Glossary

Agriculture Employment

Persons on agriculture payrolls who work or receive pay for any period during the survey week. This includes owners, operators, hired laborers and unpaid family members who work at least 15 hours a week.

Average Hourly Earnings

The average total money earned per hour by production or nonsupervisory workers for selected industries. The data are collected for the week that includes the 12th of the month.

Average Weekly Hours

The average number of hours worked by production or nonsupervisory workers including overtime, paid vacation and sick leave. The data are collected for the week that includes the 12th of the month.

Average Weekly Earnings

Average Hourly Earnings multiplied by Average Weekly Hours.

Business Employment Dynamics

The Business Employment Dynamics (BED) data are a product of a federal-state cooperative program known as Quarterly Census of Employment & Wages (QCEW).

BED data measure the net change in employment from 1992 forward; highlighting the number and rates of gross jobs gained at opening and expanding establishments as well as the number and rates of gross jobs lost by closing and contracting establishments.

For additional information about Business Employment Dynamics click here.

Census

Population data is released by the Census Bureau's Population Estimates Program. Total population estimates for states, counties and incorporated places are released annually.

Data series for births, deaths and domestic and international migration are used to update the decennial 2010 census base counts. These estimates are used in federal funding allocations, as denominators for vital statistics rates and per capita time series, as survey controls and for monitoring recount demographic changes.

With the July 1 estimate, the Census Bureau reviews the estimates for each year back to the last census. Previously published estimates are superseded. The state data are released at the end of the calendar year. The county and subcounty population data are updated in late spring or early summer.

Civilian Labor Force

A count of noninstitutionalized persons 16 and older, excluding members of armed forces, who live in a specific geographic area and are classified as employed, unemployed and seeking employment or involved in a labor dispute.

Consumer Price Index (CPI)

The Consumer Price Index is the most widely used measure of inflation and is often referred to as the cost of living index. It measures changes over time in the price of a fixed market basket of goods and services. There are two indexes. The CPI-U covers the expenditures of a wide range of urban consumers; the CPI-W covers only the expenditures of urban wages earners and clerical workers.

The national CPI-U is typically used to measure inflation in Idaho because it more closely represents our cost of living.

Covered Employers

Employers who are subject to state and federal unemployment insurance laws.

Current Employment Statistics

The Current Employment Statistics (CES) program is a voluntary survey that collects data on employment, payroll and hours from the payroll records of a sample of employers. The main purpose of the CES survey is to estimate current nonfarm employment hours and earnings for the nation, states and metropolitan areas. Along with the unemployment rate, the data are one of the first national indicators of current economic trends each month.

Durable Goods

Also known as “hard goods,” these are items manufactured or provided by wholesalers with a normal life expectancy of three years or more.

Employed

Individuals 16 and older who worked at least one hour for pay or profit or at least 15 unpaid hours in a family business during the week that includes the 12th day of the month. Individuals are also counted as employed if they had a job but did not work because they were ill, on vacation, in a labor dispute, prevented from working because of bad weather or temporarily absent for similar reasons.

Employment Forecast

The Idaho Employment Forecast analysis by the Idaho Department of Labor tracks employment level. The forecast is revised quarterly with data from the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) and uses a mix of historical data, regional labor market knowledge and other economic variables from within and outside Idaho.

Farm Labor

Many of the employment estimates available today are focused on estimating employment of nonfarm payrolls. The Farm Employment Estimates are a data set provided by the Idaho Department of Labor to help provide an employment picture for those who are interested in farm employment. The data set provides the estimate of operators, unpaid family workers and hired workers at a statewide level as well as county level.

Due to the difficulty in estimating farm employment on a monthly basis, IDOL staff utilize data from a variety of sources that include the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Census of Agriculture, U.S. Census Bureau and the Idaho Department of Labor’s Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) data.

Idaho Jobs Forecast

The Idaho Jobs Forecast analysis and research by the Idaho Department of Labor tracks the month-to-month rate of change in jobs. The forecast is revised quarterly with data from the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) and uses a mix of historical data, regional labor market knowledge and other economic variables from within and outside Idaho.

Initial Claim

Any notice of unemployment filed to request (1) a determination of entitlement to and eligibility for compensation or (2) a second or subsequent period of unemployment within a benefit year or period of eligibility.

Local Area Unemployment Statistics

The Local Area Unemployment Statistics program is a federal-state cooperative venture that counts the number of people working— not jobs—by where they live. The data collected include individuals either working or actively seeking work during any part of the week that includes the 12th of the month. The results are used to develop monthly estimates of labor force statistics—the number of persons employed, unemployed and the unemployment rate—at the state, county and labor market area levels and for selected cities.

Local Employment Dynamics

The Local Employment Dynamics program is a state-federal partnership of the Idaho Department of Labor and the U.S. Census Bureau to provide demographic employment information called Quarterly Workforce Indicators.

Long-term Occupational & Industry Projections

Long-term employment projections cover a 10-year time span and are available for both industries and occupations. The rise and fall of the business cycle is factored out in the long-term projection process in order to highlight growth and contraction of industry employment as well as changing staffing patterns within industries.

Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA)

Combinations of counties in which at least half the residents live in an urban center of 50,000 or more and the rest have significant commuting ties to that central county. The Office of Management and Budget designates the MSAs.

Idaho has five MSAs – Boise MSA including Ada, Canyon, Boise, Gem and Owyhee counties; Idaho Falls MSA including Bonneville, Butte and Jefferson counties; Pocatello MSA including Bannock County; Lewiston MSA including Nez Perce County and Asotin County, Wash.; Coeur d’Alene MSA including Kootenai County.

Micropolitan Statistical Area (MicSA)

Combinations of counties in which at least half the residents live in urban centers totaling at least 10,000 or 5,000 living in a single urban center with the rest having significant commuting ties to that central county. The Office of Management and Budget designates the MicSAs.

Idaho has three MicSAs: Burley MicSA including Cassia and Minidoka counties; Rexburg MicSA including Madison and Fremont counties; Twin Falls MicSA including Twin Falls and Jerome counties.

Nonfarm Wage & Salary Employment

Persons on nonfarm business payrolls including employees on paid sick leave, paid holiday or paid vacation who work or receive pay for any part of the week that includes the 12th of the month. It is a count of jobs by place of work. It does not include self-employed, unpaid volunteer or family workers, domestic workers in households, military personnel and persons who are laid off, on leave without pay or on strike for the entire reference period.

Nondurable Goods

Also known as “soft goods,” these include items manufactured or provided by wholesalers that generally last for only a short period of time – three years or less.

Occupational Employment & Wages Survey (OES)

In cooperation with the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Idaho Department of Labor surveys Idaho businesses to gather employment and wage data for more than 750 occupations. The survey requests employers list the number of employees by occupational classification by pay range.

Only wage and salary-type compensation data are reported - fringe benefits, overtime, bonuses, incentive pay and other non-wage earnings are not included in the survey. Occupation description search is available by clicking Standard Occupational Classification.

Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages

This program produces a comprehensive tabulation of employment and wage information for workers covered by state of Idaho unemployment insurance laws and federal workers covered by the Unemployment Compensation for Federal Employees program. QCEW covers approximately 98 percent of total employment in the United States and over 90 percent of employment in Idaho.

Data from the QCEW series include:

  • Number of firms
  • Monthly employment
  • Average monthly employment per quarter
  • Total quarterly wages
  • Average weekly wage by industry using the North American Industry Classification System up to six digits
  • Ownership as private, federal government, state government or local government
  • Location by county, region and state

Seasonally Adjusted

Data are seasonally adjusted to remove the impact of regular events that occur at the same time every year such as the effect of cold weather on outdoor activities, the Christmas holiday or the summer influx of youth into the labor market.

Short-term Projections

Short-term employment projections cover a two-year time span and are available for both industries and occupations. The rise and fall of business cycles is incorporated in the short-term projections process, thus gauging the turning points of employment.

Small Labor Market Areas (SLMA)

Combinations of counties with significant ties through commuting patterns but no urban centers with populations of 10,000 or more. The Office of Management and Budget designates the SLMAs.

Idaho has two SLMAs: Blaine-Camas SLMA including Blaine and Camas counties and Idaho-Lewis SLMA including Lewis and Idaho counties.

Underemployed

Those already working with skill and educational levels that do not match their current occupations or their fringe or salary compensation can be considered underemployed. Also if workers' current jobs do not match their desire to work full time, they can be considered underemployed.

The underemployed represent a pool of labor in addition to the unemployed that economic developers and existing businesses can tap.

Unemployed

Those individuals 16 years and older who do not have a job but are available for work and actively seeking work during the week that includes the 12th of the month. The only exception are individuals waiting to be recalled from a layoff and individuals waiting to report to a new job within 30 days, These, too, are considered unemployed.

Unemployment Insurance

Unemployment insurance is a program for the accumulation of funds paid by employers to be used for payments of unemployment insurance to workers during periods of unemployment, which are beyond their control.

The Idaho Department of Labor gathers unemployment insurance data to study, analyze, model and forecast the economic impact of unemployment on the state's economy.

Unemployment Rate

The number of persons unemployed expressed as a percentage of the labor force..

Wages by Occupation

In cooperation with the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Idaho Department of Labor surveys Idaho businesses to gather employment and wage data for more than 750 occupations. The survey requests employers list the number of employees by occupational classification by pay range. Only wage and salary-type compensation data are reported—fringe benefits, overtime, bonuses, incentive pay and other non-wage earnings are not included in the survey.

Weekly Benefit Amount

The amount payable to an eligible claimant for a week of total unemployment.

Weeks Claimed

The number of weeks that unemployed workers claimed unemployment insurance benefits.

Weeks Compensated

The number of weeks for which compensation was actually paid.

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