The Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS) program is a
federal-state cooperative effort in which monthly estimates of total
employment and unemployment are prepared for approximately 7,500 areas:
- Census regions and divisions
- Metropolitan Statistical Areas and Metropolitan NECTAS (New England City and Town Areas)
- Metropolitan Divisions and NECTA Divisions
- Micropolitan Statistical Areas and Micropolitan NECTAs
- Combined Metropolitan Statistical Areas and Combined NECTAs
- Small Labor Market Areas
- Counties and county equivalents
- Cities of 25,000 population or more
- Cities and towns in New England regardless of population
These estimates are key indicators of local economic conditions. The
Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) of the U.S. Department of Labor is
responsible for the concepts, definitions, technical procedures,
validation, and publication of the estimates that state workforce
agencies prepare under agreement with BLS.
A wide variety of customers use these estimates:
- Federal programs use the data for allocations to states and areas,
as well as eligibility determinations for assistance.
- State and local governments use the estimates for planning and
budgetary purposes and to determine the need for local employment and
- Private industry, researchers, the media, and other individuals use
the data to assess localized labor market developments and make
comparisons across areas.
The concepts and definitions underlying LAUS data come from the Current
Population Survey (CPS), the household survey that is the source of the
national unemployment rate. State monthly model-based estimates are
controlled in "real time" to sum to national monthly employment and
unemployment estimates from the CPS. These models combine current and historical
data from the CPS, the Current Employment Statistics (CES) survey, and state
unemployment insurance (UI) systems. Estimates for seven large areas and their
respective balances of state also are model-based. Estimates for counties
are produced through a building-block approach known as the "Handbook method."
This procedure also uses data from several sources, including the CPS, the CES
program, state UI systems, and the Census Bureau's American Community Survey
(ACS), to create estimates that are adjusted to the statewide measures of
employment and unemployment. Estimates for cities are prepared using
disaggregation techniques based on inputs from the ACS, annual population
estimates, and current UI data.
Last Modified Date: March 10, 2016