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Local Area Unemployment Statistics
LAU LAU Program Links

Smoothed Seasonally Adjusted Metropolitan Area Estimates


On April 29, 2020, seasonally-adjusted data for non-modeled metropolitan areas and metropolitan divisions were updated from January 2010 forward based on revised historical not-seasonally-adjusted estimates and re-fitting of seasonal-adjustment models. At the same time, after careful evaluation, BLS staff determined that a large number of metropolitan area and metropolitan division series had outliers in March 2020. Outlier detection is a usual part of the seasonal adjustment process. After manually designating these March estimates as outliers, BLS reran the seasonal-adjustment models. For some areas and divisions, this had a substantive effect on the March estimates.

For the revised March and preliminary April 2020 data issued on June 3, 2020, BLS continued with real-time outlier detection and implementation of level shifts for non-modeled metropolitan areas and metropolitan divisions. At the same time, all multiplicative models for seasonal adjustment of unemployment series were converted to additive models, in order to prevent distortions in the data due to large outlier effects.

Effective with the release of metropolitan area data for May 2011, the Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS) program began to publish seasonally-adjusted civilian labor force and unemployment estimates for all metropolitan areas and metropolitan divisions. These data are updated via the downloadable files below on the day of each Metropolitan Area Employment and Unemployment news release. (See for a schedule of upcoming release dates.) The files contain estimates from January 1990 forward. The statistical technique used to adjust estimates is SEATS, or Signal Extraction in ARIMA (Auto Regressive Integrated Moving Average) Time Series. Following seasonal adjustment, the data are smoothed using a Reproducing Kernel Hilbert Space (RKHS) filter. For each area and division, separate SEATS specifications are used to seasonally adjust employment and unemployment levels, from which civilian labor force levels and unemployment rates are then derived. The SEATS specifications also vary by decade (1990-99 and 2000 forward), in order to minimize performance problems stemming from decennial discontinuities in the not-seasonally-adjusted input data.

For the sake of completeness, data for model-based areas and divisions are included in the files below. These are the Cleveland-Elyria, OH, and Detroit-Warren-Dearborn, MI, metropolitan areas and the Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights, IL; Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, CA; Miami-Miami Beach-Kendall, FL; and Seattle-Bellevue-Everett, WA, metropolitan divisions. Data for these model-based areas and divisions first are seasonally adjusted using an X-11 type of filter then are smoothed using an RKHS filter, as are the model-based data for states.

Downloadable Data Files

  • Table 1. Civilian labor force and unemployment by metropolitan area, seasonally adjusted (TXT 23.9M) (ZIP 9.1M)
  • Table 2. Civilian labor force and unemployment by selected metropolitan area and metropolitan division, seasonally adjusted (TXT 3.1M) (ZIP 1.1M)


Last Modified Date: June 3, 2020