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Glossary of terms

This glossary defines terms related to the economy and the job market.
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Mass Layoff Statistics (MLS)

A federal/state cooperative effort to identify, describe and track the effects of major job cutbacks using each state’s unemployment insurance database. The program tracks reports on mass layoff actions (50 people or more filing initial unemployment claims) that result in workers being separated from their jobs for five weeks or longer. (www.bls.gov/mls/)


Mean

See average.


Measurement error

The difference between the actual value and measured value of a quantity.


Median

The midpoint in a data set where half of the numbers lie above and half lie below.


Metropolitan division (MD)

A metropolitan division consists of a county or group of counties with a population of at least 2.5 million people and represents an employment center or centers. This includes adjacent counties with social and economic ties demonstrated by worker commute patterns.


Metropolitan statistical area (MSA)

A metropolitan statistical area is an urbanized area that has a population of at least 50,000 people and comprised of a core central county or counties. This includes adjacent counties with a high degree of social and economic ties demonstrated by worker commute patterns.


Micropolitan statistical area (MC)

A micropolitan statistical area is an urban cluster that has a population of at least 10,000 but less than 50,000 people, comprised of a core central county or counties. This includes adjacent counties with social and economic ties demonstrated by worker commute patterns.


Migrant agricultural worker

A person employed in agricultural work of a seasonal or temporary nature who is required to be absent overnight from his or her permanent place of residence. Exceptions are immediate family members of an agricultural employer, farm labor contractors and temporary foreign workers. Temporary foreign workers are nonimmigrant aliens authorized to work in agricultural employment for a specified time period, normally less than a year.


Mode

The number that appears the most frequently in a distribution of numbers.


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