LMI Glossary

Labor Market Information Glossary

1.     Civilian noninstitutional population - Included are persons 16 years of age and older residing in the 50 States and the District of Columbia who are not inmates of institutions (for example, penal and mental facilities, homes for the aged), and who are not on active duty in the Armed Forces.

2.     Discouraged workers - Persons not in the labor force who want and are available for a job and who have looked for work sometime in the past 12 months (or since the end of their last job if they held one within the past 12 months), but who are not currently looking because they believe there are no jobs available or there are none for which they would qualify.

3.     Displaced workers - Persons 20 years and over who lost or left jobs because their plant or company closed or moved, there was insufficient work for them to do, or their position or shift was abolished.

4.     Employed persons - 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 organizations.

5.     Employer - A person or business that employees one or more people 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 taxes.


6.     Educational attainment - The highest diploma or degree, or level of work towards a diploma or degree, an individual has complete

7.     Establishment - The physical location of a certain economic activity, for example, a factory, mine, store, or office. Generally a single establishment produces a single good or provides a single service. An enterprise (a private firm, government, or non-profit organization) could consist of a single establishment or multiple establishments. A multi-establishment enterprise could have all its establishments in one industry (i.e., a chain), or could have various establishments in different industries (i.e., a conglomerate).

8.     Extended mass layoff - A situation in which the employer has separated at least 50 workers for more than 30 days

9.     Industry - 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 Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) system groups similar establishments into industries.

10.  Inflation - Inflation has been defined as a process of continuously rising prices, or equivalently, of a continuously falling value of money.

11.  Initial claimant - 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 of eligibility

12.  Labor force - The labor force includes all persons classified as employed or unemployed in accordance with the definitions contained in this glossary

13.  Labor force participation rate - The labor force as a percent of the civilian noninstitutional population

14.  Mass layoff - A situation that involves at least 50 persons at the same establishment, each of whom has filed an initial claim for unemployment insurance benefits during a consecutive 5-week period.

15.  Mean wage - 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.

16.  Median wage - A boundary. An occupational median wage estimate is the boundary between the highest paid 50% and the lowest paid 50% 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

17.  Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) - The general concept of an MSA and an SMSA 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.

18.  North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) - The successor to the SIC system; this system of classifying business establishments will be used by the United States, Canada, and Mexico

19.  Not in the labor force - Includes persons 16 years and over in the civilian noninstitutional population who are neither employed nor unemployed in accordance with the definitions contained in this glossary.

20.  Not seasonally adjusted - This term is used to describe data series not subject to the seasonal adjustment process. In other words, the effects of regular, or seasonal, patterns have not been removed from these series.

21.  Occupational groups - Defined occupations selected for study classified in one of the following groups: Professional, technical, and related, Clerical and sales, and Blue-collar and service.

22.  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

23.  Price Index - A price index is a tool that simplifies the measurement of movements in a numerical series. Movements are measured with respect to the base period, when the index is set to 100

24.  Seasonally adjusted - 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 non-seasonal movements in a data series.

25.  Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) system - The SIC system is used throughout the federal government to group establishments into industries. The SIC Division Structure makes it possible to collect and calculate establishment data by broad industrial divisions (labeled A through K), industrial groups (the 2-and 3-digit SIC levels), and specific industries (the 4-digit level). See the Standard Industrial Classification Manual, 1987 (Executive Office of the President, Office of Management and Budget), available in many libraries.

26.  Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) system - This system will be used by all Federal statistical agencies to classify workers into occupational categories 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 job duties, skills, education, or experience.

27.  Unemployed persons - Persons 16 years and over 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.

28.  Unemployment rate - The unemployment rate represents the number unemployed as a percent of the labor force

29.  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