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Glossary of terms

This glossary defines terms related to the economy and the job market.
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Real dollars, prices or income

See inflation-adjusted dollars, prices or income.

Real per capita personal income

See inflation-adjusted per capital personal income.


A period of decline in total output, income, employment and trade. This usually lasts from six months to a year and is marked by widespread contractions in many sectors of the economy. The technical indicator of a recession is two consecutive quarters of negative economic performance as measured by a country’s gross domestic product (GDP.)

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Comparing different data sources to establish accuracy.


Workers who re-enter the labor force after an absence.

Reference week

The week (Sunday through Saturday) that includes the 12th day of the month. The reference week is the week used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics as the basis of data collection for Current Population Statistics, Current Employment Statistics and other survey programs.

Regional Economic Information System (REIS)

Employment data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis, including farm, nonfarm, military, civilian and self-employment. Annual state data are available eight months after the end of the year. Metropolitan and county data are available 16 months after the end of the year. These data are the most comprehensive government source of employment by industry for state, county and metropolitan statistical areas (MSA). The REIS has extensive geographic coverage in all states, MSAs and counties. The data are available back to 1969.

Regional Workforce Investment Board (RWIB)