Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS)

The Local Area Unemployment Statistics or LAUS tool provides labor force, employment and unemployment estimates. The data are used by state and local governments for planning and budgetary decisions, to help officials decide whether employment and training services are needed in an area, and to determine eligibility for federal programs and formula funding.

Select this link to use the tool


Description: Monthly estimates of labor force, employment and unemployment for state and local areas. Estimates are developed based on regression techniques. The local unemployment estimates help determine area eligibility for benefits under the Workforce Investment Act and other federal programs.

Data source: LAUS is a federal-state cooperative program between the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and state agencies. Models use both current and historical data from the Current Population Survey, the Current Employment Statistics program and the Unemployment Insurance statistics program to provide estimates of employment and unemployment.

National data: www.bls.gov/lau/

What can it provide?

  • Labor force, employment and unemployment estimates.
  • Unemployment rate and comparative rates.
  • Monthly data from 1990 to present for most areas.
  • Help to state and local governments in make planning and budgetary decisions.
  • Help in determining the need for employment and training services.
  • Help in determining eligibility for federal programs and formula funding.

How is the data formatted? Viewable tables and graphs, downloadable files

Definitions: “Employed persons” for the purposes of the LAUS program includes people 16 or older who, in the survey week, worked for pay or profit, or worked unpaid in a family-operated business, or were temporarily absent from their regular jobs.

“Unemployed persons” refers to those not employed but available for work and actively looking during the last four weeks, those waiting to be called back to a job from which they were laid off, or people waiting to report to a new job.

Program notes: As of January 2003, population controls have been updated to reflect census 2000 results; this benchmarking introduces a level shift in the data between December 1999 and January 2000. Time-series comparisons should be made with caution.

Scheduled Releases

Calendar of scheduled releases


For additional information about the methodology used by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics for compiling Local Area Unemployment Statistics, please visit www.bls.gov/lau/laumthd.htm.


More about the data: Additional information about LAUS can be found at the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Web site at www.bls.gov/lau

Questions regarding the Minnesota data can be addressed to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development at 651-259-7384 or deed.lmi@state.mn.us.