Labor Market Glossary of Terms

This glossary of terms provides definitions of those phrases that relate to Labor Market Information.

ACCRA (Cost of Living Index): A quarterly survey associated with the American Chamber of Commerce Research Association. The survey provides comparisons of prices between about 300 cities, indexed so 100 is the average of U.S. cities. An index of more than 100 means it costs more than average to live in that city. In Utah the survey usually reports on Salt Lake, Provo and Orem, Logan, St. George and Cedar City.
Active Applicant: Any job-seeking registrant who has actively participated in job-seeking activities within the prescribed time frame. In the Utah system, registrants are active for 60 days past their last service date or until they enter employment. Registrants may re-activate at any time.
Average Monthly Wage: Total annual wages divided by the number of employers on nonagricultural payrolls divided by 12.
Civilian Labor Force: The number of individuals who are at least 16 years old and are employed or unemployed. People who are not working or actively looking for work are not included in the labor force.
Consumer Price Index (CPI): CPI-U: Represents all urban consumers. It covers about 87 percent of the U.S. population. CPI-W: Represents wage earners and clerical workers. It covers about 32 percent of the population.
Current Employment Statistics Survey (CES): A federal-state cooperative statistical program designed to estimate current national, state and sub-state employment levels. CES also provides estimates for hours worked, wages earned, total number of production workers and total number of female workers, among other data points.
Current Population Survey (CPS): A nationwide survey conducted each month by the Bureau of the Census for the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Information is gathered from a sample of 50,000 households to represent the civilian non-institutional population of persons who are at least 16 years old. Each state has a portion of the CPS, which is the basis for state labor force data and unemployment rates.
Discouraged workers: Persons not in the labor force who want and are available for a job and have looked for work in the past 12 months (or since the end of their last job if they held one within the past 12 months), but are not currently looking because they believe there are no jobs available or there are none for which they qualify.
Durable Goods: Manufactured items with a normal life expectancy of three years or more. Automobiles, furniture, household appliances and mobile homes are durable goods. Because of their nature, expenditures for durable goods can generally be postponed. Consequently, durable goods sale are a more volatile component of consumer expenditures.

Economic Service Areas (ESA):


DWS is divided into nine areas for planning and administration.

  • Bear River: Box Elder, Cache and Rich
  • Wasatch Front North: Davis, Morgan and Weber
  • Wasatch Front South: Salt Lake and Tooele
  • Mountainland: Juab, Summit, Utah and Wasatch

  • Uintah Basin: Daggett, Duchesne and Uintah
  • Castle Country: Carbon and Emery
  • Southeast: Grand and San Juan
  • Central Utah: Millard, Piute, Sanpete, Sevier and Wayne
  • Southwest: Beaver, Garfield, Iron, Kane and Washington
Employed Persons: An estimate of the number of persons age 16 and over who 1) did any work at least one 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 a business operated by a member of the family and 2) were not working but had jobs or businesses from which they were temporarily absent. Each employed person is counted only once even if he or she held more than one job.
Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO): A program that became law with the passage of the Equal Employment Opportunity Act of 1972. Employers, labor unions, employment agencies and labor management apprenticeship programs must actively seek to eliminate discrimination against and increase employment for females and minorities. This 1972 law, later strengthened by executive orders, requires employers to draw up a detailed written plan for equalizing economic salaries, training programs, fringe benefits and other conditions of employment. These plans included numerical goals and timetables for achieving such changes.
Establishments: Any firm, organization or division for which data are separately reported to the Utah Department of Workforce Services, i.e., individual physical facilities such as store plants, offices and other work sites.
FirmFind: A DWS tool that provides names, addresses, phone numbers, industry and employment size of virtually all firms in Utah. Information is available for a specific county, groups of counties or the entire state.
Full-Time Worker: A worker who usually works 35 hours or more per week.
Forecast Data: Data based on future projections or estimates. The data will usually change when the future becomes the past.
Goods-Producing Industries: Industry sectors in this group include natural resources and mining, construction and manufacturing (durable and nondurable).
Household: All persons — related family members and all unrelated persons — who occupy a housing unit.
Householder: The person (or one of the persons) under whose name a household unit is owned or rented.
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 North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) groups similar establishments into industries.
Inexperienced Wage: The bottom third of a survey and the wage someone just starting out in the occupation would likely make.
Inflation: A process of continuously rising prices or a continuously falling value of money.
Job Vacancy Study (JVS): A Department of Workforce Services administered survey intended to measure the quantity and characteristics of the demand for labor in Utah. Survey outputs include estimates of job openings in Utah by area, occupation and industry.
Labor Force: See "Civilian Labor Force"
Labor Force Participation Rate: The civilian non-institutionalized population age 16 and older of an area divided into the area's civilian labor force, expressed as a percentage or rate.
Labor Market: A geographic area where workers can reside and work.
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 or composition of economic activity, the population, employment and unemployment, occupation, income, earnings, wage rates and fringe benefits.
Local Employment Dynamics (LED): An online tool that provides employment, job creation, turnover and earnings by industry, age, sex and race or ethnicity; dynamic information that reflects the rapidly changing economy. Information is available for a specific county, groups of counties or the entire state.
Market Basket: A package of goods and services that consumers purchase for day-to-day living. The weight of each item is based on the amount of expenditure reported by a sample of households.
Mass Layoff Statistics (MLS): A federal-state cooperative statistical program that identifies, tracks and describes mass layoff actions. An establishment is considered to have had a potential mass layoff if 50 or more former workers file an initial Unemployment Insurance claim during a consecutive five-week period.
Median Wage: The midpoint of ranked data and usually the best measure of central tendency as it is less affected by outliers and skewed data.
Metropolitan Statistical Area: As defined by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget, an urban area that meets specified criteria: either it has a core city of at least 500,000 inhabitants within a county or economically linked group of counties, or it contains an urbanized area of at least 50,000 inhabitants and has a total population of at least 100,000. Salt Lake City, Utah, is an example.
Micropolitan Statistical Area: Smaller geographic areas that have at least one urban cluster of at least 10,000 people but less than 50,000 plus adjacent territory that has a high degree of social and economic integration with the core as measured by commuting ties. Brigham City, Utah, is an example.
Middle Range: The middle fifty percent of a range of data. Twenty-five percent of the observations fall on the high end and twenty-five percent on the low end of the middle range.
NAICS: The North American Industry Classification System. This is a new coding system that will replace the out-dated Standard Industrial Classification System.
Nonagricultural Employment: An average of the number of nonagricultural employees reported for a particular time period to the Utah Department of Workforce Services by employers who are subject to Utah's Unemployment Insurance laws, by federal agencies in Utah who are subject to the Unemployment Compensation for Federal Employees (UCFE) program and by other Utah nonagricultural employers not included under Unemployment Insurance. As a result of multiple job holding and payroll turnover, more than one employer reports some workers. Therefore the count is not of persons but of jobs. Nonagricultural employment includes most corporation officials, executives, supervisory personnel and clerical workers. It excludes proprietors, self-employed, unpaid family workers and workers who neither worked nor received wages as a result of strikes or work stoppages, temporary layoffs or unpaid sick or vacation leave. See also Quarterly Covered Employment and Wages Program (QCEW).
Nondurable Goods: Manufactured 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/Nonagricultural: The total of all NAICS industry divisions excluding agriculture.
Occupation: Job title that identifies a person's principle business or work activity.
Part-time Employees: Employees who usually work between 1 and 34 hours per week.
Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Program: A federal-state cooperative statistical program that produces employment and wage estimates for over 800 occupations across national, state and sub-state geographies.
Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages Program (QCEW): A federal-state cooperative program that collects employment and wage information for workers covered by state Unemployment Insurance (UI) laws and for federal workers covered by the Unemployment Compensation for Federal Employees (UCFE) program. Program outputs include quarterly counts of employment and wages by county, MSA, state and the nation by industry.
Population: An estimate or count of the number of residents of an area as of a specific date, usually July 1 of a given year.
Per Capita Personal Income: The annual total personal income of residents divided by resident population as of July 1 of the subject year.
Producer Price Index (PPI): A monthly index prepared by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. It measures the changes over time of the combined cost of crude, intermediate and finished goods. The base of the current index is 1982 equals 100.
Preliminary Data: Data that are issued before the final or revised data or, in other words, data that will probably change.
Race and Ethnicity: People who identify themselves as being of racial or ethnic heritage other than white. Racial minority groups include Black/African American, Native American, Asian and Pacific Islanders. Persons of Hispanic ethnicity can be of any race.
Revised Data: The result of changes based on additional or improved information.
Seasonal Adjustment: A statistical procedure that uses past year's data to remove seasonal fluctuations in a data series.
Self-employed Persons: Those who worked in their own business, in their own profession or on their own farm. Published data exclude those who operate their own incorporated business or farm. Estimates for such workers are published separately.
Service-providing Industries: Industry sectors in this group include trade, transportation and utilities; information; financial activities; professional and business services; education and health services; leisure and hospitality; other services; and government (federal, state and local).
Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) System: System used to classify workers into occupational categories for the purpose of collecting, calculating or disseminating data.
Total Personal Income: The sum of net earnings by place of residence, rental income of persons, personal dividend income, personal interest income and transfer payments. Personal income is measured before the deduction of personal income taxes and other personal taxes and is reported in current dollars (no adjustment is made for price changes).
Total Wages: All yearly remuneration paid to nonagricultural workers, including gross wages, commissions, bonuses and cash value of meals, lodging and other gratuities when furnished as payment for the job. Reimbursement for travel and other business expenditures are not included.
Unemployed: An estimate of people age 16 and older who are not employed and who made a specific effort to find work in the last four weeks and were available for work. It includes new entrants to the labor force, re-entrants, job losers and job leavers, conceptually many more people than just those receiving Unemployment Insurance. It is usually expressed as a monthly figure or an annual average of monthly estimates.
Unemployment Rate: Unemployed divided by the civilian labor force times 100.
Utah Occupational Explorer: An online tool that shows job opening projections, wages, skill requirements, related occupations, employment outlook, training and education information, and current openings listed with the Department of Workforce Services.
Veteran: A person who has spent at least six months in active duty in the United States military services and was not dishonorably discharged. Within that broad definition there are veteran groups who receive additional preference in the Department of Workforce Services system. They include Vietnam-era veterans, Gulf War veterans, disabled veterans, special disabled veterans and recently separated veterans.
Wages and Occupational Openings Data (WOOD): An online tool that provides wage information, star ratings, education information, job openings and industry information about Utah jobs for the state and selected sub-state areas.
Wage and Salary Workers: Workers who receive wages, salaries, commissions, tips, payment in kind or piece rates. The group includes employees in both the private and public sectors.