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Affirmative Action Program
A federal government program designed to achieve equal employment opportunities by specifying actions, policies and procedures that must be followed by employers/contractors who bid on federal government contracts under certain designated laws and executive orders.  The affirmative action obligation includes recruitment and outreach, as well as a thorough, systematic effort to prevent discrimination from occurring or to detect it and eliminate it as promptly as possible.

 
Benchmarking
Benchmarking is the process of updating and improving accuracy in estimation. Statistics are based on estimation using a sample of the total universe being studied. As more complete numbers become available, the statistics are re-estimated to generate more accurate information. The benchmark is considered the source of the most accurate information, and benchmarking is the process of adjusting other information accordingly.
 
Example:
 
Data for the months of 2005 are computed using the 2004 annual benchmark. If an economic recession or boom were to occur halfway through the year, it would affect the numbers. At the end of 2005 when annual data is available, a benchmark will be generated, and all the monthly data will be adjusted accordingly to provide the most accurate data.
 
New benchmarking levels are introduced annually based on full population counts available principally through unemployment insurance tax records filed by employers with State Employment Security Agencies.
 
Civilian Labor Force (CLF)
Included are all persons over 16 years of age in the civilian noninstitutional population classified as either employed or unemployed.
 
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.
 
Confidentiality
Some information on our site is non-releasable due to confidentiality laws and guidelines. These are set in place to protect individual employers. We cannot release statistics on industry groups that have three employers or fewer, or if one of the employers employs 80% or more of the workers in that industry.

        Example -

72131

Rooming and Boarding Houses

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Note: Asterisks indicate non-disclosable data

Consumer Price Index (CPI)
Measures the average change over time in the prices paid by urban consumers for a representative market basket of consumer goods and services. User fees (such as for water) and sales and excise taxes paid by the consumer are included; however, income taxes and investments (like stocks and life insurance) are not included. The CPI-U includes expenditures by urban wage earners and clerical workers, professional, managerial and technical workers, the self-employed, short-term workers, the unemployed, retirees and others not in the labor force. The CPI-W includes only expenditures by those in hourly wage earning or clerical jobs.
 
Employed
Employed persons are all persons who, during the week which includes the 12th day of the month, (a) did any work as paid employees, worked in their own business or profession or on their own farm, or worked 15 hours or more as unpaid workers in an enterprise operated by a member of their family, or (b) were not working but who had jobs from which they were temporarily absent. Each employed person is counted only once, even if he or she holds more than one job.
 
Establishment
The physical location of a certain economic activity, such as a factory, store, office, or mine Generally, a single establishment produces a single good or provides a single service.
 
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.
 
Industry Cluster
A group of industries that are closely linked by common product markets, labor pools, similar technologies, supplier chains and/or other economic ties. Clusters can take on strategic importance because activities that benefit one group member will generally have positive spillover effects on other members of the cluster. 
 
Example - 
 
Some industries included in the statewide Education Industry Cluster are: colleges and universities, school and employee bus transportation, child day care services, elementary and secondary schools, libraries and archives, junior colleges, business and secretarial schools, museums, computer training, education support services and apprenticeship training.
 
Labor Surplus Area
Civil jurisdiction where the average unemployment rate is at least 1.2 times the average unemployment rate for all states, or its unemployment during the previous two calendar years was 10 percent or more.  
 
The designation allows establishments in the area preference in bidding for certain federal contracts.
 
Location Quotient (LQ)
A measure of an industry’s concentration in an area relative to the state or the nation It is calculated by dividing the percentage of the local area’s employed labor force that works in a particular industry by the equivalent percentage for the state or the nation. For example, if 4.5 percent of the workers in a local area work in the chemical products manufacturing industry, while the statewide average is 3.0 percent, the location quotient for chemical products in the local area is 4.5/3.0 = 1.5.

A location quotient greater than one may indicate that:

  1. An industry is producing more goods and services than it consumes locally; and thus, exports these goods and services to bring new dollars into the area.
  2. An industry is not as efficient and employs more people than average to produce the same level of output. In either case, it is a quick way to identify a region’s key industries.

Median Wage

An occupational median wage estimate is the boundary between the highest paid 50 percent and the lowest paid 50 percent 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.
 
Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA)
A geographic entity defined by the federal Office of Management and Budget for use by federal statistical agencies, based on the concept of a core area with a large population nucleus, plus adjacent communities having a high degree of economic and social integration with that core. Qualification of an MSA requires the presence of a city with 50,000 or more inhabitants, or the presence of an Urbanized Area (UA) and a total population of at least 100,000. The county or counties containing the largest city and surrounding densely settled territory are central counties of the MSA. Additional outlying counties qualify to be included in the MSA by meeting certain other criteria of metropolitan character, such as a specified minimum population density or percentage of the population that is urban.
 
Micropolitan Statistical Area (mSA)
A new set of statistical areas with at least one urban cluster of at least 10,000, but less than 50,000 population, plus adjacent territory that has a high degree of social and economic integration with the core as measured by commuting ties.
 
Minor Civil Division (MCD)
A type of governmental unit that is the primary governmental or administrative division of a county, or statistically equivalent entity, in many states and statistically equivalent entities. In Pennsylvania, a MCD is usually a town, city, borough or township. Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS) data are only generated for MCDs with populations of 25,000 or greater.
 
North American Industry Classification System (NAICS)
NAICS uses a six-digit, hierarchical coding system to classify all economic activity into 20 industry sectors. Five sectors are mainly goods-producing sectors and 15 are entirely services-producing sectors. This six-digit, hierarchical structure allows greater coding flexibility than the four-digit structure of the SIC.
 
Occupation
A set of activities or tasks that employees receive wages to perform. Employees who perform essentially the same tasks are in the same occupation, whether or not they are in the same industry. Some occupations are concentrated in a few particular industries, while others are found across a wide range of industries.
 
Prevailing Wage
This is not the same as the average wage. The prevailing wage is a legal term that applies only to a limited range of occupations engaged in work in the public sector. Prevailing wages are established by the Department of Labor & Industry for each trade and occupation employed in the performance of public work. They are established separately for each county and are reflective of local wage conditions.
 
Seasonal Adjustment
Seasonal adjustment removes the effects of events that generally follow a regular pattern each year. These adjustments make it easier to observe the cyclical and other nonseasonal movements in a data series. Seasonal adjustment is a statistical technique that eliminates the influences of weather, holidays, the opening and closing of schools and other recurring seasonal events from economic time series. This permits easier observation and analysis of cyclical, trend and other nonseasonal movements in the data. By eliminating seasonal fluctuations, the series becomes smoother and it is easier to compare data from month to month.
 
Unemployed
Unemployed persons includes all persons aged 16 years and older 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.
 
Unemployment Rate
The ratio of unemployed to the civilian labor force expressed as a percent [i.e., 100 times (unemployment/labor force)].
 
Workforce Investment Area (WIA)
A labor market area that is usually a group of contiguous counties, where employment, training and educational services are provided. Established through the Workforce Investment Act to provide services for dislocated workers and other eligible individuals, Pennsylvania’s 23 WIAs are based on common geographic and economic factors.
 
If you require Accessible versions of documents on this site and no alternate versions are available,
please call 1-877-493-3282 or send a request to workforceinfo@pa.gov.
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