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Glossary of terms

This glossary defines terms related to the economy and the job market.
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See North American Industry Classification System.

National Compensation Survey (NCS)

A Bureau of Labor Statistics survey that provides information on average hourly or weekly earnings and compensation for selected occupations.

Natural increases in population

The number of births minus the number of deaths in a specified area, over a specified period of time.

Net migration

The number of people who moved into an area minus the number of people who moved out during a specified period of time.

New entrants

People entering the labor force for the first time.

Nominal dollars or prices

See current dollars or prices.

Non-accelerating inflation rate of unemployment (NAIRU)

The theoretical rate of unemployment. NAIRU estimates the maximum rate of long-run sustainable economic growth and output, below which inflationary pressure begins to accelerate. Usually described as the full employment level, when cyclical unemployment is minimal or zero.

Non-durable goods

Manufactured items that generally last three years or less. Food, beverages, clothing, shoes and gasoline are examples of non-durable goods.


People not residing in penal or mental institutions, sanitariums or homes for the aged, infirm and needy.

North American Industry Classification System (NAICS)

A standardized system of classifying industries that allows comparable research and reporting by individual states and the federal government. NAICS replaced the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) system in 2002. The United States, Mexico and Canada universally use this system of classifying business establishments. Due to differences in the NAICS and SIC structures, industry data between the systems are not comparable. (

Not in the labor force

All people in the civilian non-institutional population who are neither employed, nor counted as unemployed.