Glossary

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Here's a list of terms that are often used in connection with employment and labor market information.

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A

Apprenticeship
A structured approach for entering a skilled occupation in most of the major trade industries. Combines training on the job with related and supplemental instruction at school.

Arkansas Workforce Development Board (AWDB)
The Arkansas Workforce Development Board (AWDB) advises the Governor in the planning, evaluation, and coordination of all Workforce Development activities across all state and local agencies. It also advises the Arkansas State Legislature regarding Workforce Innovation and Opportunity legislation.

Associate Degree
A degree received upon completion of a program of study at a community or technical college, associate-degree granting university or qualified private career school. Traditionally, Associate degrees require two years of full-time training to achieve.

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B

Baccalaureate Degree
A degree received upon completion of a program of study at a university or college. Traditionally, a baccalaureate or bachelor's degree requires four years of full-time education. Also known as a Bachelor's.

Benchmark
A point of reference (either an estimate or a count) from which measurements can be made or upon which adjustments to estimates are based.

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. (http://www.bea.gov)

Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)
Part of the U.S. 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. (http://www.bls.gov/home.htm)

Bureau of Labor Statistics Programs
Working in conjunction with the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics is the state of Arkansas Bureau of Labor Statistics Programs section. It is a division of the Labor Market Information Section of the State of Arkansas Department of Workforce Services.

Bureau of the Census (BOC)
Part 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. (http://www.census.gov/)

Business Employment Dynamics (BED)
A quarterly series of statistics consisting of gross job gains and gross job losses. Data for these statistics comes from the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) program. (http://www.bls.gov/bdm/)

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C

Census
A complete count of a specified population or some measurable characteristics in a given area (e.g. housing, industry, etc.).

Census Data
Data derived from a census, typically the U.S. Census of population.

Certificate
A document issued by an educational training provider to a student who completes a training program. It serves to provide proof of training. The duration of the program might be less than two years, more than a two-year associate degree but less than a baccalaureate degree, or that required for a post-baccalaureate certificate.

CIP
The Classification of Instructional Program (CIP) is a U.S. Department of Education system used to standardize coding of programs of study and courses for postsecondary schools.

Civilian
Not in the military.

Civilian Employment
Civilian workers 16 years and older who (a) during the survey week did any work at all as paid employees or in their own businesses or profession on their own farm, or worked 15 hours or more as unpaid workers in a family enterprise; or (b) were not working but had jobs or business from which they were temporarily absent because of illness, bad weather, vacation, labor management disputes, personal reasons, whether or not they were paid for the time off.

Civilian Labor Force
The sum of civilian individuals who are 16 years old or older and are either employed or counted as unemployed. This category does not include the military.

Civilian Unemployment
All civilians 16 years and over who did not work during the survey week, who made specific efforts to find a job within the past four weeks, and who were available for work (except for temporary illness) during the survey week. Also included as unemployed are those who did not work at all, but were available for work, and (a) were waiting to be recalled to a job from which they had been laid off for a specific time; or (b) had a new job to go to within thirty days.

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

Consumer Price Index (CPI)
A Bureau of Labor Statistics program which measures the average change in prices of a fixed set of goods and services purchased by households. It is the most commonly recognized measure of inflation. (http://www.bls.gov/cpi/home.htm)

County
The largest territorial division for local government.

Covered Employment and Earnings
Covered Employment is the number of workers employed by employers subject to the Arkansas Employment security Law who worked or received pay for the payroll period including the 12th of the month. An employer is subject to the law when they employ one or more employees in each of ten days during the current or preceding calendar year.

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. (http://www.bls.gov/cew/cewover.htm)

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. (stats.bls.gov/ces/home.htm)

Current Population Survey (CPS)
Monthly household survey of the civilian noninstitutional population of the United States. The survey provides monthly statistics on employment, unemployment, and related subjects. The data are analyzed and published each month by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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D

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.

Demand
In labor market information this term is usually used in reference to the need for workers in a particular occupation, or workers with specific skills.

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

Department of Labor (DOL)
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. (http://www.dol.gov/)

Department of Workforce Services (DWS)
The Department of Workforce Services (DWS) was formerly known as the Arkansas Employment Security Department, prior to July 1, 2005. It is a state agency that oversees most issues related to employment in Arkansas, from job training and job search assistance to labor market research and analysis and UI wage data collection. The Department of Workforce Services has facilities across Arkansas to assist job seekers and employers.

Doctorate
The highest award a student can earn for graduate (post-baccalaureate) study.

Durable Goods
A durable manufactured product, such as an automobile, that is not depleted or consumed by use.

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E

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

Economic 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.

Emerging Occupations
(1) Occupations newly created as a result of technological innovation, shifting markets or new regulations; or (2) Existing occupations that have undergone substantial modification in skill requirements; or (3) Existing occupations with new opportunities created by changes in legislation, social concerns, demographics, industry or the market place.

Employed
Persons, aged 16 years or older, who are working.

Employer Payroll Records
Wage records employers submit quarterly to support the unemployment insurance program. These records contain information on the number of workers, and the total wages paid.

Employment
Jobs, or people who are working.

Employment and Training Administration (ETA)
A part 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. (http://www.doleta.gov/)

Entry-Level
Jobs or occupations for which employers hire workers with little or no previous work experience or with relatively minimum training or education. Occupations that require more education or training may have specific entry-level classifications such as "apprenticeship" or "internship".

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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F

FICE
The Federal Interagency Commission on Education assigns a unique code to each postsecondary school and training institution in the United States; it's a school code.

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.

Full-Time Employment
A person employed 35 or more hours per week. (Bureau of Labor Statistics, Current Population Survey)

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G

H

Household
People living in a single residence regardless of relationship.

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I

Industry
A group of firms that engage in similar activities. Every business is classified into a category according to what products or services account for the majority of revenue. The Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) system was the standard classification structure for many years. The North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) is the successor to the SIC. Besides providing a highly organized way to understand and analyze the economy, industry classifications and business listings also provide a direct link to potential employers in a labor market.

Industry Employment
Full-time and part-time workers (including employees on paid vacation or paid sick leave) who work or receive compensation from establishments for any part of the pay period including the 12th of the month. Those workers involved in labor-management disputes are excluded. This is a count of the number of jobs, and is available by industry.

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J

K

L

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.

Labor Market Information Unit
A division of the Department of Workforce Services. Its staff collects, analyzes, and produces information in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). The division is comprised of the Occupational Career Information Section and the Bureau of Labor Statistics Section.

Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics (LEHD)
A State Labor Market Information program which produces statistics on employment, job creation, job turnover, and earnings by industry, age and sex in partnership with the U.S. Census Bureau.

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
A labor market area that is usually a group of contiguous counties, where employment, training, and educational services are provided; established through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act to provide services for dislocated workers and other eligible individuals. The State of Arkansas is divided into ten local workforce development areas based on common geographic and economic factors.

Local Workforce Development Board
A Local Workforce Development Board plans and implements programs to create a skilled, productive workforce able to meet regional employers' needs. There are currently 10 boards in Arkansas.

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M

Mean
The average value of a set of numbers.

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.

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

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N

NAICS
Refer to the North American Industry Classification System. The successor to the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) System.

Non-Durable Goods
Manufactured items that generally last three years or less. Food, beverages, clothing, shoes, and gasoline are common examples.

Nonfarm Payroll Jobs
An estimate of jobs by place of work. Proprietors, the self-employed, unpaid family workers, farm workers, and private household workers are excluded.

North American Industry Classification System (NAICS)
NAICS is a standard numerical coding system that uses a production-oriented conceptual framework to group establishments into industries based on the activity in which they are primarily engaged. Establishments using similar raw material inputs, similar capital equipment, and similar labor are classified in the same industry. In other words, establishments that do similar things in similar ways are classified together. NAICS was introduced in 1997 and is periodically revised to reflect changes in the industrial structure of the U.S. and North American economy. (http://www.bls.gov/bls/naics.htm)

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O

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. (http://www.bls.gov/oes/home.htm)

Occupation
A set of activities or tasks that employees perform. Employees that perform the same tasks are in the same occupation, whether or not they are in the same industry. (Ref: Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Occupational Information Network (O*NET)
The Occupational Information Network is a comprehensive database of worker attributes and job characteristics. (http://online.onetcenter.org/)

OCI
The Occupational Career Information (OCI) Section of the Department of Workforce Services which provides career and educational information to Arkansans.

O*NET Codes
Occupation codes that provide a common language for defining and describing occupations. They are a modification of the Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) codes and contain an additional two digits used for relating commonly used job titles.

Outlook
An expectation for the future.

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P

Part-Time Employment
A person employed less than 35 hours per week.

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. Projections of employment are based on historical employment statistics, cyclical and structural factors, and estimates of economic growth, trends in the U.S, State, and regional characteristics that are likely to affect the region's economy.

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Q

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. (http://www.bls.gov/cew/cewover.htm)

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R

Re-Entrants
Persons who are re-entering the labor force after an absence.

Replacement
Openings resulting from people leaving an occupation.

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S

Salary
Fixed compensation paid for labor or services. Most salaries are paid for a fixed period of working hours.

Sample
A limited part of a statistical population whose properties are studied to gain information about the whole.

Seasonal Adjustment
A process whereby normal seasonal changes are removed or discounted. In doing so, the underlying trends are easier to identify.

Seasonal Factors
Seasonal factors are events that cause normal fluctuations in business activity within individual or combinations of industries. Seasonal factors include, but are not limited to, such events as: weather conditions, holidays, and school schedules.

Seasonal Unemployment
A condition resulting from jobs being available for only a portion of the year. For example, migrant workers who follow the harvest of various crops, but have little chance of working when that crop is completed, are seasonally unemployed.

Seasonally Adjusted
Seasonal changes have been removed or discounted.

Self-Employed
Persons who work for profit or fees in their own business, profession or trade, or who operate a farm.

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. All workers are classified into one of over 820 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 occupation(s) requiring similar skills, education, or experience.

Survey
A study of all or a portion of the whole, conducted for purposes of making generalized statements about the whole.

Survey Week
The week including the 12th of the month.

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T

Temporary Workers
Those workers who have no long-term attachment to an employer. They may work for several days, or several months, and often work for temporary help agencies.

Trainee
An individual hired for a job, which may or may not require previous experience or education. A trainee could start in an entry-level, apprenticeship level, or internship level position.

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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U

UI Wage Records
The Unemployment Insurance (UI) wage records indicate how much employers paid each employee during a given quarter of the year. Most employers are required to report these earnings, facing stiff penalties if they fail to respond accurately. These wage figures determine how much unemployment compensation people receive if they lose their jobs. Not everyone's wages fall under the auspices of UI laws. Those who are self-employed and those who work for certain not-for-profit organizations or family farms often do not have their wages reported to the UI division of the DWS.

Unemployed
Persons, aged 16 years or older, who are not working but are able to work, available for work, and seeking either full-time or part-time work.

Unemployment
An estimate of the number of persons who, for the entire week of reference (the week including the 12th of the month), did not work at all, were able to work and available for work, and (1) were looking for work, or (2) would have looked for work except that (a) they were waiting to return to a job from which they had been laid off, or (b) they were waiting to report to a new job.

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. The 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.

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V

W

Wage at the 10th Percentile
Ten percent of the workers in the occupation earn equal to or less than a wage level. Ninety percent of the workers in the occupation earn above it.

Wage at the 25th Percentile
Twenty-five percent of the workers in the occupation earn wages equal to or less than a wage level. Seventy-five percent of the workers earn wages above it.

Wage at the 75th Percentile
Seventy-five percent of the workers in the occupation earn equal to or less than a wage level. Twenty-five percent of the workers in the occupation earn above it.

Wage at the 90th Percentile
Ninety percent of the workers in the occupation earn equal to or less than a wage level. Ten percent of the workers in the occupation earn above it.

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

Workforce Development Area (formerly Workforce Investment Area)
A labor market area that is usually a group of contiguous counties, where employment, training, and educational services are provided; established through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act to provide services for dislocated workers and other eligible individuals. The State of Arkansas is divided into ten local workforce development areas based on common geographic and economic factors.

Workforce Information Database
A standardized relational database that all states are required by the U.S. Department of Labor to maintain. It is used for the storage and maintenance of Employment Statistics, Business Listings, Occupational Wage and Salary Information, Economic and Demographic Data, and Education and Training Information. The "Discover Arkansas" web site is the delivery system for Arkansas' Workforce Information database.

Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA)
This act ammends the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) of 1998. It was signed into law on July 22, 2014. WIOA 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.

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X

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Z