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 6,800 areas:
- Census regions and divisions
- Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA)
- Micropolitan Statistical Areas
- Counties and county equivalents
- Cities of 25,000 population or more
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. In Missouri MERIC prepares the LAUS estimates.
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 training services.
- Private industry, researchers, the media, and other individuals use the data to assess localized labor market developments and make comparisons across areas.
Data for the state of Missouri are produced using estimating equations based on regression techniques. These models combine current and historical data from the CPS, the Current Employment Statistics (CES) program, and the unemployment insurance (UI) system.
Estimates for substate labor market areas 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 decennial census, to create estimates that are adjusted to the statewide measures of employment and unemployment. Below the labor market area level, estimates are prepared using disaggregation techniques based on inputs from the decennial census, annual population estimates, and current UI data.
Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) of the U.S. Department of Labor www.bls.gov