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Local Area Unemployment Statistics
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Important Information

Annual Revisions

Each year, historical estimates from the Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS) program are revised to reflect new population controls from the Census Bureau, updated input data, and reestimation. The data for model-based areas also incorporate new seasonal adjustment, and the unadjusted estimates are controlled to new census division and U.S. totals. Substate area data subsequently are revised to incorporate updated inputs, reestimation, and controlling to new statewide totals.

Model-Based Areas

On March 4, 2020, the LAUS program issued 2019 annual-average civilian labor force and unemployment estimates for census regions and divisions; all states and the District of Columbia; the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, CA Metropolitan Division; the Miami-Miami Beach-Kendall, FL Metropolitan Division; the Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights, IL Metropolitan Division; the Detroit-Warren-Dearborn, MI Metropolitan Statistical Area; New York city, NY; the Cleveland-Elyria, OH Metropolitan Statistical Area; and the Seattle-Bellevue-Everett, WA Metropolitan Division, as well as the seven corresponding balance-of-state areas. As described above, the data incorporate new population controls, updated inputs, reestimation of models, and adjustment to new census division and national control totals. Both not-seasonally-adjusted and smoothed-seasonally-adjusted (SSA) monthly data for these areas were revised from January 2015 forward. The updated population controls reflect recent U.S. Census Bureau revisions from April 2010 forward.

Statewide data for Puerto Rico (which are not model-based, but rather are tabulated from a household survey similar to the Current Population Survey for the U.S.) similarly were revised from January 2015 forward. The not-seasonally-adjusted data reflect the incorporation of new population controls, while the SSA data reflect seasonal adjustment and smoothing of the recontrolled not-seasonally-adjusted data.

In conjunction with the revisions for model-based areas, statewide series for civilian noninstitutional population ages 16 and older, labor force participation rates, and employment-population ratios were loaded into the BLS time-series database on March 4. Previously, these measures had been available only in the supplemental series files listed toward the bottom of

Substate Areas

In conjunction with the issuance of the Metropolitan Area Employment and Unemployment news release for January 2020 on March 20, data from 2010 forward were restored in the BLS time-series database for New England towns with 2010 Census populations of less than 1,000. These areas had been discontinued from publication in early 2018, with their series truncated at the end of 2009 at the time.

On April 17, 2020, routine revisions were made to data from 2015 through 2019 for geographic areas below the state level (other than the model-based areas noted above), and official annual averages for 2019 were issued. For all of these areas, estimation inputs were revised back to 2018, while the revisions for 2015-17 consisted of, at minimum, controlling to the new state totals described above. In addition, some states revised at least some of their estimation inputs for some of their areas as far back as January 2010. For this reason, estimates for all non-modeled areas were footnoted as having been subject to revision from January 2010 forward within the time-series database on April 17.

Missing Data

The implementation of level-shift outliers for the covariates in the state models (nonfarm payroll employment in the LAUS employment models and unemployment insurance continued claims counts in the LAUS unemployment models) created complications for the census division models, which use inputs from the Current Population Survey only. Seasonally-adjusted data for census divisions are being suppressed for March and April 2020 while BLS continues to research how best to reflect the impacts of the state covariate level shifts at the census division level. Seasonally-adjusted data for census regions, which are derived by summation across the component census divisions, are being suppressed for March and April 2020 as well. BLS expects to be able to publish these data in conjunction with the May 2020 State Employment and Unemployment news release on June 19.

Puerto Rico was not able to conduct normal data collection for its household survey in March or April 2020. Hence, neither statewide data nor local area data for Puerto Rico have been published for these months.


Last Modified Date: May 22, 2020