Geographic Profile of Employment and Unemployment

Overview

Annual data on the labor force, employment, and unemployment in States and substate areas are available from two major sources—the Current Population Survey (CPS) and the Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS) program. The CPS is a sample survey of about 50,000 households conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau for the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The LAUS program is a Federal-State cooperative endeavor in which State employment security agencies prepare estimates using concepts, definitions, and estimation procedures prescribed by BLS.

The Geographic Profile of Employment and Unemployment presents annual averages from the CPS for census regions and divisions, the 50 States and the District of Columbia, 50 large metropolitan areas, and 17 central cities. Data are provided on the employed and unemployed by selected demographic and economic characteristics.

Starting with the 1999 verison, Tables 1 through 11 present annual average labor force estimates for census regions and divisions. Similar information for all States and the District of Columbia appears in tables 12 through 23. Because of separate processing and weighting procedures, totals for the United States differ from the results obtained by aggregating the totals for States. All these data incorporate updated 1990 census-based population controls, adjusted for the estimated undercount. The LAUS program uses the total CPS estimates for States and the District of Columbia as the official annual average labor force statistics. A new class-of-worker table has been added to the section on State data. This new table was inserted as table 18, and the numbering of all subsequent tables was adjusted accordingly. Tables 24 through 28 display annual average rates, ratios, and percent distributions from the CPS for 50 large metropolitan areas and 17 central cities. Levels for the various labor force categories are not presented because independent 1990 census-based population controls, adjusted for the estimated undercount, generally are not available for geographic areas below the State level.

The CPS metropolitan area and city estimates may differ from the official estimates produced by the individual States through the LAUS program. CPS estimates are provided herein because they are the only current source of information on demographic and economic characteristics for these areas. Official annual average LAUS estimates for metropolitan areas appeared in the May issue of Employment and Earnings. Official LAUS estimates for metropolitan areas and cities were published on the BLS website. Geographic definitions for metropolitan areas in this publication reflect those issued by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) on June 30, 1993. (See appendix C.)

The Current Population Survey (CPS) is the regular monthly survey of about 50,000 households from which the national unemployment rate is derived. (See appendix A for concepts and definitions used in the CPS and appendix B for a description of the estimation procedure.)

The method for determining which annual average estimates of the labor force by demographic characteristics (age, sex, race, and Hispanic origin) and economic characteristics of the employed and unemployed are published in this bulletin is explained in appendix B. Table B-1 lists the minimum bases required for publication for various geographic areas.

Estimates for census regions and divisions are shown in section I; data for States are shown in section II, and limited data for metropolitan areas and cities are shown in section III. Estimates of levels are not provided in section III because population controls needed to make estimates of levels comparable to those in the other sections of this publication are not available.

Because the estimates are based on a survey rather than on a complete census of the population, they are subject to sampling error. Consequently, error ranges have been calculated, in the form of 90-percent confidence intervals, and displayed for the unemployment rates in the first table of sections I, II, and III. In addition, appendix B provides tables from which the sampling error ranges can be obtained for the data in other tables in sections I and II. Separate error tables are not provided for each population group (such as total, white, black, or Hispanic). Instead, one table is used for all population groups for a given labor force characteristic, because differences in sampling errors are usually minimal.

Last Modified Date: October 16, 2001

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