Actual High:Refers to DUA Wage Surveys. The highest reported wage in each occupational category.

Agricultural Employment: Includes the total of farmers, their families and hired workers who receive wages, salaries or commissions for work performed on farms for the pay period including the 12th of the month.

Applicant: A person legally qualified to work who has either a partial application or a full application on file with a Massachusetts One Stop Career Center.

Average: Computed for each job by totaling the earnings of all workers and dividing by the number of workers (mean). The numerical result obtained by dividing the sum of two or more quantities by the number of quantities: an arithmetical mean

Average Annual Wage: (Refers to ES-202) Calculated by taking the total wages (payroll) and dividing by the average annual employment.

Average Hourly Earnings (Manufacturing CES-790): Average hourly earnings for an industry is obtained by dividing total sample payrolls by total man-hours. The earnings reflect not only basic hourly and incentive wage rates but also such factors as premium pay for overtime work and shift differentials.

Average Hourly Earnings (BLS Wage Surveys and Industry Wage Surveys): Excludes premium pay for overtime and for work on weekends, holidays and late shifts. Also excluded are performance bonuses and lump-sum payments of the type negotiated in the auto and aerospace industries, as well as, profit-sharing payments, attendance bonuses, Christmas or year-end bonuses and other non-production bonuses. However, pay increases- but not bonuses- under cost- of-living allowance clauses, and incentive payments are included.

Average Industry Wage: See Average Hourly Earnings (Manufacturing CES-790).

Average Weekly Earnings ( Wage ): The average weekly earnings are the product of the weekly hours and hourly earnings/wages.

Average Weekly Hours (Manufacturing CES-790): The number of hours for which pay is received by persons on an establishment payroll for any part of the pay period which includes the 12th of the month.

Average Weekly Wage: Generally defined as total payroll divided by average employment divided by number of weeks. With respect to the determination of maximum weekly benefits for both unemployment insurance and Workmen's Compensation benefits, it is specifically defined as contributing payroll and average employment only.


BLS: See Bureau of Labor Statistics

BLS-790: Current Employment Statistics Program CES (Hours and Earnings).

Benefits: The cost to employers for paid leave, supplemental pay (including non-production bonuses), insurance, retirement and savings plans and legally required benefits (such as Social Security, Workers' Compensation and Unemployment Insurance). Excluded from employee benefits are such items as payment-in-kind, free room and board and tips.

Bureau of the Census: Conducts censuses of the population and housing every 10 years and of agriculture, business, governments, manufacturers, mineral industries and transportation every 5 years. The Bureau also conducts the Current Population Survey for the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) is an agency of the Department of Commerce. The mission of BEA is to produce and disseminate accurate, timely, relevant, and cost-effective economic accounts statistics that provide government, businesses, households, and individuals with a comprehensive, up-to-date picture of economic activity. BEA's national, regional, and international economic accounts present basic information on such key issues as U.S. economic growth, regional economic development, and the Nation's position in the world economy.

Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS): BLS is the principal data- gathering agency of the federal government in the field of labor economics. 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.


Commission: A percentage of the money taken in on sales, given as pay to a salesclerk or agent, often in addition to salary or wages.

Compensation Per Hour: The hourly rate of pay given to an employee by the employer including wages and benefits.

Consumer Price Index (CPI): Consumer Price Index (CPI): This index, developed by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), is also known as the "cost-of-living" index. The Consumer Price Index is a statistical measure of change, over time, in the prices of goods and services in major expenditure groups such as food, housing, apparel, transportation, health and recreation typically purchased by urban consumers. Essentially it measures the purchasing power of consumer's dollars by comparing what a sample "market basket" of goods and services costs today with what the same sample market basket cost at an earlier date. The index measures price changes from a designated reference date, which equals 100.0. In February 1988, the BLS changed the reference base to 1982-84 from its former base of 1967. An increase of 15.4 percent in the CPI-U, for example, from the new reference base to December 1987 is shown as 115.4. This change can also be expressed in dollars as follows: the price of a base period "market basket" of goods and services in the CPI-U has risen from $10 in 1982-1984 to $11.54 in December 1987.

Contributions: the total amount of monies employers have contributed to the Unemployment Insurance (UI) Trust Fund.

Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA): An automatic adjustment in wages offered sometimes by employers, usually based on inflation from the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

Current Population Survey (CPS): A nationwide monthly household survey conducted by the U.S. Bureau of the Census for the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The sample consists of approximately 60,000 households selected to represent the U.S. population 16 years of age and older. Households are interviewed on a rotating basis so that three-fourths of the sample is the same for any two consecutive months. The survey of the civilian non-institutional population provides monthly statistics on employment, unemployment and related measures, which are analyzed and published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. National labor force information from this survey is published monthly by the U.S. Department of Labor in "Employment and Earnings", "Monthly Report on the Labor Force" and the "Monthly Labor Review". In addition to providing these statistics for the nation, the CPS sample allows development of monthly data for the 11 largest industrial states, including Massachusetts.

Compensation and Working Conditions (CWC): Formerly-Current Wage Developments (CWD) A monthly report on employee compensation including: wage and benefit changes resulting from collective bargaining settlements and unilateral management decisions; statistical summaries; and special reports on wage trends.

The Current Employment Statistics (CES) Survey (CES-790): In brief, The Current Employment Statistics (CES) Survey is a monthly survey of business establishments which provides estimates of employment, hours, and earnings data by industry for the nation as a whole, all States, and most major metropolitan areas since 1939. This section focuses on the State and Area data. The CES survey is a Federal-State cooperative endeavor in which State employment security agencies prepare the data using concepts, definitions, and technical procedures prescribed by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. ( Note: the CES-790 is often referred to as the BLS-790)

  • Employment data refer to persons on establishment payrolls who receive pay for any part of the pay period which includes the 12th of the month, except for Federal Government employment, which represents the number of persons who occupied positions on the last day of the month. Persons are counted at their place of work rather than at their place of residence; those appearing on more than one payroll are counted on each payroll. Establishments are classified in an industry on the basis of their principal product or activity in accordance with the 1987 Standard Industrial Classification Manual (SIC). NOTE: The CES will begin using The North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) which is replacing the U.S. Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) system beginning January 2001

Civilian Employment: (see Employed Persons)

Civilian Labor Force: All persons 16 years of age or over within a specified geographic area, who are either employed or unemployed, excluding persons serving in the armed forces.

Claimant, Unemployment Insurance: An individual who has filed a request for determination of insured status of a new claim.


Dictionary of Occupational Title (DOT): ( SEE O*NET ) Descriptive information concerning most jobs in the American economy. It presents a systematic numeric classification of occupations arranged according to job content, tasks or activities performed, and interrelationships with other occupations. The standardization of job titles and the accompanying definitions provide a unique tool for users of occupational information. Each occupation is classified (in order of increasing detail) into a category (one- digit code), a division (two-digit code) and a group (three-digit code). As the replacement for the Dictionary of Occupational Titles (DOT), O*NET will be the nation's primary source of occupational information.

Disposable Personal Income: Income that remains after taxes and non-tax payments to the government are deducted. See also Per Capita Income, Personal Income and Spendable Earnings.

Disadvantaged Individual: See - Economically Disadvantaged Individual


Employment Cost Index (ECI): measures the change over time in the cost of labor, including the cost of wages and salaries and employee benefits. Cost levels data provide average costs per hour worked for wages and salaries and specific benefits. This release is issued quarterly.

Earnings: Money earned from labor or service: wages, investment or profit.

Economic Indicators: Measurements of various economic and business movements and activities of a community such as: employment, unemployment, hours worked, income, savings, volume of building permits, volume of sales, etc., the fluctuation of which affects and may be used to determine overall economic trends.

Economically Disadvantaged Individual: An individual who is a member of a family which (1) receives cash welfare payments or (2) has a total annual income that does not exceed established poverty levels determined in accordance with criteria established by the Office of Management and Budget.

Employment Status: The indication of whether or not the individual is employed and the regular period of time that the individual is employed.

  • Full-Time Employment: The 40-hour week, except where fewer hours are normal to the occupation, industry, or given employer, but on no account less than 30 hours per week.
  • Part-Time Employment: Employment, which does not meet the full-time employment definition.

Employment and Wages (ES-202): data are derived from reports filed by all employers subject to unemployment compensation laws, both state and federal. Industry employment and payroll information is provided quarterly for the state, the labor market areas, counties, SDAs and annually for cities and towns as well.

Employment data under the ES-202 program represent the number of covered workers who worked during, or received pay for, the pay period including the 12th of the month. Excluded are members of the armed forces, the self-employed, proprietors, domestic workers, unpaid family workers, and railroad workers covered by the railroad unemployment insurance system. Wages represent total compensation paid during the calendar quarter, regardless of when services were performed. Included in wages are pay for vacation and other paid leave, bonuses, stock options, tips, the cash value of meals and lodging, and in some States, contributions to deferred compensation plans (such as 401(k) plans).

Employed Persons: The CPS concept of an employed person is very specific and includes all civilian persons who, during a specified week (which includes the 12 th), did any work at all as paid employees, in their own business professions, on their own farm, or who worked 15 hours or more as unpaid workers on a farm or in a business operated by a member of the family. Also included are all those persons who were not working but who had jobs or businesses from which they were temporarily absent because of illness, bad weather, vacation, labor-management disputes, or personal reasons whether or not they were seeking other jobs. Excluded from the employed group are persons whose only activity consists of work around the house (e.g., housework, painting or repairing own home) or volunteer work for religious, charitable and similar organizations.

Entry Level and Trainee: Two non-synonymous terms. Entry level refers to a job or occupation and trainee refers to an individual.

  • Entry Level: A term usually associated with those jobs or occupations for which employers hire workers who have either little or no previous work experience or who have relatively minimal training or education. Occupations, which require a greater amount of education or training, may have specific entry level classifications such as "apprenticeship" or "internship".
  • Trainee: An individual who is being hired, sometimes conditionally, for a job, which may or may not require previous experience or education. A trainee may start a job at an entry level, apprenticeship level or internship level position. This individual is considered to be in a probationary status for an established period or until specified on-the-job learning has taken place.
  • Entry Level Wage (refers to DUA Wage Survey): Starting wage for a worker, who may be considered "probationary", with little or no experience in an occupation; new to a position or to a company.


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Goods Producing Industries: See: Service Industries

Gross Domestic Product (GDP): Gross Domestic Product is a measure of the total production and consumption of goods and services in the U.S. The BEA constructs two complementary measures of GDP, one based on income and one based on expenditures. GDP is measured on the product side by adding up the labor, capital, and tax costs of producing the output. On the consumption side, GDP is measured by adding up expenditures by households, businesses, government and net foreign purchases. Theoretically, these two measures should be equal. However, due to problems collecting data, there is often a discrepancy between the two measures. The GDP price deflator is used to convert output measured at current prices into constant-dollar GDP. This data is used to define business cycle peaks and troughs. Total GDP growth of between 2.0% and 2.5% is generally considered to be optimal when the economy is at full employment (unemployment between 5.5% and 6.0%). Higher growth than this leads to accelerating inflation, while lower growth indicates a weak economy.


Hours (Refers to CES-790 ) : Hours as used in the CES-790 refers to hours paid for during the pay period of reference for production, construction or non-supervisory workers. the hours include hours paid for holidays and vacations, and for sick leave.


Incentive Pay: Additional wages paid to an employee by an employer to reward for increased productivity, often based on production goals set by an employer sometimes in collective bargaining agreements.

Income: Total amount of money earned by an individual from all sources.

Industry: Describes the major type of economic activity engaged in by a firm or group of firms. The Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) system provides numerical classifications for these activities. NOTE: The North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) - is replacing the U.S. Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) system.

Intermediate Range: Defined by two rates of pay: one-fourth (25 percent) of the workers earn the same or less than the lower of these rates and one-fourth (25 percent) earn the same as or more than the higher rate.

Initial Claim Either a new or an additional claim. A new unemployment claim is a request for determination of insured status for purposes of establishing a new benefit year. An additional claim is a notice filed at the beginning of a second or subsequent series of claims within a benefit year, when a break in job attachment has occurred since the last claim was filed concerning which state procedures require that separation information be obtained.


Job Bank This is a computerized listing of the job openings placed by employers with the Massachusetts One-Stop Career Centers. The listings are both alphabetical and by DOT code. This service is provided at no cost to either employers or applicants. In addition to computer printouts, Career Center offices are equipped with computers and resource rooms to assist applicants in locating a job for which they are qualified. An Employment Counselor is available to interview an applicant and, if the applicant is qualified, phone the employer to arrange for a job interview. See also Referral or Placement.

Job Development The process of soliciting a public or private employer's order for a specific applicant for whom the local One-Stop Career Centers, has no suitable opening currently on file.

Job Insurance: See Unemployment Insurance.

Job Opening: A single job opening for which the One-Stop Career Center has on file a request to select and refer an applicant or applicants.


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Labor-Management Disputes: This is more commonly known as a "strike" or "work stoppage". Workers are engaged in a work stoppage to improve their position in negotiations with management for increased wages, fringe benefits and/or improved working conditions.

Labor Force Participation Rate: The proportion of the total civilian non-institutional population 16 years or older, or of a demographic subgroup of that population classified as "in the labor force".

Layoff: Suspension from pay by a company for reasons such as lack of orders, plant breakdown, shortage of materials, or termination of seasonal or temporary employment, etc.

Labor Area: See Labor Market Area.

Labor Demand: An estimate of the number of job opportunities, which exist and will occur over a given period of time.

Labor Force: See Civilian Labor Force.

Labor Market Analysis: The measurement and evaluation of economic forces as they relate to the employment process. There are many variables affecting labor, geography, demand-supply relationships, including such factors as population growth and characteristics, industrial structure and development, technological developments, shifts in consumer demands, volume and extent of unionization and trade disputes, recruitment practices, wage levels and conditions of employment and training opportunities.

Labor Market Area: Consists of a central city or cities and the surrounding territory within commuting distance. It is an economically integrated geographical unit within which workers may readily change jobs without changing their place of residence. The area generally takes the name of its central city. The boundaries depend primarily on economic and geographic factors, and not on political jurisdiction.

Labor Market Information (LMI): The delivery and analysis of labor force, employment, unemployment, wage, supply and demand, occupational, industrial, economic and demographic data for the analysis of manpower problems for a specifically defined area.

Labor Supply: The number of persons employed and unemployed plus those that would seek employment if they believed jobs were available. Generally this term has been applied to those who are unemployed.

Layoff: Suspension from pay by the company for such reasons such as lack of orders, plant breakdown, shortage of materials, or termination of seasonal or temporary employment, etc.


Mean: See Average

Median: Designates position- one-half of the workers receive the same as or more and one-half receive the same as or less than the rate shown.

Middle Range: See Intermediate Range.

Minimum Wage: Refers to the lowest wage to be paid employees covered under the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 and its subsequent amendments, and in Massachusetts under Chapter 760 of the Acts of 1985 and its subsequent amendments.

Most Experienced Wage (refers to DUA Wage Survey): Highest wage for a worker who attained the highest current rate of pay in his or her occupation.

Major Group: See Standard Industrial Classification Manual.

Major Labor Market Area: These areas usually have at least one central city with a population of 50,000 or more. In most instances boundaries of major labor areas coincide with those of Primary Metropolitan Statistical Areas (PMSAs) as determined by the Office of Management and Budget in cooperation with a federal interagency committee.

Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA): See Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area (PMSA).

Minority: A term denoting the sum of Spanish American and all races except white.


Non-Agricultural (Non-farm) Wage and Salary Employment: All full-time and part-time employees of all classes (including employees on paid vacation or paid sick leave) who work in or received compensation from nonagricultural establishments for any part of the pay period including the 12th of the month. It does not include pensioners, members of the armed forces, self-employed or unpaid family workers, and persons on leave of absence without pay.

The North American Industry Classification System ( NAICS) - is replacing the U.S. Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) system. NAICS is the first-ever North American industry classification system. The system was developed by the U.S., Canada, and Mexico to provide comparable statistics across the three countries. For the first time, government and business analysts will be able to compare directly industrial production statistics collected and published in the three North American Free Trade Agreement countries. NAICS also provides for increased comparability with the International Standard Industrial Classification System (ISIC, Revision 3) developed and maintained by the United Nations.


Occupation: The name or the title of an occupation or job identifying various job duties of a worker. See also Directory of Occupational Titles and O*NET

Other Non-farm Employment: This refers to self-employed, unpaid family and private household workers.

Output Per Hour of All Persons (Labor Productivity): Is the value of goods and services in constant prices produced per hour of labor input.

Overtime Hours: Represent the portion of gross average weekly hours which were in excess of regular hours and for which overtime premiums were paid.

Occupational Projections: A statistical procedure developed by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics to provide future labor demand information by occupation for states and major areas.

Office of Management and Budget (OMB): OMB's predominant mission is to assist the President in overseeing the preparation of the Federal budget and to supervise its administration in Executive Branch agencies. In helping to formulate the President's spending plans, OMB evaluates the effectiveness of agency programs, policies, and procedures, assesses competing funding demands among agencies, and sets funding priorities. OMB ensures that agency reports, rules, testimony, and proposed legislation are consistent with the President's budget and with Administration policies.

O*NET, the Occupational Information Network is a comprehensive database of worker attributes and job characteristics. As the replacement for the Dictionary of Occupational Titles (DOT), O*NET will be the nation's primary source of occupational information.

Other Non-farm Wage and Salary Employment: This refers to self-employed, unpaid family and private household workers.


Per Capita Income: A measure of income by unit of population (per person). Total personal income for a given area divided by population of the area.

Personal Income: Income received from all sources less contributions to social insurance, retirement plans and social security.

Prevailing Wage: In Massachusetts this refers to the wages paid to non-union workers at the union rate of pay when employers have government contracts (federal, state or local), usually in construction.

Producer Price Index (PPI): is a family of indexes that measures the average change over time in selling prices received by domestic producers of goods and services. PPIs measure price change from the perspective of the seller. This contrast with other measures, such as the Consumer Price Index (CPI), that measure price changes from the purchaser's perspective. Sellers' and purchasers' prices may differ due to government subsidies, sales and excise taxes, and distribution costs.

Production Workers: In manufacturing industries and includes working supervisors and all non-supervisory workers closely associated with production operations.

Participation Rate See Labor Force Participation Rate.

Place of Residence: Employment, unemployment and labor force data based on where workers live rather than where they work.

Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area (PMSA) and Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA): This is a title applied to the large concentrated labor market areas of the U.S. and adopted by the U.S. Bureau of the Budget in 1949. The primary objective was to have all reporting federal agencies utilize the same boundaries for a given geographic area in publishing statistical data useful for analyzing metropolitan problems. The criteria for defining PMSAs and MSAs are essentially those used in defining major labor market areas. A PMSA is part of a larger consolidated MSA.


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Real Compensation Per Hour: Is compensation per hour deflated by the Consumer. Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U).

Real Earnings: Earnings adjusted to reflect the effects of changes in consumer prices. The deflator for this series is derived from the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W).

Report of Work Stoppage: Measures the number and duration of major strikes or lockouts (involving 1,000 workers or more) occurring during the month (or year), the number of workers involved and the amount of time lost because of stoppage

Referral (to a job): The act of arranging to bring to the attention of any employer (or another One-Stop Career Center office) an applicant who is available for a job opening following a selection interview with the applicant.


Salary: A fixed compensation for services paid on a regular basis generally on a week, month or annual basis.

Seasonal Adjustment: Statistical modifications made to compensate for predictable fluctuations which recur more or less regularly every year in a time series such as unemployment rates. These fluctuations can be so strong as to distort the underlying trends. For this reason unemployment rates are reported on a seasonally adjusted basis to compensate for such influences as the summer closing of schools, temporary hiring for the holiday season and seasonal style changes. Such adjustments facilitate the evaluation of the more important underlying reasons for month-to-month changes in joblessness.

Shift Differential: An additional percentage added to the regular hourly rate for workers on other than regular shifts, i.e., swing or graveyard shift workers.

Spendable Earnings: Earnings from which estimated social security and federal income taxes have been deducted.

Standard Hours: The workweek for which employees receive regular straight-time salaries (exclusive of paid overtime at regular and/or premium rates of pay).

Self-Employed, Unpaid Family and Domestic Workers: Persons who work in non-farm industries who are not on payrolls, i.e., self- employed persons, domestic workers in private households, and unpaid family workers.

Service Occupations, Service Industries and Service-Producing Industries: Three terms often used interchangeably and incorrectly. Each has a separate and distinct meaning:

  • Service Occupations refer to the category of jobs performed in and around private households; serving individuals in institutions and in commercial and other establishments; and protecting the public against crime, fire, accidents and acts of war. All industries employ workers in service classifications. The numerically important groups include culinary and related food workers, cosmetologists, and attendants in hospitals, barbers, janitors, porters, room cleaners and char workers.
  • Service Industries refer to establishments in that division of the industrial structure that renders a wide variety of services to individuals and business establishments. These industries, which employ workers in a wide variety of white collar, blue collar and service occupations, represent just one segment of the much larger group of service-producing industries.

In order to assist in the evaluation of underlying economic trends, it is an accepted practice to consider that the economy consists of two major parts: the goods-producing sector (manufacturing, mining and construction) and the service-producing sector. The latter includes transportation, communication, utilities; trade; finance, insurance, real estate; the service industries; and government. Accordingly, it is a multi-industry group that is characterized by highly complex occupational staffing patterns. In terms of white collar, blue collar and service occupational or job classifications, the latter is the smallest group employed.

Service-Producing: See; Service Industries.

Standard Industrial Classification Manual (SIC): NOTE: The North American Industry Classification System ( NAICS) - is replacing the U.S. Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) system. The SIC covers the entire field of economic activity. It makes possible the classifying of establishments according to type of activity. Classification is by major group (two-digit code), industry group (three-digit code) and industry (four-digit code) in order of increasing detail. The SIC promotes uniformity and comparability in presentation of statistical data and also facilitates collection, tabulation, presentation and analysis of data.

Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) System: The SOC is 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

Supply and Demand: See Labor Demand and LaborSupply.


Taxable Wages: (Refers to ES-202 ) the payroll amount that is taxable under the UI law.

Tip: A sum of money usually a percent of a bill given for services rendered for "menial tasks": gratuity. Included in total compensation.

Total Compensation: Includes wages, salaries and the employer's cost for employee benefits.

Total Wage: (Refers to ES-202 ) the total payroll of all establishments during the time period specified.

Typical Wage: (Refers to DUA wage surveys) wage of an experienced worker, able to perform at acceptable standards without direct supervision or guidance.

Total Employed: The sum of agricultural, non-farm wage and salary, self employed, unpaid family, and domestic workers adjusted to eliminate double counting of persons holding more than one job and to a place of residence basis.

Total Unemployed: The sum of persons receiving unemployment insurance benefits, persons who have exhausted their unemployment insurance benefits and are still unemployed, persons who have delayed filing for benefits but who are not working, unemployed persons who applied for benefits but were not qualified to receive them, workers separated from industries not covered by unemployment insurance and unemployed persons newly entering or reentering the labor force. According to the U.S. Bureau of the Census, unemployed persons consist of those in the civilian labor force 16 years old and over who did not work during the survey week, but who made specific efforts to find a job within the last four weeks and who were available for work during the survey week. Also included are those who were not working and were waiting to report to a new wage or salary job within 30 days.


Unadjusted Data: Data that has not undergone any seasonal adjustment.

Unemployment Insurance (UI): Unemployment insurance is a program for the accumulation of funds paid by employers to be used for the payment of unemployment insurance to workers during periods of unemployment which are beyond the workers' control. Unemployment insurance replaces a part of the worker's wage loss if he becomes eligible for payments. UI serves as an economic stabilizer by maintaining an individual's purchasing power when unemployed.

Unit Labor Cost: Labor compensation costs expended in the production of a unit of output, derived by dividing compensation by output.

Unemployed Persons: According to the U.S. Bureau of the Census, unemployed persons consist of those in the civilian labor force 16 years old and over who did not work during the survey week, but who made specific efforts to find a job within the last four weeks and who were available for work during the survey week. Also included are those who were not working and were waiting to report to a new wage or salary job within 30 days.

Unemployment Rates: (Unemployment), its level and composition, is widely regarded as a key index of economic well-being. Because of this, there is a basic need for the objective measurement of the number and characteristics of the unemployed.

Total Unemployment Rate: This is a familiar economic indicator. It is an expression of all unemployed persons as a percent of the civilian labor force.

Total Unemployment Rate = Unemployed/Total Labor Force (unemployed + employed)

Unfilled Job Openings Job openings received by the local Career Centers that have not been filled as of a specified date.

Universe of Need (UN): The universe of need represents the total number of different individuals, both unemployed and underemployed, who may need employment-related assistance at some time during the year. It includes estimates of the disadvantaged, other poor people who do not meet the criteria as disadvantaged, individuals in near poverty, and non-poor workers who are unemployed or underutilized during the course of the year.


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Wage: Money paid an employee at relatively short intervals, often daily or weekly, figured on an hourly or piecework basis synonymous with salary.

Wages and Salaries: Consists of earnings before payroll deductions, including production bonuses, incentive earnings, commissions and cost-of-living adjustment.

Report of Work Stoppage: Measures the number and duration of major strikes or lockouts (involving 1,000 workers or more) occurring during the month (or year), the number of workers involved and the amount of time lost because of stoppage.

Weekly Covered Wage: The average weekly earnings of all employees covered under the Massachusetts Employment Security Law.


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This workforce product was funded by a grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Labor's Employment and Training Administration. (more...)