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January 19, 2022 

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LEADING ECONOMIC INDICATOR: One of eleven economic statistics that tend to move up or down a few months before the expansions and contractions of the business cycle. These leading indicators are -- manufacturers new orders, an index of vendor performance, orders for plant and equipment, Standard & Poor's 500 index of stock prices, new building permits, durable goods manufacturers unfilled orders, the money supply, change in materials prices, average workweek in manufacturing, changes in business and consumer credit, a consumer confidence index, and initial claims for unemployment insurance. Leading indicators indicate what the aggregate economy is likely to do, business-cycle-wise, 3 to 12 months down the road. When leading indicators rise today, then the rest of the economy is likely to rise in the coming year. And when leading indicators decline, then the economy is likely to decline in 3 to 12 months.

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LABOR FORCE: The total number of people willing and able to exert mental and/or physical efforts in productive activities. In principle, this is everyone 16 years of age and over who is willing and able to work. In practice, it includes the sum of anyone over 16 years who is employed or unemployed but actively seeking a job. The labor force is essentially a more technical term for the economy's labor supply.

     See also | labor | labor force participation rate | employment rate | civilian labor force | Bureau of Labor Statistics | employed persons | unemployed persons |


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LABOR FORCE, AmosWEB GLOSS*arama, http://www.AmosWEB.com, AmosWEB LLC, 2000-2022. [Accessed: January 19, 2022].


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FREE TRADE AREAS

A group of nations that have agreed to eliminate (or at least minimize) trade barriers -- especially tariffs, import quotas, and assorted regulatory non-tariff barriers -- within the group to encourage mutual trade. Free trade areas are usually contiguous or adjacent nations, often located on the same continent. Three noted free trade areas are comprised of nations located in North America, Europe, and Asia.

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