Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS) - Seasonally Adjusted
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 the nation, states, metropolitan areas, counties and cities of 25,000 or more.
The LAUS data, also available in not-seasonally adjusted form, provide estimates of employment by place of residence. Indiana data provide estimates of the civilian labor force, which excludes people in institutions and in the armed forces.
The most recent month of data displayed on this website is preliminary data, with all other months having been revised.
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 employment security agencies prepare under agreement with BLS. For more information, visit www.bls.gov/lau/laufaq.htm.
Source: Indiana Department of Workforce Development and Bureau of Labor Statistics
Frequently Asked Questions
- How are the components of labor force (civilian labor force, employed, unemployed, and unemployment rate) defined?
The concepts and definitions underlying LAUS data come from the Current Population Survey (CPS), the household survey that is the official measure of the labor force for the nation. State monthly model estimates are controlled in "real time" to sum to national monthly labor force estimates from the CPS. These models combine current and historical data from the CPS, the Current Employment Statistics (CES) program, and State unemployment insurance (UI) systems.
- Civilian labor force: Included are all persons in the civilian noninstitutional population classified as either employed or unemployed.
- Employed persons: These are all persons who, during the reference week that includes the 12th day of the month): (a) did any work as paid employees, worked in their own business or profession or on their own farm, or worked 15 hours or more as unpaid workers in an enterprise operated by a member of their family, or (b) were not working but had jobs from which they were temporarily absent because of vacation, illness, bad weather, childcare problems, maternity or paternity leave, labor-management dispute job training, or other family or personal reasons, whether or not they were paid for the time off or were seeking other jobs. Each employed person is counted only once, even if he or she holds more than one job.
- Unemployed persons: Included are all persons who had no employment during the reference week, were available for work, except for temporary illness, and had made specific efforts to find employment some time during the 4-week period ending with the reference week. Persons who were waiting to be recalled to a job from which they had been laid off need not have been looking for work to be classified as unemployed.
- Unemployment rate: The ratio of unemployed to the civilian labor force expressed as a percent, i.e., 100 * (unemployed/labor force).
- Why aren’t data for all areas (the nation, states, and sub-state areas) available at the same time?
The timing of data availability is controlled by the length of time required to produce and validate estimates. Data for the nation, which come directly from the Current Population Survey, are available earliest; data for states and census regions and divisions are available generally about two weeks later; data for metropolitan areas and divisions are available after about another week and a half; and data for micropolitan areas, combined areas, counties, cities, and New England towns are available last, a week after the metropolitan area and division release. View the data release schedule.
- What is the difference between job losers and the unemployed?
People who have lost a job make up a large portion of those classified as unemployed each month. There are also people who have voluntarily left jobs, those who have newly entered or re-entered the labor force but not yet found a job, and individuals who have recently completed temporary jobs and are looking for employment. View Definitions of Labor Force Concepts (PDF) for a more detailed description of these labor force concepts.
- What are "household" and "establishment" data, and how do they differ?
"Household" data, as from the Current Population Survey (CPS), pertain to individuals and relate to where they reside. "Establishment" data, such as those from the Current Employment Statistics survey of businesses, pertain to jobs (persons on payrolls) and where those jobs are located. The data developed through the LAUS program are based on the household concept of the CPS. For information on these surveys and how they differ, see Household vs. Establishment Series.
- What is seasonal adjustment?
Seasonal adjustment is a statistical technique that eliminates the influences of weather, holidays, the opening and closing of schools, and other recurring seasonal events from economic time series. This permits easier observation and analysis of cyclical, trend, and other nonseasonal movements in the data. By eliminating seasonal fluctuations, the series becomes smoother and it is easier to compare data from month to month. View a more complete description of seasonal adjustment and the methodology used to estimate seasonal adjustment factors.
- Why are some of the detailed data available at the national level not also available at the state, metropolitan area, county, and city level?
National data come from the Current Population Survey. The survey sample size is not large enough to provide all the data at a local, or even a state, level. National data are NOT the sum of local area estimates.
- What does the term "benchmarked" mean?
Labor force data are revised at the end of each year for as more complete information becomes available. This process is called "benchmarking" and it is federally mandated. View more information on the annual benchmark process and the seasonally adjusted model.