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Unemployment Data

Emsi industry/occupation-specific unemployment estimates are derived from the following sources:

  1. Characteristics of the Insured Unemployed (CIU; Dept. of Labor, Employment and Training Administration)
  2. Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS; BLS)
  3. Emsi final industry/occupation data
  4. Current Population Survey (CPS, Census)

Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS) is the gold standard of unemployment data. LAUS provides monthly county-level unemployment totals, but does not have industry or occupation breakouts. Since LAUS is our most accurate source of unemployment counts, we use other sources to form industry and occupation percentages that we can apply to LAUS unemployment totals, in order to break it out into industry and occupation categories.

We use Characteristics of the Insured Unemployed (CIU) to create these percentages wherever possible. CIU provides monthly unemployment data at the state level, but adds breakouts by industry and occupation at the 2-digit NAICS/SOC level. We model CIU down to the county level using Emsi industry or occupation employment proportions, in order to have regionalized unemployment percentages to apply to the county-level LAUS unemployment data. We then turn CIU unemployment figures into percentages for industries and occupations, and apply those percentages to LAUS county totals. The result is final Emsi industry or occupation unemployment at the 2-digit level by county.

For the few cases where CIU does not provide data for enough industries or occupations to reasonably break out a county’s total unemployment, we use Current Population Survey (CPS) national-level unemployment data to form percentages by NAICS or SOC, similar to our use of CIU above.

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Let us know what specific questions we can help you with (we may even add your question to our knowledge base).