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FAQ: U.S. - Why Are County Household Employment Growth Rates Identical Within a Metro?
Thursday, 19 Mar 2009 11:07 ET
By Karl Zandi
The methodology the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) uses to estimate total employment (in the CPS household survey) results in identical growth rates for counties in a metropolitan area.

These comments apply to the DataBuffet.com concept XLBE for counties.  E.g., XLBE.PA101 is the monthly NSA employment level for Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania.

From the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) "Handbook on Methods" ( http://www.bls.gov/opub/hom/homch4_d.htm ):

Current labor force estimates at the sub-LMA level are required by several Federal allocation programs. However, for areas this small, the data required to compute independent Handbook estimates are generally not available, nor was the Handbook procedure designed to produce sub-LMA estimates. Based on data availability, two alternative methods are used to disaggregate the LMA estimates to the sub-area level.

The population-claims method is the preferred technique for unemployment. If residence-based UI claims data are available for the sub-areas within the labor market area, the ratio of the sub-area to the total number of claims within the LMA is used to disaggregate the estimate of experienced unemployed to the sub-area level. The estimate of unemployed entrants is allocated based on the latest available decennial census distribution of adult and teenage population groups. When the population-claims method is used for unemployment, employment is disaggregated using current population distributions prepared by the Bureau of the Census and weighted by each area's decennial census relative share of employment to population. This preferred combination of techniques is used to derive estimates for all counties in multi-county LMA's and for cities in some States.

If the necessary UI claims data are not available at the city level, the census-share method is used. This method uses each subarea's decennial census share of county employment and unemployment, respectively, in order to disaggregate the monthly estimates of employment and unemployment.

Related ReleaseMetropolitan Area Unemployment (CPS)
SourceU.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)
GeographyUnited States