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Notes on current labor statistics.

This section of the Review presents the principal statistical series collected and calculated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics: series on labor force; employment; unemployment; labor compensation; consumer, producer, and international prices; productivity; international comparisons; and injury and illness statistics. In the notes that follow, the data in each group of tables are briefly, described; key, definitions are given; notes on the data are set forth; and source-, of additional information are cited.

General notes

The following notes apply to several tables in this section:

Seasonal adjustment. Certain monthly, and quarterly' data are adjusted to eliminate the effect on the data of such factors as climatic conditions, industry production schedules, opening and closing of schools, holiday, buying periods, and vacation practice_-,, which might prevent short-term evaluation of the statistical series. Tables containing data that have been adjusted are identified as "seasonally, adjusted." (All other data are not seasonally adjusted.) Seasonal effects are estimated on the basis of current and past experiences. When new seasonal factors are computed each year, revisions may, affect seasonally adjusted data for several preceding years.

Seasonally, adjusted data appear in tables 1-14,17-21,48, and 52. Seasonally adjusted labor force data in tables 1 and 4-9 and seasonally adjusted establishment survey data shown in tables 1,12-14, and 17 are revised in the March 200% Review. A brief explanation of the seasonal adjustment methodology, appears in "Notes on the data."

Revisions in the productivity data in table 54 are usually, introduced in the September issue. Seasonally adjusted indexes and percent changes from month-to-month and quarter-to-quarter are published for numerous Consumer and Producer Price Index series. However, seasonally adjusted indexes are not published for the U.S. average All-Items CPI. Only, seasonally adjusted percent changes are available for this series.

Adjustments for price changes. Some data--such as the "real" earnings shown in table 14--are adjusted to eliminate the effect of changes in price. These adjustments arc made by dividing current-dollar values by the Consumer Price Index or the appropriate component of the index, then multiplying by 100. For example, given a current hourly, wage rate of $3 and a current price index number of 150, where 1982 = 100, the hourly rate expressed in 1982 dollars is $2 ($3/150 x 100 = $2). The $2 (or any other resulting values) are described as "real," "constant," or "1982" dollars.

Sources of information

Data that supplement the tables in this section are published by the Bureau in a variety of sources. Definitions of each series and notes on the data are contained in later sections of these Notes describing each set of data. For detailed descriptions of each data series, see BLS Handbook of Methods, Bulletin 2490. Users also may, wish to consult Major Programs of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Report 919. News releases provide the latest statistical information published by the Bureau; the major recurring releases are published according to the schedule appearing on the back cover of this issue.

More information about labor force, employment, and unemployment data and the household and establishment surveys underlying the data are available in the Bureau's monthly publication, Employment and Earnings. Historical unadjusted and seasonally adjusted data from the household survey are available on the Internet:

Historically comparable unadjusted and seasonally adjusted data from the establishment survey also are available on the Internet:

Additional information on labor force data for areas below the national level are provided in the BLS annual report, Geographic Profile of Employment and Unemployment.

For a comprehensive discussion of the Employment Cost Index, see Employment Cost Indexes and Levels, 1975-95, BLS Bulletin 2466. The most recent data from the Employee Benefits Survey appear in the following Bureau of Labor Statistics bulletins: Employee Benefits in Medium and Large Firms; Employee Benefits in Small Private Establishments; and Employee Benefits in State and Local Government.

More detailed data on consumer and producer prices are published in the monthly periodicals. The CPI Detailed Report and Producer Price Indexes. For an overview of the 1998 revision of the CPI, see the December 1996 issue of the Monthly Labor Review. Additional data on international prices appear in monthly news releases.

Listings of industries for which productivity. indexes are available may be found on the Internet: www

For additional information on international comparisons data, see International Comparisons of Unemployment, Bulletin 1979.

Detailed data on the occupational injury, and illness series are published in Occupational Injuries and Illness in the United States, by Industry, a BLS annual bulletin.

Finally the Monthly Labor Review carries analytical articles on annual and longer term developments in labor force, employment, and unemployment; employee compensation and collective bargaining; prices; productivity; international comparisons; and injury. and illness data.


n.e.c. = not elsewhere classified.

n.e.s. = not elsewhere specified.

p = preliminary. To increase the timeliness of some series, preliminary figures are issued based on representative but incomplete returns.

r = revised. Generally, this revision reflects the availability of later data, but also may, reflect other adjustments.

Comparative Indicators

(Tables 1-3)

Comparative indicators tables provide an overview and comparison of major BLS statistical series. Consequently, although many of the included series are available monthly, all measures in these comparative tables are presented quarterly and annually.

Labor market indicators include employment measures from two major surveys and information on rates of change in compensation provided by. the Employment Cost Index (ECI) program. Tic labor force participation rate, the employment-population ratio, and unemployment rates for major demographic groups based on the Current Population ("household") Survey are presented, while measures of employment and average weekly hours by major industry sector are given using nonfarm payroll data. The Employment Cost Index (compensation), by major sector and by bargaining status, is chosen from a variety, of BLS compensation and wage measure because it provides a comprehensive measure of employer costs for hiring labor, not just outlays for wages, and it is not affected by employment shifts among occupations and industries.

Data on changes in compensation, prices, and productivity are presented in table 2. Measures of rates of change of compensation and wages from the Employment Cost Index program are provided for all civilian nonfarm workers (excluding Federal and household workers) and for all private nonfarm workers. Measures of changes in consumer prices for all urban consumers; producer prices by stage of processing; overall prices by stage of processing; and overall export and import price indexes are given. Measures of productivity (output per hour of all persons) are provided for major sectors.

Alternative measures of wage and compensation rates of change, which reflect the overall trend in labor costs, are summarized in table 3. Differences in concepts and scope, related to the specific purposes of the series, contribute to the variation in changes among the individual measures.

Notes on the data

Definitions of each series and notes on the data are contained in later sections of these notes describing each set of data.

Employment and Unemployment Data

(Tables 1; 4-29)

Household survey data

Description of the series

Employment data in this section are obtained from the Current Population Survey, a program of personal interviews conducted monthly by the Bureau of the Census for the Bureau of Labor Statistics. 'The sample consists of about 60,0(x) 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 2 consecutive months.


Employed persons include (1) all those who worked for pay any time during the week which includes the 12th day of the month or who worked unpaid for 15 hours or more in a family-operated enterprise and (2) those who were temporarily absent from their regular jobs because of illness, vacation, industrial dispute, or similar reasons. A person working at more than one job is counted only in the job at which he or she worked the greatest number of hours.

Unemployed persons are those who did not work during the survey week, but were available for work except for temporary illness and had looked fen- jobs within the preceding 4 weeks. Persons who did not look for work because they were on layoff are also counted among the unemployed. The unemployment rate represents the number unemployed as a percent of the civilian labor force.

The civilian labor force consists of all employed or unemployed persons in the civilian noninstitutional population. Persons not in the labor force are those not classified as employed or unemployed. This group includes discouraged workers, defined as persons 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 are not currently looking, because thee. believe there are no jobs available or there are none for which they would quality. The civilian noninstitutional population comprises all persons 16 years of age and older who are not inmates of penal or mental institutions, sanitariums, or homes for the aged, infirm, or needy. The civilian labor force participation rate is the proportion of the civilian noninstitutional population that is in the labor force. The employment-population ratio is employment as a percent of the civilian noninstitutional population.

Notes on the data

From time to time, and especially after a decennial census, adjustments are made in the Current Population Survey figures to correct for estimating errors during the intercensal years. These adjustments affect the comparability of historical data. A description of these adjustments and their effect on the various data series appears in the Explanatory Notes of Employment and Earnings. For a discussion of changes introduced in January 2003, see "Revisions to the Current Population Survey Effective in January 2003" in the February 2003 issue of Employment and Earnings (available on the BLS Web site at

Effective in January 2003, BLS began using the X-12 ARIMA seasonal adjustment program to seasonally adjust national labor force data. This program replaced the x-11 ARIMA program which had been used since January 1980. See "Revision of Seasonally Adjusted Labor Force Series in 2003," in the February 2003 issue of Employment and Earnings (available on the BLS Web site at for a discussion of the introduction of the use of X-12 ARIMA for seasonal adjustment of the labor force data and the effects that it had on the data.

At the beginning of each calendar year, historical seasonally adjusted data usually are revised, and projected seasonal adjustment factors are calculated for use during the January-June period. The historical seasonally adjusted data usually are revised for only the most recent 5 years. In July, new seasonal adjustment factors, which incorporate the experience through June, are produced for the July-December period, but no revisions are made in the historical data.

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION on national household survey data, contact the Division of Labor Force Statistics: (202) 691-6378.

Establishment survey data

Description of the series

Employment, hours, and earnings data in this section are compiled from payroll records reported monthly on a voluntary, basis to the Bureau of Labor Statistics and its cooperating State agencies by about 160,000 businesses and government agencies, which represent approximately 400,000 individual worksites and represent all industries except agriculture. The active CES sample covers approximately one-third of all nonfarm payroll workers. Industries are classified in accordance with the 2002 North American Industry Classification System. In most industries, the sampling probabilities arc based on the size of the establishment; most large establishments are therefore in the sample. (An establishment is not necessarily a firm; it may be a branch plant, for example, or warehouse.) Self-employed persons and others not on a regular civilian payroll are outside the scope of the survey because they are excluded from establishment records. This largely accounts for the difference in employment figures between the household and establishment surveys.


An establishment is an economic unit which produces goods or services (such as a factory or store) at a single location and is engaged in one type of economic activity.

Employed persons are all persons who received pay (including holiday and sick pay) for any part of the payroll period including the 12th day- of the month. Persons holding more than one job (about 5 percent of all persons in the labor force) are counted in each establishment which reports them.

Production workers in the goods-producing industries cover employees, up through the level of working supervisors, who engage directly in the manufacture or construction of the establishment's product. In

private service-providing industries, data are collected for nonsupervisory workers, which include most employees except those in executive, managerial, and supervisory, positions. Those workers mentioned in tables 11-16 include production workers in manufacturing and natural resources and mining; construction workers in construction; and nonsupervisory workers in all private service-providing industries. Production and nonsupervisory workers account for about four-fifths of the total employment on private nonagricultural payrolls.

Earnings are the payments production or nonsupervisory workers receive during the survey, period, including premium pay, for overtime or late-shift work but excluding irregular bonuses and other special payments. Real earnings are 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).

Hours represent the average weekly, hours of production or nonsupervisory workers for which pay was received, and are different from standard or scheduled hours. Overtime hours represent the portion of average weekly hours which was in excess of regular hours and for which overtime premiums were paid.

The Diffusion Index represents the percent of industries in which employment was rising over the indicated period, plus one-half of the industries with unchanged employment 50 percent indicates an equal balance between industries with increasing and decreasing employment. In line with Bureau practice, data for the l-, 3-, and 6-month spans are seasonally adjusted, while those for the 12-month span are unadjusted. Table 17 provides an index on private nonfarm employment based on 278 industries, and a manufacturing index based on 84 industries. These indexes are useful for measuring the dispersion of economic gains or losses and are also economic indicators.

Notes on the data

Establishment survey, data are annually, adjusted to comprehensive counts of employment (called "benchmarks"). The March 2003 benchmark was introduced in February, 2004 with the release of data for January 2004, published in the March 2004 issue Of the Review. With the release in June 2003, CES completed a conversion from the Standard Industrial Classification ('SIC) system to the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) and completed the transition from its original quota sample design to a probability-based sample design. The industry-coding update included reconstruction 4 historical estimates in order to preserve time series for data users. Normally 5 Years of seasonally adjusted data are revised with each benchmark revision. However, with this release, the entire new time series history for all CES data series were re-seasonally adjusted due to the NAICS conversion, which resulted in the revision of all CES time series.

Also in June 2003, the CPS program introduced concurrent seasonal adjustment for the national establishment data. Under this methodology, the first preliminary estimates for the current reference month and the revised estimates for the 2 prior months will be updated with concurrent factors with each new release of data. Concurrent seasonal adjustment incorporates all available data, including first preliminary estimates for the most current month, in the adjustment process. For additional information on all of the changes introduced in June 2003, see the June 2003 issue of Employment and Earnings and "Recent changes in the national Current Employment Statistics survey," Monthly Labor Review, June 2003, pp. 3-13.

Revisions in State data (table 11) occurred with the publication of January 2003 data. For information on the revisions for the State data, see the March and May 2003 issues of Employment and Earnings, and "Recent changes in the State and Metropolitan Area CES survey," Monthly, Labor Review, June 2003, pp. 14-19.

Beginning in June 1996, the BLS uses the X-12-ARIMA methodology to seasonally adjust establishment survey data. This procedure, developed by the Bureau of the Census, controls for the effect of varying survey intervals (also known as the 4- versus 5-week effect), thereby providing improved measurement of over-the-month changes and underlying economic trends. Revisions of data, usually for the most recent 5-year period, are made once a year coincident with the benchmark revisions.

In the establishment survey, estimates for the most recent 2 months are based on incomplete returns and are published as preliminary in the tables (12-17 in the Review). When all returns have been received, the estimates are revised and published as "final" (prior to any benchmark revisions) in the third month of their appearance. Thus, December data are published as preliminary in January and February and as final in March. For the same reasons, quarterly establishment data (table 1) are preliminary for the first 2 months of publication and final in the third month. Fourth-quarter data are published as preliminary in January and February and as final in March.

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION on establishment survey, data, contact the Division of Current Employment Statistics: (202) 691-6555.

Unemployment data by State

Description of the series

Data presented in this section are obtained from the Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LADS) program, which is conducted in cooperation with State employment security agencies.

Monthly estimates of the labor force, employment, and unemployment for States and sub-State areas are a key, indicator of local economic conditions, and form the basis for determining the eligibility, of an area for benefits under Federal economic assistance programs such as the Job Training Partnership Act. Seasonally adjusted unemployment rates are presented in table 10. Insofar as possible, the concepts and definitions underlying these data are those used in the national estimates obtained from the CPS.

Notes on the data

Data refer to State of residence. Monthly data for all States and the District of Columbia are derived using standardized procedures established by BLS. Once a year, estimates are revised to new population controls, usually with publication of January, estimates, and benchmarked to annual average CPS levels.

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION on data in this series, call (202) 691-6392 (table 10) or (202) 691-6559 (table 11).

Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages

Description of the series

Employment, wage, and establishment data in this section are derived from the quarterly tax reports submitted to State employment security agencies by private and State and local government employers subject to State unemployment insurance (tit) laws and from Federal, agencies subject to the Unemployment Compensation for Federal Employees (UCFE) program. Each quarter, State agencies edit and process the data and send the information to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) data, also referred as ES-202 data, are the most complete enumeration of employment and wage information by industry at the national, State, metropolitan area, and county levels. They have broad economic significance in evaluating labor market trends and major industry, developments.


In general, the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages monthly employment data represent the number of covered workers who worked during, or received pay for, the pay period that included the 12th day of the month. Covered private industry employment includes most corporate officials, executives, supervisory personnel, professionals, clerical workers, wage earners, piece workers, and part-time workers. It excludes proprietors, the unincorporated self-employed, unpaid family members, and certain farm and domestic workers. Certain types of nonprofit employers, such as religious organizations, are given a choice of coverage or exclusion in a number of States. Workers in these organizations are, therefore, reported to a limited degree.

Persons on paid sick leave, paid holiday, paid vacation, and the like, are included. Persons on the payroll of more than one firm during the period are counted by each UI-subject employer if they meet the employment definition noted earlier. The employment count excludes workers who earned no wages during the entire applicable pay period because of work stoppages, temporary layoffs, illness, or unpaid vacations.

Federal employment data are based on reports of monthly employment and quarterly wages submitted each quarter to State agencies for all Federal installations with employees covered by the Unemployment Compensation for Federal Employees (UCFE) program, except for certain national security agencies, which are omitted for security reasons. Employment for all Federal agencies for any given month is based on the number of persons who worked during or received pay for the pay period that included the 12th of the month.

An establishment is an economic unit, such as a farce, mine, factory, or store, that produces goods or provides services. It is typically at a single physical location and engaged in one, or predominantly one, type of economic activity, for which a single industrial classification may be applied. Occasionally, a single physical location encompasses two or more distinct and significant activities. Each activity should be reported as a separate establishment if separate records are kept and the various activities are classified under different NAICS industries.

Most employers have only, one establishment; thus, the establishment is the predominant reporting unit or statistical entity for reporting employment and wages data. Most employers, including State and local governments who operate more than one establishment in a State, file a Multiple Worksite Report each quarter, in addition to their quarterly UI report. The Multiple Worksite Report is used to collect separate employment and wage data for each of the employer's establishments, which are not detailed on the UI report. Some very small multi-establishment employers do not file a Multiple Worksite Report. When the total employment in an employer's secondary, establishments (all establishments other than the largest) is 10 or fewer, the employer generally, will file a consolidated report for all establishments. Also, some employers either cannot or will not report at the establishment level and thus aggregate establishments into one consolidated unit, or possibly several units, though not at the establishment level.

For the Federal Government, the reporting unit is the installation: a single location at which a department, agency, or other government body, has civilian employees. Federal agencies follow slightly different criteria than do private employers when breaking down their reports by installation. They are permitted to combine as a single statewide unit: 1) all installations with 10 or fewer workers, and 2) all installations that have a combined total in the State of fewer than 50 workers. Also, when there are fewer than 25 workers in all secondary installations in a State, the secondary, installations may be combined and reported with the major installation. Last, if a Federal agency has fewer than five employees in a State, the agency headquarters office (regional office, district office) serving each State may consolidate the employment and wages data for that State with the data reported to the State in which the headquarters is located. As a result of these reporting rules, the number of reporting units is always larger than the number of employers (or government agencies) but smaller than the number of actual establishments (or installations).

Data reported for the first quarter are tabulated into size categories ranging from worksites of very small size to those with 1,000 employees or more. Tie size category is determined by the establishment's March employment level. It is important to note that each establishment of a multi-establishment firm is tabulated separately into the appropriate size category: Tic total employment level of the reporting multi-establishment firm is not used in the size tabulation.

Covered employers in most States report total wages paid during the calendar quarter, regardless of when the services were performed. A few State laws, however, specify that wages be reported for, or based on the period during which services are performed rather than the period during which compensation is paid. Under most State laws or regulations, wages include bonuses, stock options, the cash value of meals and lodging, tips and other gratuities, and, in some States, employer contributions to certain deferred compensation plans such as 401(k) plans.

Covered employer contributions for old-age, survivors, and disability insurance (OASDI), health insurance, unemployment insurance, workers' compensation, and private pension and welfare funds are not reported as wages. Employee contributions for the same purposes, however, as well as money, withheld for income taxes, union dues, and so forth, are reported even though they, are deducted from the workers gross pay.

Wages of covered Federal workers represent the gross amount of all payrolls for all pay periods ending within the quarter. This includes cash allowances, the cash equivalent of any type of remuneration, severance pay, withholding taxes, and retirement deductions. Federal employee remuneration generally, covers the same types of services as for workers in private industry.

Average annual wage per employee for any given industry are computed by dividing total annual wages by annual. average employment. A further division by 52 yields average weekly wages per employee. Annual pay data only approximate annual earnings because an individual may, not be employed by the same employer all year or may, work for more than one employer at a time.

Average weekly, or annual wage is affected by the ratio of full-time to part-time workers as well as the number of individuals in high-paying and low-paying occupations. When average pay levels between States and industries are compared, these factors should be taken into consideration. For example, industries characterized by high proportions of part-time workers will show average wage levels appreciably less than the weekly pay levels of regular full-time employees in these industries. The opposite effect characterizes industries with low proportions of part-time workers, or industries that typically schedule heavy weekend and overtime work. Average wage data also may be influenced by work stoppages, labor turnover rates, retroactive payments, seasonal factors, bonus payments, and so on.

Notes on the data

Beginning with the release of data for 2001, publications presenting data from the Covered Employment and Wages program have switched to the 2002 version of the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) as the basis for the assignment and tabulation of economic data by industry. NAICS is the product of a cooperative effort on the part of the statistical agencies of the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Due to difference in NAILS and Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) structures, industry data for 2001 is not comparable to the SIC-based data for earlier years.

Effective January 2001, the program began assigning Indian Tribal Councils and related establishments to local government ownership. This BLS action was in response to a change in Federal law dealing with the way Indian Tribes are treated tinder the Federal Unemployment Tax Act. This law requires federally recognized Indian Tribes to be treated similarly to State and local governments. In the past, the Covered Employment and Wage (CEW) program coded Indian Tribal Councils and related establishments in the private sector. As a result of the new law, CEW data reflects significant shifts in employment and wages between the private sector and local government from 2000 to 2001. Data also reflect industry changes. Those accounts previously assigned to civic and social organizations were assigned to tribal governments. There were no required industry changes for related establishments owned by these Tribal Councils. These tribal business establishments continued to be coded according to the economic activity of that entity.

To insure the highest possible quality of data, State employment security agencies verify with employers and update, if necessary, the industry, location, and ownership classification of all establishments on a 3-year cycle. Changes in establishment classification codes resulting from the verification process are introduced with the data reported for the first quarter of the year. Changes resulting from improved employer reporting also are introduced in the first quarter. For these reasons, some data, especially at more detailed geographic levels, may not be strictly comparable with earlier years.

County definitions are assigned according to Federal Information Processing Standards Publications as issued by the National Institute of Standards and Technology Areas shown as counties include those designated as independent cities in some jurisdictions and, in Alaska, those areas designated by the Census Bureau where counties have not been created. County data also are presented for the New England States for comparative purposes, even though townships are the more common designation used in New England (and New Jersey).

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) defines metropolitan areas for use in Federal statistical activities and updates these definitions as needed. Data in this table use metropolitan area criteria established by OMB in definitions issued June 30, 1999 (ODIB Bulletin No. 99-04).These definitions reflect information obtained from the 1990 Decennial Census and the 1998 U.S. Census Bureau population estimate. A complete list of metropolitan area definitions is available from the National Technical Information Service (NTIS), Document Sales, 5205 Port Royal Road, Springfield, Va. 22161, telephone 1-800-553-6847.

OMB defines metropolitan areas in terms of entire counties, except in the six New England States where they are defined in terms of cities and towns. New England data in this table, however, are based on a county concept defined by OMB as New England County Metropolitan Areas (NECMA) because country-level data are the most detailed available from the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages. The NECMA is a county-based alternative to the city- and town-based metropolitan areas in New England. The NECMA for a Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) include: (1) the county containing the first-named city in that MSA title (this county may include the first-named cities of other MSA, and (2) each additional county having at least half its population in the MSA in which first-named cities are in the county identified in step 1. The NECMA is officially defined areas that are meant to be used by statistical programs that cannot use the regular metropolitan -area definitions in New England.

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION on the covered employment and wage data, contact the Division of Administrative Statistics and Labor Turnover at (202) 691-6567.

Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey

Description of the series

Data for the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) are collected and compiled from a sample of 16,000 business establishments. Each month, data are collected for total employment, job openings, hires, quits, layoffs and discharges, and other separations. The JOLTS program covers all private nonfarm establishments such as factories, offices, and stores, as well as Federal, State, and local government entities in the 50 States and the District of Columbia. The JOLTS sample design is a random sample drawn from a universe of more than eight million establishments compiled as part of the operations of the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages, or QCEW, program. This program includes all employers subject to State unemployment insurance (1!1) laws and Federal agencies subject to Unemployment Compensation for Federal Employees (UCFE).

The sampling frame is stratified by ownership, region, industry sector, and size class. Large firms fall into the sample with virtual certainty JOLTS total employment estimates are controlled to the employment estimates of the Current Employment Statistics (CES) survey. A ratio of CES to JOLTS employment is used to adjust the levels for all other JOLTS data elements. Rates then are computed from the adjusted levels.

The monthly JOLTS data series begin with December 2000. Not seasonally adjusted data on job openings, hires, total separations, quits, layoffs and discharges, and other separations levels and rates are available for the total nonfarm sector, 16 private industry divisions and 2 government divisions based on the North American Industry Classification System (NAILS), and four geographic regions. Seasonally adjusted data on job openings, hires, total separations, and quits levels and rates are available for the total nonfarm sector, selected industry sectors, and four geographic regions.


Establishments submit job openings information for the last business day of the reference month. A job opening requires that (1) a specific position exists and there is work available for that position; and (2) work could start within 30 days regardless of whether a suitable candidate is found; and (3) the employer is actively recruiting from outside the establishment to fill the position. Included are full-time, part-time, permanent, short-term, and seasonal openings. Active recruiting means that the establishment is taking steps to fill a position by advertising in newspapers or on the Internet, posting help-wanted signs, accepting applications, or using other similar methods.

Jobs to be filled only by internal transfers, promotions, demotions, or recall from layoffs are excluded. Also excluded are jobs with start dates more than 30 days in the future, jobs for which employees have been hired but have not yet reported for work, and jobs to be filled by employees of temporary help agencies, employee leasing companies, outside contractors, or consultants. The job openings rate is computed by dividing the number of job openings by the sum of employment and job openings, and multiplying that quotient by 100.

Hires are the total number of additions to the payroll occurring at any, time during the reference month, including both new and rehired employees and full-time and part-time, permanent, short-term and seasonal employees, employees recalled to the location after a layoff lasting more than 7 days, on-call or intermittent employees who returned to work after having been formally separated, and transfers from other locations. The hires count does not include transfers or promotions within the reporting site, employees returning from strike, employees of temporary help agencies or employee leasing companies, outside contractors, or consultants. The hires rate is computed by dividing the number of hires by employment, and multiplying that quotient by 100.

Separations are the total number of terminations of employment occurring at any time during the reference month, and are reported by type of separation--quits, layoffs and discharges, and other separations. (Zuits are voluntary separations by employees (except for retirements, which are reported as other separations). Layoffs and discharges are involuntary separations initiated by the employer and include layoffs with no intent to rehire, formal layoff lasting or expected to last more than 7 days, discharges resulting from mergers, downsizing, or closings, firings or other discharges for cause, terminations of permanent or short-term employees, and terminations of seasonal employees. Other separations include retirements, transfers to other locations, deaths, and separations due to disability. Separations do not include transfers within the same location or employees on strike.

The separations rate is computed by dividing the number of separations by employment, and multiplying that quotient by 100. The quits, layoffs and discharges, and either separations rates are computed similarly, dividing the number by employment and multiplying by 100.

Notes on the data

The JOLTS data series on job openings, hires, and separations are relatively new. The full sample is divided into panels, with one panel enrolled each month. A full complement of panels for the original data series based on the 1987 Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) system was not completely enrolled in the survey until January 2002. The supplemental panels of establishments needed to create NAICS estimates were not completely, enrolled until May 2003. The data collected tip until those points are from less than a full sample. Therefore, estimates from earlier months should be used with caution, as fewer sampled units were reporting data at that time.

In March 2002, BLS procedures for collecting hires and separations data were revised to address possible underreporting. As a result, JOLTS hires and separations estimates for months prior to March 2002 may not be comparable with estimates for March 2002 and later.

The Federal Government reorganization that involved transferring approximately 180,000 employees to the new Department of Homeland Security is not reflected in the hours hires and separations estimates for the Federal Government. The Office of Personnel Management's record shows these transfers were completed in March 2003. The inclusion of transfers in the JOLTS definitions of hires and separations is intended to cover ongoing movements of workers between establishments. The Department of Homeland Security reorganization was a massive one-time event, and the inclusion of these intergovernmental transfers would distort the Federal Government time series.

Data users should note that seasonal adjustment of the JOLTs series is conducted with fewer data observations than is customary. The historical data, therefore, may be subject to larger than normal revisions. Because the seasonal patterns in economic data series typically emerge over time, the standard use of moving averages as seasonal filters to capture these effects requires longer series than are currently available. As a result, the stable seasonal filter option is used in the seasonal adjustment of the JoLTs data. When calculating seasonal factors, this filter takes an average for each calendar month after defending the series. The stable seasonal filter assumes that the seasonal factors are fixed; a necessary, assumption until sufficient data are available. When the stable seasonal filter is no longer needed, other program features also may be introduced, such as outlier adjustment and extended diagnostic testing. Additionally, it is expected that more series, such as layoffs and discharges and additional industries, may be seasonally adjusted when more data are available.

JOLTS hires and separations estimates cannot be used to exactly explain net changes in payroll employment. Some reasons why it is problematic to compare changes in payroll employment with JOLTS hires and separations, especially on a monthly, basis, are: (1) the reference period for payroll employment is the pay period including the 12th of the month, while the reference period for hires and separations is the calendar month; and (2) payroll employment can vary from month to month simply, because part-time and on-call workers may not always work during the pa} period that includes the 12th of the month. Additionally, research has found that some reporters systematically underreport separations relative to hires due to a number of factors, including the nature of their payroll systems and practices. The shortfall appears to be about 2 percent or less over a 12-month period.

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION on the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, contact the Division of Administrative Statistics and Labor Turnover at (202) 961-5870.

Compensation and Wage Data

(Tables 1-3; 30-37)

The National Compensation Survey (NCS) produces a variety of compensation data. These include: The Employment Cost Index (ECI) and NCS benefit measures of the incidence and provisions of selected employee benefit plans. Selected samples of these measures appear in the following tables. NCS also compiles data on occupational wages and the Employer Costs for Employee Compensation (ECEC).

Employment Cost Index

Description of the series

The Employment Cost Index (ECI) is a quarterly measure of the rate of change in compensation per hour worked and includes wages, salaries, and employer costs of employee benefits. It is a Laspeyres Index that uses fixed employment weights to measure change in labor costs free from the influence of employment shifts among occupations and industries.

The ECI provides data for the civilian economy, which includes the total private nonfarm economy excluding private households, and the public sector excluding the Federal government. Data are collected each quarter for the pay period including the 12th day of March, June, September, and December.

Sample establishments are classified by industry categories based on the 2002 North American Classification System (NAICS). Within a sample establishment, specific job categories are selected and classified into about 800 occupations according to the 2000 Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) System. Individual occupations are combined to represent one of ten intermediate aggregations, such as professional and related occupations, or one of five higher level aggregations, such as management, professional, and related occupations.

Fixed employment weights are used each quarter to calculate the most aggregate series--civilian, private, and State and local government. These fixed weights are also used to derive all of the industry and occupational series indexes. Beginning with the March 2006 estimates, 2002 fixed employment weights from the Bureau's Occupational Employment Statistics survey were introduced. From March 1995 to December 2005, 1990 employment counts were used. These fixed weights ensure that changes in these indexes reflect only changes in compensation, not employment shifts among industries or occupations with different levels of wages and compensation. For the series based on bargaining status, census region and division, and metropolitan area status, fixed employment data are not available. The employment weights are reallocated within these series cacti quarter based on the current ECI sample. The indexes for these series, consequently, are not strictly comparable with those for aggregate, occupational, and industry series.


Total compensation costs include wages, salaries, and the employer's costs for employee benefits.

Wages and salaries consist of earnings before payroll deductions, including production bonuses, incentive earnings, commissions, and cost-of-living adjustments.

Benefits include the cost to employers for paid leave, supplemental pay (including nonproduction bonuses), insurance, retirement and savings plans, and legally required benefits (such as Social Security, workers' compensation, -and unemployment insurance).

Excluded from wages and salaries and employee benefits are such items as payment-in-kind, free room and board, and tips.

Notes on the data

The ECI data in these tables reflect the con-version to the 2002 North American Industry Classification System (NAILS) and the 2000 Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) system. The NAILS and Soc data shown prior to 2006 are for informational purposes only. ECI series based on NAILS and Soc became the official BLS estimates starting in March 2006.

The ECI for changes in wages and salaries in the private nonfarm economy was published beginning in 1975. Changes in total compensation cost--wages and salaries and benefits combined--were published beginning in 1980. The series of changes in wages and salaries and for total compensation in the State and local government sector and in the civilian nonfarm economy (excluding Federal employees) were published beginning in 1981. Historical indexes (December 2005=100) are available on the Internet:

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION on the Employment Cost Index is available at or by telephone at (202) 691-6199.

National Compensation Survey Benefit Measures

Description of the series

NCS benefit measures of employee benefits are published in two separate reports. The annual summary' provides data on the incidence of (access to and participation in) selected benefits and provisions of paid holidays and vacations, life insurance plans, and other selected benefit programs. Data on percentages of establishments offering major employee benefits, and on the employer and employee shares of contributions to medical care premiums also are presented. Selected benefit data appear in the following tables. A second publication, published later, contains more detailed information about health and retirement plans.


Employer-provided benefits are benefits that are financed either wholly or partly by, the employer. They may be sponsored by a union or other third party., as long as there is some employer financing. However, some benefits that are fully paid for by the employee also are included. For example, long-term care insurance paid entirely by the employee are included because the guarantee of insurability and availability at group premium rates are considered a benefit.

Employees are considered as having access to a benefit plan if it is available for their use. For example, if an employee is permitted to participate in a medical care plan offered by the employer, but the employee declines to do so, he or she is placed in the category with those having access to medical care.

Employees in contributory plans are considered as participating in an insurance or retirement plan if they have paid required contributions and fulfilled any applicable service requirement. Employees in noncontributory plans are counted as participating regardless of whether they have fulfilled the service requirements.

Defined benefit pension plans use predetermined formulas to calculate a retirement benefit (if any), and obligate the employer to provide those benefits. Benefits are generally based on salary, years of service, or both.

Defined contribution plans generally specify the level of employer and employee contributions to a plan, but not the formula for determining eventual benefits. Instead, individual accounts are set up for participants, and benefits are based on amounts credited to these accounts.

Tax-deferred savings plans are a type of defined contribution plan that allow participants to contribute a portion of their salary to an employer-sponsored plan and defer income taxes until withdrawal.

Flexible benefit plans allow employees to choose among several benefits, such as life insurance, medical care, and vacation days, and among several levels of coverage within a given benefit.

Notes on the data

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON THE NCS benefit measures is available at http://www. or by telephone at (202) 691-6199.

Work stoppages

Description of the series

Data on work stoppages measure 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 work time lost because of stoppage. These data are presented in table 37.

Data are largely, from a variety of published sources and cover only establishments directly, involved in a stoppage. They do not measure the indirect or secondary effect of stoppages on other establishments whose employees are idle owing to material shortages or lack of service.


Number of stoppages: The number of strikes and lockouts involving 1,000 workers or more and lasting a full shift or longer.

Workers involved: The number of workers directly involved in the stoppage.

Number of days idle: The aggregate number of workdays lost by workers involved in the stoppages.

Days of idleness as a percent of estimated working time: Aggregate workdays lost as a percent of the aggregate number of standard workdays in the period multiplied by total employment in the period.

Notes on the data

This series is not comparable with the one terminated in 1981 that covered strikes involving six workers or more.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION on work stop-pages data is available at http://www. or by telephone at (202) 691-6199.

Price Data

(Tables 2; 38-46)

Price data are gathered by the Bureau of Labor Statistics from retail and primary markets in the United States. Price indexes are given in relation to a base period-December 2003 = 100 for many Producer Price Indexes (unless otherwise noted), 1982-84 = 100 for many Consumer Price Indexes (unless otherwise noted), and 1990 = 100 for International Price Indexes.

Consumer Price Indexes

Description of the series

Tie Consumer Price Index (GPI) is a measure of the average change in the prices paid by urban consumers for a fixed market basket of goods and services. The CPI is calculated monthly for two population groups, one consisting only of urban households whose primary source of income is derived from the employment of wage earners and clerical workers, and the other consisting of all urban households. The wage earner index (GPI-w) is a continuation of the historic index that was introduced well over a half-century ago for use in wage negotiations. As new uses were developed for the CPI in recent years, the need for a broader and more representative index became apparent. Tic all-urban consumer index (CPI-U), introduced in 1978, is representative of the 1993-95 buying habits of about 87 percent of the noninstitutional population of the United States at that time, compared with 32 percent represented in the CPI-fib'. In addition to wage earners and clerical workers, the CPI-I covers professional, managerial, and technical workers, the self-employed, short-term workers, the unemployed, retirees, and others not in the labor force.

The CPI is based on prices of food, clothing, shelter, fuel, drugs, transportation fares, doctors' and dentists' fees, and other goods and services that people buy, for day-to-day living. The quantity and quality of these items are kept essentially unchanged between major revisions so that only price changes will be measured. All taxes directly, associated with the purchase and use of items are included in the index.

Data collected from more than 23,000 retail establishments and 5,800 housing units in 87 urban areas across the country are used to develop the "U.S. city average." Separate estimates for 14 major urban centers are presented in table 39. 'Me areas listed are as indicated in footnote 1 to the table. The area indexes measure only the average change in prices for each area since the base period, and do not indicate differences in the level of prices among cities.

Notes on the data

In January 1983, the Bureau changed the way, in which homeownership costs are measured for the CPI-LT. A rental equivalence method replaced the asset-price approach to homeownership costs for that series. In January 1985, the same change was made in the CPI-w. Tie central purpose of the change was to separate shelter costs from the investment component of homeownership so that the index would reflect only the cost of shelter services provided by owner-occupied homes. An updated CPI-1 and CPI-W were introduced with release of the January 1987 and January 1998 data.

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION, contact the Division of Prices and Price Indexes: (202) 691-7000.

Producer Price Indexes

Description of the series

Producer Price Indexes (PPI) measure average changes in prices received by domestic producers of commodities in all stages of processing. The sample used for calculating these indexes currently contains about 3,200 commodities and about 80,000 quotations per month, selected to represent the movement of prices of all commodities produced in the manufacturing; agriculture, forestry, and fishing; mining; and gas and electricity and public utilities sectors. The stage-of-processing structure of PPI organizes products by class of buyer and degree of fabrication (that is, finished goods, intermediate goods, and crude materials). The traditional commodity structure of PPI organizes products by similarity of end use or material composition. The industry and product structure of PPI organizes data in accordance with the 2002 North American Industry Classification System and product codes developed by the U.S. Census Bureau.

To the extent possible, prices used in calculating Producer Price Indexes apply to the first significant commercial transaction in the United States from the production or central marketing point. Price data arc generally collected monthly, primarily by mail questionnaire. Most prices are obtained directly from producing companies on a voluntary and confidential basis. Prices generally are y reported for the Tuesday of the week containing the 13th day of the month.

Since January 1992, price changes for the various commodities have been averaged together with implicit quantity-weights representing their importance in the total net selling value of all commodities as of 1987. The detailed data are aggregated to obtain indexes for stage-of-processing groupings, commodity groupings, durability-of-product groupings, and a number of special composite groups. All Producer Price Index data arc subject to revision 4 months after original publication.

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION, contact the Division of Industrial Prices and Price Indexes: (202) 691-7705.

International Price Indexes

Description of the series

The International Price Program produces monthly and quarterly, export and import price indexes for nonmilitary goods and services traded between the united States and the rest of the world. The export price index provides a measure of price change for all products sold by U.S. residents to foreign buyers. ("Residents" is defined as in the national income accounts; it includes corporations, businesses, and individuals, but does not require the organizations to be U.S. owned nor the individuals to have U.S. citizenship.) The import price index provides a measure of price change for goods purchased from other countries by U.S. residents.

The product universe for both the import and export indexes includes raw materials, agricultural products, semifinished manufactures, and finished manufactures, including both capital and consumer goods. Price data for these items are collected primarily by mail questionnaire. In nearly all cases, the data are collected directly from the exporter or importer, although. in a few cases, prices are obtained from other sources.

To the extent possible, the data gathered refer to prices at the U.S. border for exports and at either the foreign border or the U.S. border for imports. For nearly all products, the prices refer to transactions completed during the first week of the month. Survey respondents are asked to indicate all discounts, allowances, and rebates applicable to the reported prices, so that the price used in the calculation of the indexes is the actual price for which the product was bought or sold.

In addition to general indexes of prices for U.S. exports and imports, indexes are also published for detailed product categories of exports and imports. These categories are defined according to the five-digit level of detail for the Bureau of Economic Analysis End-use Classification, the three-digit level for the Standard International Trade Classification (SITC), and the four-digit level of detail for the Harmonized System. Aggregate import indexes by country or region of origin are also available.

BLS publishes indexes for selected categories of internationally, traded services, calculated on an international basis and on a balance-of-payments basis.

Notes on the data

The export and import price indexes are weighted indexes of the Laspeyres type. The trade weights currently used to compute both indexes relate to 2000.

Because a price index depends on the same items being priced from period to period, it is necessary to recognize when a product's specifications or terms of transaction have been modified. For this reason, the Bureau's questionnaire requests detailed descriptions of the physical and functional characteristics of the products being priced, as well as information on the number of units bought or sold, discounts, credit terms, packaging, class of buyer or seller, and so forth. When there are changes in either the specifications or terms of transaction of a product, the dollar value of each change is deleted from the total price change to obtain the "pure" change. Once this value is determined, a linking procedure is employed which allows for the continued repricing of the item.

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION, contact the Division of International Prices: (202) 691-7155.

Productivity Data

(Tables 2; 47-50)

Business and major sectors

Description of the series

The productivity measures relate real output to real input. As such, they encompass a family of measures which include single-factor input measures, such as output per hour, output per unit of labor input, or output per unit of capital input, as well as measures of multifactor productivity (output per unit of combined labor and capital inputs). The Bureau indexes show the change in output relative to changes in the various inputs. The measures cover the business, nonfarm business, manufacturing, and nonfinancial corporate sectors.

Corresponding indexes of hourly compensation, unit labor costs, unit nonlabor payments, and prices are also provided.


Output per hour of all persons (labor productivity) is the quantity of goods and services produced per hour, of labor input. Output per unit of capital services (capital productivity) is the quantity of goods and services produced per unit of capital services input. Multifactor productivity is the quantity of goods and services produced per combined inputs. For private business and private nonfarm business, inputs include labor and capital units. For manufacturing, inputs include labor, capital, energy, nonenergy materials, and purchased business services.

Compensation per hour is total compensation divided by hours at work. Total compensation equals the wages and salaries of employees plus employers' contributions for social insurance and private benefit plans, plus an estimate of these payments for the self-employed (except for nonfinancial corporations in which there are no selfemployed). Real compensation per hour is compensation per hour deflated by the change in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers.

Unit labor costs are the labor compensation costs expended in the production of a unit of output and are derived by dividing compensation by output. Unit nonlabor payments include profits, depreciation, interest, and indirect taxes per unit of output. They are computed by subtracting compensation of all persons from current-dollar value of output and dividing by output.

Unit nonlabor costs contain all the components of unit nonlabor payments except unit profits.

Unit profits include corporate profits with inventory valuation and capital consumption adjustments per unit of output.

Hours of all persons are the total hours at work of payroll workers, self-employed persons, and unpaid family workers.

Labor inputs are hours of all persons adjusted for the effects of changes in the education and experience of the labor force.

Capital services are the flow of services from the capital stock used in production. It is developed from measures of the net stock of physical assets--equipment, structures, land, and inventories--weighted by rental prices for each type of asset.

Combined units of labor and capital inputs are derived by combining changes in labor and capital input with weights which represent each component's share of total cost. Combined units of labor, capital, energy, materials, and purchased business services are similarly derived by combining changes in each input with weights that represent each input's share of total costs. The indexes for each input and for combined units are based on changing weights which are averages of the shares in the current and preceding year (the Tornquist index-number formula).

Notes on the data

Business sector output is an annually-weighted index constructed by excluding from real gross domestic product (GDP) the following outputs: general government, nonprofit institutions, paid employees of private households, and the rental value of owner-occupied dwellings. Nonfarm business also excludes farming. Private business and private nonfarm business further exclude government enterprises. The measures are supplied by the U.S. Department of Commerce's Bureau of Economic Analysis. Annual estimates of manufacturing setzoral output are produced by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Quarterly manufacturing output indexes from the Federal Reserve Board are adjusted to these annual output measures by the BLS. Compensation data are developed from data of the Bureau of Economic Analysis and the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Hours data are developed from data of the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The productivity and associated cost treasures in tables 47-50 describe the relationship between output in real terms and the labor and capital inputs involved in its production. They show the changes from period to period in the amount of goods and services produced per unit of input.

Although these measures relate output to hours and capital services, they do not measure the contributions of labor, capital, or any other specific factor of production. Rather, they reflect the joint effect of many influences, including changes in technology, shifts in the composition of the labor force; capital investment; level of output; changes in the utilization of capacity, energy, material, and research and development; the organization of production; managerial skill; and characteristics and efforts of the work force.

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION on this productivity series, contact the Division of Productivity Research: (202) 691-5606.

Industry productivity measures

Description of the series

The BLS industry productivity indexes measure the relationship between output and inputs for selected industries and industry groups, and thus reflect trends in industry efficiency over time. Industry measures include labor productivity multifactor productivity., compensation, and unit labor costs.

The industry measures differ in methodology and data sources from the productivity measures for the major sectors because the industry measures are developed independently of the National Income and Product Accounts framework used for the major sector measures.


Output per hour is derived by dividing an index of industry, output by an index of labor input. For most industries, output indexes are derived from data on the value of industry, output adjusted for price change. For the remaining industries, output indexes arc derived from data on the physical quantity of production.

The labor input series is based on the hours of all workers or, in the case of sonic transportation industries, on the number of employees. For most industries, the series consists of the hours of all employees. For some trade and services industries, the series also includes the hours of partners, proprietors, and unpaid family workers.

Unit labor costs represent the labor compensation costs per unit of output produced, and are derived by dividing an index of labor compensation by an index of output. Labor compensation includes payroll as well as supplemental payments, including both legally required expenditures and payments for voluntary programs.

Multifactor productivity is derived by dividing an index of industry output by an index of combined inputs consumed in producing that output. Combined inputs include capital, labor, and intermediate purchases. Tie measure of capital input represents the flow of services from the capital stock used in production. It is developed from measures of the net stock of physical assets-equipment, structures, land, and inventories. The measure of intermediate purchases is a combination of purchased materials, services, fuels, and electricity.

Notes on the data

The industry measures are compiled from data produced by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Census Bureau, with additional data supplied by other government agencies, trade associations, and other sources.

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION on this series, contact the Division of Industry Productivity Studies: (202) 691-5618, or visit the Web site at: htm

International Comparisons

(Tables 51-53)

Labor force and unemployment

Description of the series

Tables 51 and 52 present comparative measures of the labor force, employment, and unemployment approximating U.S. concepts for the United States, Canada, Australia, Japan, and six European countries. The Bureau adjusts the figures for these selected countries, for all known major definitional differences, to the extent that data to prepare adjustments are available. Although precise comparability may not be achieved, these adjusted figures provide a better basis for international comparisons than the figures regularly published by each country. For additional information on adjustments and comparability issues, see Constance Sorrentino, "International unemployment rates: how comparable are they?" Monthly Labor Review, June 2000, pp. 3-20 (available on the BLS Web site at: pdf).


For the principal U.S. definitions of the labor force, employment, and unemployment, see the Notes section on Employment and Unemployment Data: Household survey data.

Notes on the data

The foreign country data are adjusted as closely as possible to U.S. concepts, with the exception of lower age limits and the treatment of layoffs. These adjustments include, but are not limited to: including older persons in the labor force by imposing no tipper age limit, adding unemployed students to the unemployed, excluding the military and family workers working fewer than 15 hours from the employed, and excluding persons engaged in passive job search from the unemployed.

Data for the United States relate to the population 16 years of age and older. The U.S. concept of the working age population has no tipper age limit. The adjusted to U. S. concepts statistics have been adapted, insofar as possible, to the age at which compulsory schooling ends in each country, and the Swedish statistics have been adjusted to include persons older than the Swedish tipper age limit of 64 years. The adjusted statistics presented here relate to the population 16 .years of age and older in France, Sweden, and the United Kingdom; 15 years of age and older in Australia, Japan, Germany; Italy, and the Netherlands. An exception to this rule is that the Canadian statistics are adjusted to cover the population 16 years of age and older, whereas the age at which compulsory schooling ends remains at 15 years. In the labor force participation rates and employment-population ratios, the denominator is the civilian noninstitutionalized working age population, except for Japan and Germany, which include the institutionalized working age population.

In the United States, the unemployed include persons who are not employed and who were actively seeking work during the reference period, as well as persons on layoff. In the United States, as in Australia and Japan, passive job seekers are not in the labor force; job search must be active, such as placing or answering advertisements, contacting employers directly, or registering with an employment agency (simply reading ads is not enough to qualify as active search). Canada and the European countries classify passive jobseekers as unemployed. An adjustment is made to exclude them in Canada, but not in the European countries where the phenomenon is less prevalent. In some countries, persons on layoff are classified as employed due to their strong job attachment. No adjustment is made for the countries that classify, those on layoff as employed. Persons without work and waiting to start a new job are counted as unemployed under U.S. concepts if they were actively seeking work during the reference period; if they were not actively seeking work, they are not counted in the labor force. Persons without work and waiting to start a new job arc counted among the unemployed for all other countries, whether or not they were actively seeking work.

For more qualifications and historical annual data, see Comparative Civilian tabor Force Statistics, Ten Countries, on the Internet at http:/

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION on this series, contact the Division of Foreign Labor Statistics: (202) 691-5654 or flshelp(a)

Manufacturing Productivity and Labor Costs

Description of the series

Table 53 presents comparative indexes of manufacturing output per hour (labor productivity), output, total hours, compensation per hour, and emit labor costs for the United States, Australia, Canada, Japan. The Republic of Korea, Taiwan, and 10 European countries. These measures are trend comparisons--that is, series that measure changes over time--rather than level comparisons. BLS does not recommend using these series for level comparisons because of technical problems.

BLS constructs the comparative indexes from three basic aggregate measures--out-put, total labor hours, and total compensation. The hours and compensation measures refer to employees (wage and salary earners) in Belgium and Taiwan. For all other economies, the measures refer to all employed persons, including employees, self-employed persons, and unpaid family workers.


Output. For most economies, the output measures are real value added in manufacturing from national accounts. However, output for Japan prior to 1970 and for the Netherlands prior to 1960 are indexes of industrial production. The manufacturing value-added measures for the United Kingdom are essentially identical to their indexes of industrial production.

For the United States, the output measure for the manufacturing sector is a chain-weighted index of real gross product originating (deflated value added) produced by the Bureau of Economic Analysis of the U.S. Department of Commerce. Most of the other economics now also use chain-weighted as opposed to fixed-year weights that are periodically updated.

The data for recent years are based on the United Nations System of National Accounts 1993 (SNA 93). Manufacturing is generally defined according to the International Standard Industrial Classification (ISIC). For the United States and Canada, it is defined according to the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS 97).

To preserve the comparability of the U.S. measures with those of other economies, BLS uses gross product originating in manufacturing for the United States. The gross product originating series differs from the manufacturing output series that BLS publishes in its quarterly news releases on U.S. productivity and costs (and that underlies the measures that appear in tables 48 and 50 in this section). The quarterly measures are on a "sectoral output" basis, rather than a value-added basis. Sectoral output is gross output less intrasector transactions.

Total hours refer to hours worked in all economies. The measures are developed from statistics of manufacturing employment and average hours. For most other economies, recent years' aggregate hours series are obtained from national statistical offices, usually from national accounts. However, for some economics and for earlier years, BLS calculates the aggregate hours series using employment figures published with the national accounts, or other comprehensive employment series, and data on average hours worked.

Hourly compensation is total compensation divided by total hours. Total compensation includes all payments in cash or in-kind made directly to employees plus employer expenditures for legally required insurance programs and contractual and private benefit plans. For Australia, Canada, France, and Sweden, compensation is increased to account for important taxes on payroll or employment. For the United Kingdom, compensation is reduced between 1967 and 1991 to account for subsidies.

Unit labor costs are defined as the costs of labor input required to produce one unit of output. They are computed as compensation in nominal terms divided by real output. Unit labor costs can also be computed by dividing hourly compensation by output per hour, that is, by labor productivity.

Notes on the data

In general, the measures relate to total manufacturing as defined by the International Standard Industrial Classification. However, the measures for France include parts of mining as well.

The measures for recent years may be based on current indicators of manufacturing output (such as industrial production indexes), employment, average hours, and hourly compensation until national accounts and other statistics used for the long-term measures become available.

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION on these series, go to release/prod4.toc.htm or contact the Division of Foreign Labor Statistics: (202) 691-5654.

Occupational Injury and Illness Data

(Tables 54-55)

Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses

Description of the series

The Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses collects data from employers about their workers' job-related nonfatal injuries and illnesses. The information that employers provide is based on records that then maintain cinder the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970. Self-employed individuals, farms with fewer than 11 employees, employers regulated by other Federal safety and health laws, and Federal, State, and local government agencies are excluded from the survey.

The survey is a Federal-State cooperative program with an independent sample selected for each participating State. A stratified random sample with a Neyman allocation is selected to represent all private industries in the State. Tie survey, is stratified by Standard Industrial Classification and size of employment.


Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act, employers maintain records of nonfatal work-related injuries and illnesses that involve one or more of the following: loss of consciousness, restriction of work or motion, transfer to another job, or medical treatment other than first aid.

Occupational injury is any injury such as a cut, fracture, sprain, or amputation that results from a work-related event or a single, instantaneous exposure in the work environment.

Occupational illness is an abnormal condition or disorder, other than one resulting from an occupational injury, caused by exposure to factors associated with employment. It includes acute and chronic illnesses or disease which may be caused by inhalation, absorption, ingestion, or direct contact.

Lost workday injuries and illnesses arc cases that involve days away from work, or days of restricted work activity; or both.

Lost workdays include the number of workdays (consecutive or not) on which the employee was either away from work or at work in some restricted capacity, or both, because of an occupational injury or illness. BLS measures of the number and incidence rate of lost workdays were discontinued beginning with the 1993 survey The number of days away from work or days of restricted work, activity does not include the day of injury or onset of illness or any days on which the employee would not have worked, such as a Federal holiday, even though able to work.

Incidence rates are computed as the number of injuries and/or illnesses or lost work days per 100 full-time workers.

Notes on the data

The definitions of occupational injuries and illnesses are from Recordkeeping Guidelines for Occupational Injuries and Illnesses (U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, September 1986).

Estimates are made for industries and employment size classes for total recordable cases, lost workday cases, days away from work cases, and nonfatal cases without lost workdays. These data also are shown separately for. injuries. Illness data are available for seven categories: occupational skin diseases or disorders, dust diseases of the lungs, respiratory conditions due to toxic agents, poisoning (systemic effects of toxic agents), disorders due to physical agents (other than toxic materials), disorders associated with repeated trauma, and all other occupational illnesses.

The survey continues to measure the number of new work-related illness cases which are recognized, diagnosed, and reported during the year. Some conditions, for example, long-term latent illnesses caused by exposure to carcinogens, often are difficult to relate to the workplace and are not adequately recognized and reported. These long-term latent illnesses are believed to be understated in the survey's illness measure. In contrast, the overwhelming majority of the reported new illnesses are those which are easier to directly relate to workplace activity (for example, contact dermatitis and carpal tunnel syndrome).

Most of the estimates are in the form of incidence rates, defined as the number of injuries and illnesses per 100 equivalent full-time workers. For this purpose, 200,000 employee hours represent 100 employee years (2,000 hours per employee). Full detail on the available measures is presented in the annual bulletin, Occupational Injuries and Illnesses. Counts, Rates, and Characteristics.

Comparable data for more than 40 States and territories are available from the BLS Office of Safety, Health and Working Conditions. Many of these States publish data on State and local government employees in addition to private industry data.

Mining and railroad data are furnished to BLS by the Mine Safety and Health Administration and the Federal Railroad Administration. Data from these organizations are included in both the national and State data published annually.

With the 1992 survey, BLS began publishing details on serious, nonfatal incidents resulting in days away from work. Included are some major characteristics of the injured and ill workers, such as occupation, age, gender, race, and length of service, as well as the circumstances of their injuries and illnesses (nature of the disabling condition, part of body affected, event and exposure, and the source directly producing the condition). In general, these data are available nationwide for detailed industries and for individual States at more aggregated industry levels.

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION on occupational injuries and illnesses, contact the Office of Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions at (202) 691-6180, or access the Internet at: http://www.bls. gov/iif/

Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries

The Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries compiles a complete roster of fatal job-related injuries, including detailed data about the fatally injured workers and the fatal events. The program collects and cross checks fatality information from multiple sources, including death certificates, State and Federal workers' compensation reports, Occupational Safety and Health Administration and Mine Safety and Health Administration records, medical examiner and autopsy reports, media accounts, State motor vehicle fatality records, and follow-tip questionnaires to employers.

In addition to private wage and salary workers, the self-employed, family members, and Federal, State, and local government workers are covered by the program. To be included in the fatality, census, the decedent must have been employed (that is working for pay, compensation, or profit) at the time of the event, engaged in a legal work activity, or present at the site of the incident as a requirement of his or her job.


A fatal work injury is any intentional or unintentional wound or damage to the body resulting in death front acute exposure to energy; such as heat or electricity, or kinetic energy from a crash, or from the absence of such essentials as heat or oxygen caused by a specific event or incident or series of events within a single workday or shift. Fatalities that occur during a person's commute to or from work are excluded from the census, as well as work-related illnesses, which can be difficult to identify due to long latency periods.

Notes on the data

Twenty-eight data elements are collected, coded, and tabulated in the fatality program, including information about the fatally injured worker, the fatal incident, and the machinery or equipment involved. Summary worker demographic data and event characteristics are included in a national news release that is available about 8 months after the end of the reference year. The Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries was initiated in 1992 as a joint Federal-State effort. Most States issue summary information at the time of the national news release.

FOR ADDITIONAL, INFORMATION on the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries contact the BLS Office of Safety, Health, and Working Conditions at (202) 6916175, or the Internet at:
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Title Annotation:Current Labor Statistics
Publication:Monthly Labor Review
Date:Oct 1, 2007
Previous Article:Economic change.
Next Article:Comparative indicators.

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