The Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS) program data are produced using models, which combine current and historical data from the Current Population Survey (CPS), the Current Employment Statistics (CES) program, the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) program, the state Unemployment Insurance (UI) system, the American Community Survey (ACS) and the Decennial Census.

The entire nation is divided into 9 census divisions. Wisconsin is in the East North Central Division, which also includes Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio. Each month, a division total is created by summing the state estimates within each division. The national CPS total is a sum of all nine divisions. The state LAUS model utilizes a monthly real-time benchmarking adjustment procedure to ensure that all divisions sum to the National Current Population Survey (CPS) estimates.

Annual historical benchmarking consists of updating model inputs and population controls, model re-estimation, smoothing, and controlling to revised monthly historical benchmarked estimates at the division level, which in turn will sum to the monthly national CPS estimates. The monthly benchmarking procedure significantly reduces end-of-year revisions.

Monthly LAUS estimates help federal, state, and local governments, private industries and individuals determine workforce program fund allocations and establish the need for employment and training services, and assess local labor market conditions.

Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) - Additional Resources  |  Federal Statistics Resources

Sheila Ulrich
(608) 733-3936

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