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State and Metro Area Employment, Hours, & Earnings

Diffusion indexes of state and area total nonfarm employment now available

Concurrent with the release of the June 2020 preliminary state and metropolitan statistical area (MSA) estimates, BLS published diffusion indexes of total nonfarm employment over 1-, 3-, 6-, and 12-month time spans, first at the statewide level for all 50 states and the District of Columbia, then as an aggregate of 388 MSAs on a seasonally adjusted basis. Diffusion indexes may be useful in understanding state and local variation of employment changes. For example, an unusually low reading for the index during a period of job gains would indicate that they are concentrated in a few areas, perhaps signaling a geographic shift in the economy. Conversely, if the index is reading unusually high during a period of job loss, the losses may be concentrated in certain states or areas, as might happen following a natural disaster or other localized event.

See for technical information on the diffusion indexes.  Users can retrieve these indexes from the database available at These series begin in January 1991.

The eight new series and how to understand the Series ID are as follows:









Positions Value Field Name
1-3 SMS Prefix (all diffusion indexes are calculated using seasonally adjusted data)
4-5 00 or 99 State Code ("00" for All States indexes and "99" for All MSAs indexes)
6-10 00000 or 99999 Area Code ("00000" for All States indexes and "99999" for All MSAs indexes)
11-18 00000000 Series Code (all diffusion indexes are calculated using total nonfarm data)
19-20 21, 22, 23, or 24 Datatype ("21" for 1-month span, "22" for 3-month span, "23" for 6-month span, "24" for 12-month span)

Last Modified Date: July 17, 2020