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Glossary

Absence rate
The ratio of workers with absences to total full-time wage and salary employment. Absences are defined as instances when persons who usually work 35 or more hours per week worked less than 35 hours during the reference week for one of the following reasons: own illness, injury, or medical problems; child-care problems; other family or personal obligations; civic or military duty; and maternity or paternity leave.
Benefits
Non-wage compensation provided to employees. The National Compensation Survey groups benefits into five categories: Paid leave (vacations, holidays, sick leave); supplementary pay (premium pay for overtime and work on holidays and weekends, shift differentials, non-production bonuses); retirement (defined benefit and defined contribution plans); insurance (life insurance, health benefits, short-term disability, and long-term disability insurance) and legally required benefits (Social Security and Medicare, Federal and State unemployment insurance taxes, and workers’
Collective bargaining
Method whereby representatives of employees (unions) and employers determine the conditions of employment through direct negotiation, normally resulting in a written contract setting forth the wages, hours, and other conditions to be observed for a stipulated period (e.g., 3 years). Term also applies to union-management dealings during the term of the agreement.
Disability insurance
Includes paid sick leave, short-term disability, and long-term disability.
Earnings
Remuneration (pay, wages) of a worker or group of workers for services performed during a specific period of time. The term invariably carries a defining word or a combination; e.g., straight-time average hourly earnings. Since a statistical concept is usually involved in the term and its variations, the producers and users of earnings data have an obligation to define them. In the absence of such definition, the following may serve as rough guides:

    Hourly, daily, weekly, annual--Period of time to which earnings figures, as stated or computed, relate. The context in which annual earnings (sometimes weekly earnings) are used may indicate whether the reference includes earnings from one employer only or from all employment plus other sources of income;

    average--usually the arithmetic mean; that is, total earnings (as defined) of a group of workers (as identified) divided by the number of workers in the group;

    gross--usually total earnings, before any deductions (such as tax withholding) including, where applicable, overtime payments, shift differentials, production bonuses, cost-of-living allowances, commissions, etc.;

    straight-time--usually gross earnings excluding overtime payments and (with variations at this point) shift differentials and other monetary payments

Export
A domestic good or service that is sold (export sale) abroad. Exports include government and non-government goods and services; however they exclude goods and services to the U.S. military, diplomatic, and consular institutions abroad. Exports do include goods and services that were previously imported.
Flexible benefits
This type of plan provides employees a choice about their level of coverage among a number of different kinds of benefits, or gives employees pretax reimbursements for certain expenses related to employee benefits.
Health insurance
Insurance plans that include coverage for medical care, dental care, and vision care.
Import
A good or service that is sold (import sale) to a person residing in the U.S. from a person residing abroad. Imports include government and non-government goods and services; however they exclude goods and services to the U.S. military, diplomatic, and consular institutions abroad. Imports do include goods and services that were previously exported.
Industry
A group of establishments that produce similar products or provide similar services. For example, all establishments that manufacture automobiles are in the same industry. A given industry, or even a particular establishment in that industry, might have employees in dozens of occupations. The Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) system groups similar establishments into industries.
Inflation
Inflation has been defined as a process of continuously rising prices, or equivalently, of a continuously falling value of money.
Labor productivity
Labor productivity refers to the relationship between output and the labor time used in generating that output. It is the ratio of output per hour.
Life insurance
A contract that pays the beneficiary a set sum of money upon the death of the policyholder. These plans pay benefits as a lump sum.
Long term disability insurance
Provides a monthly benefit to employees who, due to injury or illness, are unable to perform the duties of their normal occupation or any other, for periods of time extending beyond their short-term disability and/or sickness and accident insurance.
Mass layoff
A situation that involves at least 50 persons at the same establishment, each of whom has filed an initial claim for unemployment insurance benefits during a consecutive 5-week period.
Mean wage
An average wage. An occupational mean wage estimate is calculated by summing the wages of all the employees in a given occupation and then dividing the total wages by the number of employees.
Median wage
A boundary. An occupational median wage estimate is the boundary between the highest paid 50% and the lowest paid 50% of workers in that occupation. Half of the workers in a given occupation earn more than the median wage, and half the workers earn less than the median wage.
Multifactor productivity
In multifactor productivity measures, output is related to combined inputs of labor, capital and intermediate purchases. Labor is measured by the number of hours of labor expended in the production of output. Capital includes equipment, structures, land and inventories. Intermediate purchases are composed of materials, fuels, electricity, and purchased services.
North American Industry Classification System (NAICS)
The successor to the SIC system; this system of classifying business establishments will be used by the United States, Canada, and Mexico
Occupation
A set of activities or tasks that employees are paid to perform. Employees that perform essentially the same tasks are in the same occupation, whether or not they are in the same industry. Some occupations are concentrated in a few particular industries, other occupations are found in the majority of industries.
Occupational injury
Any injury such as a cut, fracture, sprain, amputation, etc., which results from a work-related event or from a single instantaneous exposure in the work environment.
Part-time employees (Current Population Survey)
Employees who usually work between 1 and 34 hours per week (at all jobs within an establishment) regardless of the number of hours worked in the reference week
Price Index
A price index is a tool that simplifies the measurement of movements in a numerical series. Movements are measured with respect to the base period, when the index is set to 100.
Productivity
Productivity is a measure of economic efficiency which shows how effectively economic inputs are converted into output. Productivity is measured by comparing the amount of goods and services produced with the inputs which were used in production.
Region -- Midwest
Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.
Region -- Northeast
Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont.
Region -- South
Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia.
Region -- West
Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.
Regions
Data are presented for four major regions: Northeast, Midwest, South, and West.
Self-employed persons (Current Population Survey)
Include those who worked in their own business, profession, or on their own farm. Since 1967, published data exclude those who operate their own incorporated business or farm. Estimates for such workers are published separately.
Short term disability insurance
Provides income protection to employees who are unable to work due to a non-work related accident or illness.
Temporary help agency
Establishment primarily engaged in supplying workers to clients' businesses for limited periods of time to supplement the work force of the client; the individuals provided are employees of the temporary help service establishment, but these establishments do not provide direct supervision of their employees.
Time off benefit
Provides paid or unpaid leave for specific uses, such as lunch periods, holidays and vacations, and maternity and paternity leave.
Turnover
Separation of an employee from an establishment (voluntary, involuntary, or other).
Turnover rate
The number of total separations during the month divided by the number of employees who worked during or received pay for the pay period that includes the 12th of the month (monthly turnover); the number of total separations for the year divided by average monthly employment for the year (annual turnover).
Unemployed persons
Persons 16 years and over who had no employment during the reference week, were available for work, except for temporary illness, and had made specific efforts to find employment sometime during the 4-week period ending with the reference week. Persons who were waiting to be recalled to a job from which they had been laid off need not have been looking for work to be classified as unemployed.
Unemployment rate
The unemployment rate represents the number unemployed as a percent of the labor force.
Unit labor costs
Unit labor costs are calculated by dividing total labor compensation by real output or, equivalently, by dividing hourly compensation by productivity.
Wage and salary workers
Workers who receive wages, salaries, commissions, tips, payment in kind, or piece rates. The group includes employees in both the private and public sectors.
Wages and salaries
Hourly straight-time wage rate or, for workers not paid on an hourly basis, straight-time earnings divided by the corresponding hours. Straight-time wage and salary rates are total earnings before payroll deductions, excluding premium pay for overtime and for work on weekends and holidays, shift differentials, and nonproduction bonuses such as lump-sum payments provided in lieu of wage increases.

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