Division of Workforce Development and Adult Learning


Glossary of Terms


The Office of Career and Workforce Information, functioning as an arm of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, operates major programs through which data are developed and analyzed.

Quarterly Census of Employment Wages (QCEW) Program

The QCEW program draws data from the administrative records of the unemployment insurance system and from the Unemployment Compensation for Federal Employees program to provide a comprehensive source of covered employment and wage data, by industry, for the state, selected regions and local jurisdictions.

Current Employment Statistics Program (CES)

The CES program surveys a sample of businesses to provide monthly estimates of nonagricultural employment and hours and earnings in selected manufacturing industries. The CES employment count, unlike that of the QCEW, includes information on noncovered workers in educational institutions, religious organizations, nonprofits and railroads.

Local Area Unemployment Statistics Program (LAUS)

The LAUS program profiles the labor force status of the civilian noninstitutional population 16 years and over. Estimates of the labor force, employment, unemployment levels and the unemployment rate for the state, selected regions and local jurisdictions are prepared both monthly and annually.

Occupational and Employment Statistics Program (OES)

The OES program surveys a sampling of employers in nonfarm establishments to determine the occupational staffing patterns within detailed industries and the wages paid to workers according to their occupational skill level.

Talking the Talk - The ABC's of Labor Market Information
Accessions additions of temporary or permanent workers to a payroll, either as new hires or rehires.
Average Hourly Earnings computed by dividing gross production worker payrolls by total production worker hours.
Average Weekly Earnings obtained by multiplying average weekly hours by average hourly earnings.
Average Weekly Hours calculated by dividing the sum of worker hours by the total number of production workers.
Average Weekly Wage Per Worker the total wages paid divided by 13 (quarterly) or 52 (annually), then divided by the average employment.
Benchmark a statistical process through which data estimates are adjusted to better align with a universe count.
Census Tract a small, relatively permanent area into which large cities and adjacent areas are divided for the purpose of providing comparable small area statistics. Tracts are designed to be relatively similar in population characteristics, economic status and living conditions.
Civilian Noninstitutional Population all persons 16 years of age and older, excluding active duty members of the armed forces and inmates of institutions.
Cyclical Unemployment unemployment precipitated by a downturn in the economy.
Discouraged Workers persons who want a job but are not searching because they feel that no jobs are available. These persons are not counted among the unemployed.
Employed Part-Time for Economic Reasons persons, who are employed part-time due to slack work, unfavorable work conditions, seasonal declines in demand or inability to find full-time work.
Employment by Place of Residence all persons who, during the week including the 12th of the month, worked either full or part-time for pay or profit. Includes all persons who had jobs or businesses from which they were temporarily absent due to paid/unpaid vacation, illness, bad weather, labor dispute. Each employed person is counted only once.
Employment by Place of Work the number of workers earning wages during the pay period including the 12th of the month. Included are those on paid sick leave, paid holiday, paid vacation. The count excludes those who did not earn wages during the entire pay period because of layoffs, work stoppages, illness or unpaid vacation. Individuals on more than one payroll are counted each time they are reported.
Employment to Population Ratio the proportion of the 16+ population that is employed.
Establishment a single physical location where primarily one type of economic activity is conducted.
Exhaustees unemployment claimants who have used up all their benefit entitlements.
Experienced Unemployed unemployed persons who can be classified by occupational category based on prior employment.
Frictional Unemployment unemployment which is associated with short-term inefficiencies in matching workers with available jobs.
Job Leavers persons who quit or otherwise terminated their employment voluntarily.
Job Losers persons whose employment ended involuntarily.
Labor Force the sum of all persons classified as employed and unemployed.
Labor Force Participation Rate the proportion of the 16+ population that is in the labor force.
Labor Supply and Demand workers seeking employment in an occupation/job openings available in an occupation.
Labor Turnover the movement of workers into and out of employment over a given period of time.
Long-term Unemployed persons unemployed for 15 weeks or more at one time.
New Entrants persons with no prior employment history who are beginning their initial work search.
Nondistributable this is an area designation for reporting units that cannot be assigned to one specific geographic area.
Not in the Labor Force all persons under 16 years of age, retirees, institutionalized individuals, and those persons not actively seeking employment.
Occupational Mobility the transfer of workers from one occupation to another.
Occupational Staffing Patterns a profiling of skill levels/occupations within an industry.
Openings Due to Growth job openings which result primarily from industrial expansion.
Openings Due to Separations/Replacement job openings which stem from the need to fill vacancies resulting from such occurrences as retirements, promotions, transfers.
Production Workers all working supervisors and nonsupervisory workers engaged in activities involving the production or handling of goods at a manufacturing facility.
Reentrants persons who previously worked but were out of the labor force prior to beginning their most recent job search.
Reporting Unit the economic unit or individual establishment for which data are reported by an employer.
Seasonal Adjustment a statistical technique which, when applied to a data series, adjusts for the influence of recurring seasonal events such as changes in weather, holidays, school openings and closings.
Seasonal Unemployment unemployment, usually short-term, brought on by industry cycles which follow a more or less regular pattern each year.
Structural Unemployment unemployment, usually long-term in nature, occurring as a result of the imbalances between the occupational needs of the economy and the skills of available workers.
Total Wages the sum of all compensation for services, including bonuses, commissions, tips and the cash value of any compensation for meals, lodging.
Underemployed persons, employed either full or part-time, in jobs which are either below their earnings capacity or level of competence.
Unemployed all persons who, during the reference week, were without employment but were able to work and made an active search for work. Persons awaiting recall from their primary employer or scheduled to report to a new job within 30 days are exempt from the work search criteria.
Unemployment Duration the length of time that persons classified as unemployed had been looking for work.
Unemployment Rate the number of unemployed as a percent of the labor force.