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Economic News Release
LAU LAU Program Links
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Metropolitan Area Employment and Unemployment Summary

For release 10:00 a.m. (ET) Wednesday, October 28, 2020			       USDL-20-1997

Technical information:
 Employment:  *
 Unemployment:  *
Media contact:	  (202) 691-5902  *


Unemployment rates were higher in September than a year earlier in 388 of the 389
metropolitan areas and lower in 1 area, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported
today. A total of 73 areas had jobless rates of less than 5.0 percent and 31 areas
had rates of at least 10.0 percent. Nonfarm payroll employment decreased over the
year in 251 metropolitan areas and was essentially unchanged in 138 areas. The
national unemployment rate in September was 7.7 percent, not seasonally adjusted,
up from 3.3 percent a year earlier.

This news release presents statistics from two monthly programs. The civilian labor
force and unemployment data are based on the same concepts and definitions as those
used for the national household survey estimates. These data pertain to individuals
by where they reside. The employment data are from an establishment survey that
measures nonfarm employment, hours, and earnings by industry. These data pertain
to jobs on payrolls defined by where the establishments are located. For more
information about the concepts and statistical methodologies used by these two
programs, see the Technical Note.

Metropolitan Area Unemployment (Not Seasonally Adjusted)

Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina, HI, had the highest unemployment rate in September, 23.6
percent, followed by El Centro, CA, 21.5 percent. Ames, IA, and Jefferson City, MO,
had the lowest unemployment rates, 2.8 percent each. A total of 279 areas had
September jobless rates below the U.S. rate of 7.7 percent, 105 areas had rates
above it, and 5 areas had rates equal to that of the nation. (See table 1.)

The largest over-the-year unemployment rate increase in September occurred in Kahului-
Wailuku-Lahaina, HI (+20.9 percentage points). Rates rose over the year by at least
10.0 percentage points in an additional three areas. The only jobless rate decrease
from a year earlier occurred in Yuma, AZ (-2.2 percentage points).

Of the 51 metropolitan areas with a 2010 Census population of 1 million or more,
Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV, had the highest unemployment rate in September,
14.8 percent, followed by Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA, 13.6 percent. Kansas
City, MO-KS, and Oklahoma City, OK, had the lowest jobless rates among the large
areas, 4.9 percent each. All 51 large areas had over-the-year unemployment rate
increases, the largest of which were in Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV (+10.9
percentage points), and Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA (+9.7 points). The smallest
rate increase from a year earlier occurred in Louisville/Jefferson County, KY-IN
(+1.9 percentage points).

Metropolitan Division Unemployment (Not Seasonally Adjusted)

Eleven of the most populous metropolitan areas are made up of 38 metropolitan divisions,
which are essentially separately identifiable employment centers. In September, Los
Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, CA, had the highest unemployment rate among the divisions,
15.1 percent. Dutchess County-Putnam County, NY, had the lowest division rate, 5.7
percent. (See table 2.)

In September, all 38 metropolitan divisions had over-the-year unemployment rate
increases, the largest of which were in Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, CA (+10.8
percentage points), and Miami-Miami Beach-Kendall, FL (+10.7 points). The smallest
rate increase occurred in Dutchess County-Putnam County, NY (+2.2 percentage points).

Metropolitan Area Nonfarm Employment (Not Seasonally Adjusted)

In September, 251 metropolitan areas had over-the-year decreases in nonfarm payroll
employment and 138 were essentially unchanged. The largest over-the-year employment
decreases occurred in New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA (-1,075,800), Los Angeles-
Long Beach-Anaheim, CA (-598,900), and Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI (-345,500).
The largest over-the-year percentage losses in employment occurred in Kahului-Wailuku-
Lahaina, HI (-29.6 percent), Lake Charles, LA (-19.6 percent), and Ocean City, NJ 
(-18.3 percent). (See table 3.)

Over the year, nonfarm employment declined in all of the 51 metropolitan areas with
a 2010 Census population of 1 million or more. The largest over-the-year percentage
decreases in employment in these large metropolitan areas occurred in Las Vegas-
Henderson-Paradise, NV (-12.3 percent), New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA (-10.8
percent), and San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA (-10.6 percent).

Metropolitan Division Nonfarm Employment (Not Seasonally Adjusted)

In September, nonfarm payroll employment decreased in all of the 38 metropolitan
divisions over the year. The largest over-the-year decrease in employment among the
metropolitan divisions occurred in New York-Jersey City-White Plains, NY-NJ (-834,500),
followed by Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, CA (-437,100), and Chicago-Naperville-
Arlington Heights, IL (-274,200). (See table 4.)

The largest over-the-year percentage decreases in employment occurred in Haverhill-
Newburyport-Amesbury Town, MA-NH (-12.2 percent), New York-Jersey City-White Plains,
NY-NJ (-11.5 percent), and Lowell-Billerica-Chelmsford, MA-NH (-11.4 percent). 

The State Employment and Unemployment news release for October is scheduled to be
released on Friday, November 20, 2020, at 10:00 a.m. (ET). The Metropolitan Area
Employment and Unemployment news release for October is scheduled to be released
on Thursday, December 3, 2020, at 10:00 a.m. (ET).

|										      |
|             Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic Impact on September 2020		      |
|                     Establishment and Household Survey Data			      |
|										      |
| BLS has continued to review all estimation and methodological procedures for the    |
| establishment survey, which included the review of data, estimation processes,      |
| the application of the birth-death model, and seasonal adjustment. Business 	      |
| births and deaths cannot be adequately captured by the establishment survey as      |
| they occur. Therefore, the Current Employment Statistics (CES) program uses a	      |
| model to account for the relatively stable net employment change generated by	      |
| business births and deaths. Due to the impact of COVID-19, the relationship	      |
| between business births and deaths is no longer stable. Typically, reports with     |
| zero employment are not included in estimation. For the August final and	      |
| September preliminary estimates, CES included a portion of these reports in the     |
| estimates and made modifications to the birth-death model. In addition for both     |
| months, the establishment survey included a portion of the reports that returned    |
| to reporting positive employment from reporting zero employment. For more	      |
| information, see 				      |
|										      |
| In the establishment survey, workers who are paid by their employer for all or      |
| any part of the pay period including the 12th of the month are counted as 	      |
| employed, even if they were not actually at their jobs. Workers who are	      |
| temporarily or permanently absent from their jobs and are not being paid are not    |
| counted as employed, even if they are continuing to receive benefits. The length    |
| of the reference period does vary across the respondents in the establishment	      |
| survey; one-third of businesses have a weekly pay period, slightly over 40	      |
| percent a bi-weekly, about 20 percent semi-monthly, and a small amount monthly.     |
|										      |
| For the September 2020 estimates of household employment and unemployment from      |
| the Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS) program, BLS continued to implement   |
| level-shift outliers in the employment and/or unemployment inputs to the state      |
| models, based on statistical evaluation of movements in each area's inputs. Both    |
| the Current Population Survey inputs, which serve as the primary inputs to the      |
| LAUS models, and the nonfarm payroll employment and unemployment insurance claims   |
| covariates were examined for outliers. The resulting implementation of level	      |
| shifts preserved movements in the published estimates that the models otherwise     |
| would have discounted, without requiring changes to how the models create	      |
| estimates at other points in the time series.					      |
|										      |
| The "Frequently asked questions" document at 					      |
| 	      |
| extensively discusses the impact of a misclassification in the household survey     |
| on the national estimates for September 2020. Despite the considerable decline in   |
| its degree relative to prior months, this misclassification continued to be	      |
| widespread geographically, with BLS analysis indicating that most states again      |
| were affected to at least some extent. However, according to usual practice, the    |
| data from the household survey are accepted as recorded. To maintain data	      |
| integrity, no ad hoc actions are taken to reclassify survey responses. Hence, the   |
| household survey estimates of employed and unemployed people that serve as the      |
| primary inputs to the state models were affected to varying degrees by the	      |
| misclassification, which in turn affected the official LAUS estimates for 	      |
| September 2020. Similar misclassifications had occurred in the household survey     |
| from March through August (see    |
| and-response-on-the-employment-situation-news-release.htm#summaries).		      |
|										      |
| Household data for substate areas are controlled to the employment and 	      |
| unemployment totals for their respective model-based areas. Hence, the 	      |
| preliminary September and revised August estimates for substate areas reflect	      |
| the use of level-shift outliers, where implemented, in the inputs for their	      |
| model-based control areas. The substate area estimates for both months also were    |
| impacted by misclassification in the household survey, in proportion to the	      |
| impacts of the misclassifications on the data for their model-based control areas.  |
|										      |
| Household data for Puerto Rico are not modeled, but rather are derived from a	      |
| monthly household survey similar to the Current Population Survey. The Puerto Rico  |
| Department of Labor has reported a misclassification in its household survey since  |
| May 2020 similar in nature to the misclassification in the Current Population	      |
| Survey, which has affected the local area data proportionally.		      |

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Last Modified Date: October 28, 2020