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Economic News Release
LAU LAU Program Links
SAE SAE Program Links

Metropolitan Area Employment and Unemployment Summary

For release 10:00 a.m. (ET) Wednesday, September 30, 2020			    USDL-20-1837

Technical information:
 Employment:  *
 Unemployment:  *
Media contact:		(202) 691-5902  *


Unemployment rates were higher in August than a year earlier in 387 of the 389 metropolitan
areas and lower in 2 areas, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. A total of
37 areas had jobless rates of less than 5.0 percent and 6 areas had rates of at least 15.0
percent. Nonfarm payroll employment decreased over the year in 254 metropolitan areas and
was essentially unchanged in 135 areas. The national unemployment rate in August was 8.5 
percent, not seasonally adjusted, up from 3.8 percent a year earlier.

This news release presents statistics from two monthly programs. The civilian labor force
and unemployment data are based on the same concepts and definitions as those used for the
national household survey estimates. These data pertain to individuals by where they reside.
The employment data are from an establishment survey that measures nonfarm employment, 
hours, and earnings by industry. These data pertain to jobs on payrolls defined by where 
the establishments are located. For more information about the concepts and statistical 
methodologies used by these two programs, see the Technical Note.

Metropolitan Area Unemployment (Not Seasonally Adjusted)

El Centro, CA, had the highest unemployment rate in August, 22.9 percent, followed by 
Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina, HI, 20.7 percent. Idaho Falls, ID, and Logan, UT-ID, had the 
lowest unemployment rates, 2.7 percent each. A total of 267 areas had August jobless rates
below the U.S. rate of 8.5 percent, 111 areas had rates above it, and 11 areas had rates 
equal to that of the nation. (See table 1.)

The largest over-the-year unemployment rate increase in August occurred in Kahului-Wailuku-
Lahaina, HI (+18.2 percentage points). Rates rose over the year by at least 10.0 percentage
points in an additional three areas. The only jobless rate decreases from a year earlier 
occurred in Yuma, AZ (-5.0 percentage points), and Sierra Vista-Douglas, AZ (-0.8 point).

Of the 51 metropolitan areas with a 2010 Census population of 1 million or more, Las Vegas-
Henderson-Paradise, NV, had the highest unemployment rate in August, 15.5 percent, followed
by Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA, 15.0 percent. Salt Lake City, UT, had the lowest 
jobless rate among the large areas, 4.7 percent. All 51 large areas had over-the-year 
unemployment rate increases, the largest of which were in Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV
(+11.4 percentage points), and Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA (+10.7 points). The 
smallest rate increase from a year earlier occurred in Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ (+1.7 
percentage points).

Metropolitan Division Unemployment (Not Seasonally Adjusted)

Eleven of the most populous metropolitan areas are made up of 38 metropolitan divisions,
which are essentially separately identifiable employment centers. In August, Los Angeles-
Long Beach-Glendale, CA, had the highest unemployment rate among the divisions, 16.6 
percent. Dallas-Plano-Irving, TX, had the lowest division rate, 6.2 percent. (See table 2.)

In August, all 38 metropolitan divisions had over-the-year unemployment rate increases, the
largest of which were in Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, CA (+11.8 percentage points), and
Lawrence-Methuen Town-Salem, MA-NH (+11.7 points). The smallest rate increase occurred in 
Dallas-Plano-Irving, TX (+2.7 percentage points).

Metropolitan Area Nonfarm Employment (Not Seasonally Adjusted)

In August, 254 metropolitan areas had over-the-year decreases in nonfarm payroll employment
and 135 areas were essentially unchanged. The largest over-the-year employment decreases 
occurred in New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA (-1,176,100), Los Angeles-Long Beach-
Anaheim, CA (-633,000), and Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI (-366,600). The largest over-
the-year percentage losses in employment occurred in Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina, HI (-28.1
percent), Ocean City, NJ (-25.4 percent), and Barnstable Town, MA (-18.7 percent). (See 
table 3.)

Over the year, nonfarm employment declined in all of the 51 metropolitan areas with a 2010
Census population of 1 million or more. The largest over-the-year percentage decreases in 
employment in these large metropolitan areas occurred in Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV 
(-12.2 percent), Rochester, NY (-11.9 percent), and New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA 
(-11.8 percent).

Metropolitan Division Nonfarm Employment (Not Seasonally Adjusted)

In August, nonfarm payroll employment decreased in all of the 38 metropolitan divisions 
over the year. The largest over-the-year decrease in employment among the metropolitan 
divisions occurred in New York-Jersey City-White Plains, NY-NJ (-882,800), followed by Los 
Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, CA (-443,900), and Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights, IL 
(-291,600). (See table 4.)

The largest over-the-year percentage decreases in employment occurred in Lynn-Saugus-
Marblehead, MA (-14.6 percent), Haverhill-Newburyport-Amesbury Town, MA-NH (-13.4 percent),
and Detroit-Dearborn-Livonia, MI (-12.4 percent). 

The State Employment and Unemployment news release for September is scheduled to be 
released on Tuesday, October 20, 2020, at 10:00 a.m. (ET). The Metropolitan Area Employment
and Unemployment news release for September is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, 
October 28, 2020, at 10:00 a.m. (ET).

|											|
|                 Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic Impact on August 2020                 |
|			 Establishment and Household Survey Data			|
|											|
| BLS has continued to review all estimation and methodological procedures for the 	|
| establishment survey, which included the review of data, estimation processes, the 	|
| application of the birth-death model, and seasonal adjustment. Business births and 	|
| deaths cannot be adequately captured by the establishment survey as they occur. 	|
| Therefore, the Current Employment Statistics (CES) program uses a model to account 	|
| for the relatively stable net employment change generated by business births and 	|
| deaths. Due to the impact of COVID-19, the relationship between business births and 	|
| deaths is no longer stable. Typically, reports with zero employment are not included  |
| in estimation. For the July final and August preliminary estimates, CES included a 	|
| portion of these reports in the estimates and made modifications to the birth-death   |
| model. In addition for both months, the establishment survey included a portion of 	|
| the reports that returned to reporting positive employment from reporting zero 	|
| employment. For more information, see		|
|											|
| In the establishment survey, workers who are paid by their employer for all or any 	|
| part of the pay period including the 12th of the month are counted as employed, even 	|
| if they were not actually at their jobs. Workers who are temporarily or permanently 	|
| absent from their jobs and are not being paid are not counted as employed, even if 	|
| they are continuing to receive benefits. The length of the reference period does vary |
| across the respondents in the establishment survey; one-third of businesses have a 	|
| weekly pay period, slightly over 40 percent a bi-weekly, about 20 percent semi-	|
| monthly, and a small amount monthly.							|
|											|
| For the August 2020 estimates of household employment and unemployment from the Local |
| Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS) program, BLS continued to implement level-shift   |
| outliers in the employment and/or unemployment inputs to the state models, based on 	|
| statistical evaluation of movements in each area's inputs. Both the Current 		|
| Population Survey inputs, which serve as the primary inputs to the LAUS models, and 	|
| the nonfarm payroll employment and unemployment insurance claims covariates were 	|
| examined for outliers. The resulting implementation of level shifts preserved 	|
| movements in the published estimates that the models otherwise would have discounted, |
| without requiring changes to how the models create estimates at other points in the 	|
| time series.										|
|											|
| The "Frequently asked questions" document at 						|
| extensively 	|
| discusses the impact of a misclassification in the household survey on the national 	|
| estimates for August 2020. Despite the considerable decline in its degree relative to |
| prior months, this misclassification continued to be widespread geographically, with 	|
| BLS analysis indicating that most states again were affected to at least some extent. |
| However, according to usual practice, the data from the household survey are accepted |
| as recorded. To maintain data integrity, no ad hoc actions are taken to reclassify 	|
| survey responses. Hence, the household survey estimates of employed and unemployed 	|
| people that serve as the primary inputs to the state models were affected to varying  |
| degrees by the misclassification, which in turn affected the official LAUS estimates  |
| for August 2020. Similar misclassifications had occurred in the household survey from |
| March through July (see		|
| response-on-the-employment-situation-news-release.htm#summaries).			|
|											|
| Household data for substate areas are controlled to the employment and unemployment 	|
| totals for their respective model-based areas. Hence, the preliminary August and 	|
| revised July estimates for substate areas reflect the use of level-shift outliers, 	|
| where implemented, in the inputs for their model-based control areas. The substate 	|
| area estimates for both months also were impacted by misclassification in the 	|
| household survey, in proportion to the impacts of the misclassifications on the data  |
| for their model-based control areas.							|
|											|
| Household data for Puerto Rico are not modeled, but rather are derived from a monthly |
| household survey similar to the Current Population Survey. The Puerto Rico Department |
| of Labor has reported a misclassification in its household survey since May 2020 	|
| similar in nature to the misclassification in the Current Population Survey, which 	|
| has affected the local area data proportionally.					|

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Last Modified Date: September 30, 2020