New Hires General Information
How are new hires defined?
A new hire is defined as a worker who did not work for the employer in any of the previous four quarters. New hires include turnover replacements as well as new jobs and should not be used to infer net job growth trends.
New hires are a subset of the total number of worker-employer combinations, meaning that a worker is evaluated for each employer that he or she worked for during the quarter. In other words, a worker can be counted as a new hire for more than one employer during a quarter or over the four-quarter period.
How are the new hire data obtained?
New hire data are obtained by evaluating every worker-employer combination on the quarterly Alaska Unemployment Wage (UI Wage) records and matching to Alaska's Occupational Database (ODB), which consists of employer-provided occupation and place of work information for each worker. Workers who had no employment with their current quarter employer in any of the four previous quarters are new hires. Federal workers, the self-employed, workers of employers reporting to other states (such as most offshore seafood processors), and other UI-exempt workers are excluded from the new hires analysis.
How do the new hires data compare to other employment data reported by Alaska Department of Labor?
Because the new hire series includes turnover replacement and is not directly comparable to other reported employment series, users of the new hire data are cautioned not to draw broad conclusions about net job growth trends based only on new hires.
Although new hires trends sometimes follow net job growth trends, the relationship is not one-to-one and can even turn negative (opposite). This is because new hires data include only positive counts: new jobs plus turnover replacements. Employment figures are directly impacted by job losses. New hires are only affected by job losses indirectly, in that fewer positions mean fewer opportunities for turnover replacements. A large divergence between new hires and the net change in employment can occur when a significant number of jobs are added by some employers during the same period that a significant number of jobs are eliminated by other employers.
Net change in Alaska's nonagricultural wage and salary employment (job growth) is more important than new hires data for determining the health of an industry and the economy in general. If you are primarily interested in employment levels and trends, you should use the Quarterly Census of Employment & Wages (QCEW) or Current Employment Statistics (CES) data. On the other hand, if you are specifically interested in hiring activity, the new hire series might be exactly what you're looking for.