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Appendix 2 - glossary

alternative work arrangements
This term includes employment by temporary help agencies, contract firms, on-call workers, and independent contractors.

alternative work schedules
Flextime or flexitime; a method to allow workers to adopt variable schedules of arrival, departure and workweek hours. Benefits workers who have adverse commuting arrangements, child- or eldercare responsibilities, multiple jobs, etc.

America’s Job Bank
A Web site, funded by the U.S. Department of Labor, where employers list hundreds of thousands of job openings. Registered employers can upload new job openings to the site daily.

America’s Jobs Network
The nation’s federally-sponsored job training system; the network of training and employment programs formerly identified under the Job Training Partnership Act.

The noncash portion of compensation. Typical benefits include paid sick leave, paid vacation time, or health insurance.

A computer program that allows a person to access information on the Web. A browser allows the user to view Web pages, navigate from one page to another, and interact with Web-based programs and services. Netscape Navigator, NCSA Mosaic, LYNX, and Microsoft Internet Explorer are some of the most popular Internet browsers.

Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)
Part of the U.S. Department of Labor. Predecessor of the Department of Labor created in 1884 by an Act of Congress to collect information and statistics on the subject of working people.

cash balance plan
A pension plan in which an employer contributes a salary-based amount into an employee’s account; a specified rate of return is guaranteed. This is a type of defined benefit plan.

cognitive skills
Mental abilities involving memory and reason; an essential element in the learning process leading to job skills.

Consumer Price Index, or CPI
A measure of changes in prices in the consumer sector of the economy. It is used to calculate real (or constant) dollars so that comparisons can be made disregarding the effects of inflation.

contingent workers
Workers who do not have an explicit or implicit contract for longterm employment.

contract company
An intermediary firm supplying workers to a client company to perform various services. Contract employees usually perform services for one client and perform most of the work at the client’s location. Typical examples include security services, computer programming, and cleaning services.

See Consumer Price Index.

defined benefit plan
A pension plan providing a definite formula for calculating benefit amounts such as a flat amount per year of service or a percentage of salary times years of service. This includes cash balance plans.

defined contribution plan
A pension plan in which the contributions are made to an individual account for each employee. The retirement benefit depends on the account balance at retirement, which depends on amounts contributed and investment experience.

Characteristics of a population group, such as age, sex, and ethnicity. More broadly, it may include educational experience, immigration status and other characteristics.

Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
Cabinet-level agency created by an act of Congress and signed by the President on April 11, 1953. Originally named the Department of Health, Education and Welfare, the purpose of the department is to foster, promote and develop programs that improve the health, welfare, and income security of all citizens.

Department of Labor (DOL)
Cabinet-level agency created by an act of Congress and signed by the President on March 4, 1913. The purpose of the department is to foster, promote and develop the welfare of the wage earners of the United States, and to improve their working conditions.

Refers to the use of ones and zeros to represent characters, images, or expressions.

dislocated or displaced worker
A worker who has been terminated or laid off or has received notice of termination or layoff because the plant or company closed or moved, or had insufficient work, or his or her position or shift was abolished. This definition may vary for legislative and statistical purposes and may include the self-employed and displaced homemakers. For example, see Workforce Investment Act.

distance learning
The learning and teaching environment in which the teacher and student are geographically separated and, therefore, rely on printed matter and electronic devices for information flow. Distance learning is differentiated by the medium used to present and distribute the training. For example, technology-based training includes computer-based training and Web-based training.

See U.S. Department of Labor.

dot (pixel)
The smallest display element of an image or a computer monitor. All characters and images displayed on computer monitors are composed of a series of small dots called pixels. Also the expression used to verbalize the separator in e-mail addresses such as http://www[dot]dol[dot]gov.

Reduction in the size of a workforce or workplace due to restrictions in operations or liquidation of operations as a result of mergers, acquisitions, or other reasons.

See Employee Assistance Programs.

Also electronic commerce. A general term referring to the conduct of business transactions in an electronic manner, usually on the Internet. More specifically, e-commerce refers to the integration of electronic mail, Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT), Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), and similar techniques into a comprehensive, electronic-based system encompassing business functions such as procurement, payment, supply management, transportation and facility operations.

Earned Income Tax Credit

Computer users with electronic (e-mail) addresses can send messages to each other through computer networks and/or via modems over telephone lines. Many email systems also allow users to attach documents and other electronic information to messages. Email can be shared between users within the same computer network, or email can be sent over the Internet.

Employee Assistance Programs
Workplace-centered programs that provide employees with access to counselors and other health-care professionals who deal with such problems as psychological stress and substance abuse.

employee involvement
Any technique intended to involve workers in the decision-making aspects of work, with the goal of improving productivity, quality control, and work life as well as reducing costs.

employee ownership
Workers’ ownership of their workplace, usually through stock holding in the firm. This is often accomplished through an Employee Stock Ownership Plan, or ESOP.

The science of fitting the job to the worker in order to avoid injuries such as back strain, tendonitis, or carpal tunnel syndrome.

Employee Stock Ownership Plan. See employee ownership.

A subset of ecommerce that deals specifically with online retail.

flexible work schedules
Work schedules that permit adjustment of hours worked. Also known as flexitime.

Fair Labor Standards Act provides, in part, for the provision of the minimum wage and compensation for overtime.

The Family and Medical Leave Act, effective August 1993. Provides for job-protected family or medical leave.

See Gross Domestic Product.

The emergence of a trading system involving production and distribution across national boundaries.

Gross Domestic Product
The aggregate value of all goods and services produced annually in the economy.

health maintenance organization (HMO)
Provider of managed health care, usually with restrictions not typically found in fee-for-service plans (e.g., selection of physicians is limited; geographic restrictions may apply).

See Department of Health and Human Services.

high-performance work organizations
Workplaces that implement new management techniques, such as worker teams, total quality management or worker involvement in problem solving.

Health Maintenance Organization

Hope Scholarships
A federal program in which students can receive a tax credit of up to $1,500 for tuition and fees in the first two years of college or in other eligible post-secondary training programs.

HTML or HyperText Markup Language
The usual format for documents that are ‘published’ on the Web. Hypertext refers to text that contains links to other documents or specific locations within other documents. HTML is defined by an international standards group called the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).

Used in the construction of an HTML document. HTML Tags define how a browser will display the components within a published document. An example of an HTML tag is the "Bold" tag (represented in an HTML document as "<B>") which signifies to the browser to display the text following the tag as bolded characters.

A reference point in a computer document that is used to connect the document (or text within a particular document) to other documents (or text within that same or a different document). The reference point is typically a word or text that is highlighted or underlined. Graphics and images can also be hyperlinked.

independent contractor
Individuals who typically work for themselves, secure clients, and run their own businesses; examples include independent consultants, construction contractors and free-lance workers.

The Internet, also known as the World Wide Web, is com-posed of thousands of individual networks which have been interconnected to form a larger network. The connectivity provided by the Internet allows the public access to information and information services located around the world.

A computer programming language that supports applications operating on the World Wide Web, especially those Web-based applications that interact with users.

job rotation
Job design featuring periodic exchange of duties with another employee(s). May be used to reduce exposure to some workplace risks, such as excessive repetition.

labor force
The civilian noninstitutional population (age 16 and over) who hold jobs (employed) or are actively seeking employment (unemployed).

labor force participation rate
The civilian labor force as a percent of the working age civilian, noninstitutional population ages 16 and over.

See hyperlink.

A statistical measure of central tendency; the middle value in an ordered list of values. It is one way of expressing an average.

nonstandard hours
A generic term for work schedules other than Monday through Friday, eight-hour workdays. Evening and night shift work, though performed on a Monday through Friday schedule, is also nonstandard.

nontraditional workforce
A generic term which includes contingent workers and those in alternative work arrangements.

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
A division of the Department of Labor, created by the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970. OSHA sets and enforces workplace safety and health standards and pro-vides training and technical assistance to workers and employers.

on call workers
Workers who report to work only when specifically asked to do so, such as some construction workers or substitute teachers.

Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development
An organization that provides the major developed countries a setting in which to discuss economic and social policy. It has 29 member countries.

See Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Contracting work out of a workplace. Often includes redesign of production systems to move work formerly done in-house to external contractors.

part-time workers
Persons who work fewer than 35 hours per week.

Pell Grants
A federal program that provides grants to low and middle-income undergraduates.

production workers
The major group of nonsupervisory workers — often concerned with preparing and operating machines and hand production work, primarily in factories or other fixed sites.

The ratio of the output of goods and services produced to the inputs used in that production. Productivity indexes show the changes that occur in this relationship over time due to changes in technology, output levels, and the efficiency and characteristics of the inputs used.

real income
Income data that have been deflated by the CPI so that comparisons can be made disregarding the effects of inflation. Income includes wages as well as other sources of earnings, such as those from returns on investments.

real wages
Wage data that have been deflated by the CPI so that comparisons can be made disregarding the effects of inflation. Wages are earnings received as compensation for employment.

retention rate
A measure of tenure, expressed as a percentage of workers still with their employers after a defined period, e.g., one year. See entry for tenure.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration; part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Programs that restructure the educational experience so that students learn how academic subjects relate to the world of work. Teachers work with employers to develop broad-based curricula that help students understand the skills needed in the workplace.

search engine
A search engine allows a computer user to search for specific information on the Internet or on a specific Web site. A search engine may provide for searches by title, URL or web address, headers or subjects, or the full text of documents.

A server is a high-end computer providing shared services to networked users. The types of services provided include web services, print services, and/or file services.

SMTP or Simple Mail Transport Protocol
The principal mechanism by which electronic mail is routed from one mailbox on the WWW to another.

spiders, robots and Webcrawlers
A computer program that conducts automatic searches of Web sites, retrieves information and creates a database index of Web pages or files that can be searched by a user.

stub network
A network with a single routing path into and out of the network. It is a highly technical term not often used outside of the telecommunications specialty.

In Internet terms, "surfing the Web" refers to Internet users following hypertext links on Web pages that often lead to unknown and interesting Web sites.

technological change
Improvements in productive processes that are a central element in economic growth. Technological changes enable more output to be produced from unchanged quantities of the inputs of labor and capital in the production of goods and services.

temporary help agency
A firm that provides workers to client companies. Temporary help agencies issue all paychecks, pay taxes and make required contributions to unemployment insurance and Social Security. (See also contract company.)

Length of job retention, measured in weeks, months or years. Retention rate is tenure expressed as a percentage of workers who are with their employers after a defined period, such as one year.

traditional workforce
A generic term that includes workers who have an expectation of continued employment and are not in an alternative work arrangement.

Those persons who do not have a job, want a job and have made specific efforts in the prior 4 weeks to find a job. Also included are persons on layoff waiting to be recalled; such persons do not have to be looking for a job to be counted as unemployed. (See entry for Labor force.)

URL or Uniform Resource Locator
A resource address on the Internet. A URL can be represented by a series of numbers or letters. An example of a URL is

The cash portion of compensation from employment. Total compensation includes both wages and benefits.

The process of distributing an audio or video feed over the Web.

Web page
A machine-readable document available on the Internet that has a Web address, or URL. Most commonly, a Web page is a file written in HTML, stored on a server. A Web page can be a home page, which is the top level document of a Web site associated with a person, company, organization or subject, or any document on a Web site containing information or links.

Web site
Generally defined as any collection of related information or data accessible via the Internet. Web sites are usually associated with a person, company, organization, or subject.

Welfare-to-Work Program
Enacted as part of the1997 Balanced Budget Act, the Welfare-to-Work program funds job creation, job placement and job retention efforts to help long-term welfare recipients and noncustodial parents move into lasting, unsubsidized employment. The program is administered by the Department of Labor and the State and local workforce system.

Welfare-to-Work Tax Credit
A federal income tax credit that encourages employers to hire long-term welfare recipients. This tax credit can reduce employer federal tax liability by as much as $8,500 per new hire.

wellness programs
Workplace centered programs designed to promote the personal health of workers. May include health screening, fitness programs, nutritional counseling, and more.

worker autonomy
Worker control of the production, service or information process using analytical and cognitive skills without traditional supervision.

worker teams
Groups of decisionmaking workers performing several production or service tasks, usually without the need for first or second level supervision in the worksite.

Workforce Investment Act
Enacted in August 1998, it is the nation’s principal federally-funded program to provide job training, employment, and training related services to adults, dislocated workers, and at-risk youth. It is the foundation for America’s Jobs Network. It replaces the Job Training Partnership Act and becomes fully effective in all states on July 1, 2000.

Work Opportunity Tax Credit
A federal income tax credit that encourages employers to hire certain job seekers and can reduce employer federal tax liability.

Any place where work is performed. Some workplaces are mobile worksites for example, telephone repair or package delivery services.

World Wide Web, or WWW
Commonly referred to as the Internet or the "Web", it is a universe of network accessible information and services that literally spans the world. The World Wide Web originated at the CERN High Energy Physics laboratories in Geneva, Switzerland and was introduced to the general public in 1991. Technically, the WWW is an Internet client-server information retrieval system of gigantic proportions. The collection of documents and other items on the Web can be cross-referenced or "linked" so that they can be accessed by the public.

See Work Opportunity Tax Credit.

XML, or Extensible Markup Language
A computer language that provides a common method and structure for describing data residing on Web pages. XML will support e-commerce and information interchange over the Internet.
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