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May 3 -- The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) invites public review and comment to OMB  by June 2, 2021 on its request to continue the Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS) program through 2024.
The BLS has been charged by Congress (29 U.S.C. Sections 1 and 2) with the responsibility of collecting and publishing monthly information on employment, the average wage received, and the hours worked by area and industry. The process for developing residency-based employment and unemployment estimates is a cooperative Federal-State program which uses employment and unemployment inputs available in State Workforce Agencies.

The labor force estimates developed and issued in this program are used for economic analysis and as a tool in the implementation of Federal economic policy in such areas as employment and economic development under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014 (that supplanted the Workforce Investment Act of 1998) and the Public Works and Economic Development Act, among others.

The estimates also are used in economic analysis by public agencies and private industry, and for State and area funding allocations and eligibility determinations according to legal and administrative requirements. Implementation of current policy and legislative authorities could not be accomplished without collection of the data.
The BLS, as part of its responsibility to develop concepts and methods by which States prepare estimates under the LAUS program, developed a manual for use by the States. The manual explains the conceptual framework for the State and area estimates of employment and unemployment, specifies the procedures to be used, provides input information, and discusses the theoretical and empirical basis for each procedure. This manual is updated on a regular schedule. With this request, the LAUS program will be implementing the 5th Generation of LAUS State Models. Improvements include separate and simultaneous modelling of the CPS and state covariate and external benchmark adjustments.

LAUS website: https://www.bls.gov/lau/home.htm
Q&A on Changes to Model-Based Estimation in LAUS (Gen 5): https://www.bls.gov/lau/gen-5-changes-in-2021.htm
LAUS package submitted to OMB: https://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAViewICR?ref_nbr=202104-1220-002 Click IC List for forms, View Supporting Statement for technical documentation
FR notice inviting public review and comment: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2021/05/03/2021-09204/agency-information-collection-activities-submission-for-omb-review-comment-request-local-area
Point of contact: Patrick Carey, BLS Assistant Commissioner for Current Employment Analysis Carey.Patrick@bls.gov

For AEA members wishing to provide comments, "A Primer on How to Respond to Calls for Comment on Federal Data Collections" is available at https://www.aeaweb.org/content/file?id=5806

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