services are provided under the Job Training Partnership Act.
U
Underemployed:  Persons working full- or part-time in jobs that are below their earning capacity or level of competence. The terms "underemployed" and "underutilized" are used interchangeably. Underemployment has also been defined as "involuntary part-time" employment or employment of a person on a part-time basis when full-time work is desired.
Unemployed:  The number of people who, during the survey week, had no employment but were available for work and:
a) had engaged in any specific jobseeking activity within the past four weeks, such as registering at a public or private employment office, meeting
with prospective employers, checking with friends or relatives, placing or answering advertisements, writing letters of application, or being on a union or professional register;

b) were waiting to be called back from a job from which they had been laid off; or

c) were waiting to report to a new wage or salary job within 30 days.
Unemployment Rate:  The number of unemployed people as a percentage of the labor force. The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate eliminates the influence of regularly recurring seasonal fluctuations which can be ascribed to weather, crop-growing cycles, holidays, vacations, regular industry model changeover periods, etc., and therefore, more clearly shows the underlying basic trend of unemployment.
W
Workforce Investment Act (WIA) of 1998:  Represents significant changes to federal statutes governing programs of job training, adult education and literacy, and vocational rehabilitation in order to establish a coordinated, streamlined and more flexible workforce development system. It is a revitalized system that focuses on providing employers with skilled workers, and the economic and workforce information they need to conduct business effectively - and on providing workers with the information, advice, job search assistance, and training they need to get and keep good jobs.
Workforce Investment Area (WIA):  A geographical area, designated by the governor, within which employment and training services are provided under the Workforce Investment Act. These are the five WIAs in Connecticut.
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