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 across the United States. In New York State, LAUS data are available for the state, labor market regions, metropolitan areas, counties, and municipalities of at least 25,000. A complete list of the counties in each metropolitan area is available.
Several important improvements were made in estimating methodology, effective with the release of January 2005 labor force data. Estimates for all states, including New York, are produced using a statistically improved model, known as the 3rd generation model, developed by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Estimates based on the new model are adjusted each month using "real-time" data. In addition to using a new model to make its estimates, BLS will adjust, or "benchmark," the estimates using a series of inputs on a monthly basis rather than waiting until the end of the year. With the new methodology, economic shocks will be reflected in the state estimates on a real-time basis, and end-of-year revisions should be significantly smaller. The new methodology also provides improvement in the sub-state unemployment estimates, as it accounts for new entrants and reentrants to the labor force.
Labor force, employment and unemployment data are based on the same concepts and definitions as those used for the official national estimates obtained from the Current Population Survey (CPS), a sample survey of households that is conducted for the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics by the U.S. Bureau of the Census. Definitions of these concepts follow:
Civilian Labor Force is the sum of civilian employment and civilian unemployment. These individuals are civilians (not members of the Armed Services) who are age 16 years or older, and are not in institutions such as prisons, mental hospitals, or nursing homes.
Civilian Employment includes all individuals who worked at least one hour for a wage or salary, or were self-employed, or were working at least 15 unpaid hours in a family business or on a family farm, during the week including the 12th of the month. Those who were on vacation, other kinds of leave, or involved in a labor dispute, were also counted as employed.
Civilian Unemployment includes those individuals who were not working but were able, available, and actively looking for work during the week including the 12th of the month. Individuals who were waiting to be recalled from a layoff, and individuals waiting to report to a new job within 30 days were also considered to be unemployed.
Unemployment Rate is the number of unemployed as a percentage of the labor force.
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