Unemployment Data
Updated over a week ago

Lightcast 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. Lightcast final employment counts data

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 percentages that we can apply to LAUS unemployment totals, in order to break it out into categories, such as industry or gender.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 several facets separately:

  • 2-digit industry

  • 2-digit SOC

  • gender

  • age

  • race

  • ethnicity

We model CIU down to the county level using the appropriate Lightcast employment proportions (e.g. employment by industry, employment by age), 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 the appropriate facet (industry, age), and apply those percentages to LAUS county totals. The result is final Lightcast unemployment by county, by any of the available facets.

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