[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 186 (Wednesday, September 25, 2019)]
[Pages 50474-50475]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-20849]



Employment and Training Administration

Labor Surplus Area Classification

AGENCY: Employment and Training Administration, Labor.

ACTION: Notice.


SUMMARY: The purpose of this notice is to announce the annual Labor 
Surplus Area (LSA) list for Fiscal Year (FY) 2020.

DATES: The annual LSA list is effective October 1, 2019, for all 
states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Samuel Wright, Office of Workforce 
Investment, Employment and Training Administration, 200 Constitution 
Avenue NW, Room C-4514, Washington, DC 20210. Telephone: (202) 693-2870 
(This is not a toll-free number) or email [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Department of Labor's regulations 
implementing Executive Orders 12073 and 10582 are set forth at 20 CFR 
part 654, subpart A. These regulations require the Employment and 
Training Administration (ETA) to classify jurisdictions as LSAs 
pursuant to the criteria specified in the regulations, and to publish 
annually a list of LSAs. Pursuant to those regulations, ETA is hereby 
publishing the annual LSA list.
    In addition, the regulations provide exceptional circumstance 
criteria for classifying LSAs when catastrophic events, such as natural 
disasters, plant closings, and contract cancellations are expected to 
have a long-term impact on labor market area conditions, discounting 
temporary or seasonal factors.

Eligible Labor Surplus Areas

    A LSA is a civil jurisdiction that has a civilian average annual 
unemployment rate during the previous two calendar years of 20 percent 
or more above the average annual civilian unemployment rate for all 
states during the same 24-month reference period. ETA uses only 
official unemployment estimates provided by the Bureau of Labor 
Statistics in making these classifications. The average unemployment 
rate for all states includes data for the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. 
The LSA classification criteria stipulate a civil jurisdiction must 
have a ``floor unemployment rate'' of 6 percent or higher to be 
classified a LSA. Any civil jurisdiction that has a ``ceiling 
unemployment rate'' of 10 percent or higher is classified a LSA.
    Civil jurisdictions are defined as follows:
    1. A city of at least 25,000 population on the basis of the most 
recently available estimates from the Bureau of the Census; or
    2. A town or township in the States of Michigan, New Jersey, New 
York, or Pennsylvania of 25,000 or more population and which possess 
powers and functions similar to those of cities; or
    3. All counties, except for those counties which contain any type 
of civil jurisdictions defined in ``1'' or ``2'' above; or
    4. A ``balance of county'' consisting of a county less any 
component cities and townships identified in ``1'' or ``2'' above; or
    5. A county equivalent which is a town in the States of 
Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island, or a

[[Page 50475]]

municipio in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

Procedures for Classifying Labor Surplus Areas

    The Department of Labor (DOL) issues the LSA list on a fiscal year 
basis. The list becomes effective each October 1, and remains in effect 
through the following September 30. The reference period used in 
preparing the current list was January 2017 through December 2018. The 
national average unemployment rate (including Puerto Rico) during this 
period is rounded to 4.34 percent. Twenty percent higher than the 
national unemployment rate during this period is rounded to 5.21 
percent. Since the calculated unemployment rate plus 20 percent (5.21 
percent) is below the ``floor'' LSA unemployment rate of 6 percent, a 
civil jurisdiction must have a two-year unemployment rate of 6 percent 
or higher in order to be classified a LSA. To ensure that all areas 
classified as labor surplus meet the requirements, when a city is part 
of a county and meets the unemployment qualifier as a LSA, that city is 
identified in the LSA list, the balance of county, not the entire 
county, will be identified as a LSA if the balance of county also meets 
the LSA unemployment criteria. The FY 2019 LSA list, statistical data 
on the current and previous years' LSAs are available at http://www.doleta.gov/programs/lsa.cfm.

Petition for Exceptional Circumstance Consideration

    The classification procedures also provide criteria for the 
designation of LSAs under exceptional circumstances criteria. These 
procedures permit the regular classification criteria to be waived when 
an area experiences a significant increase in unemployment which is not 
temporary or seasonal and which was not reflected in the data for the 
2-year reference period. Under the program's exceptional circumstance 
procedures, LSA classifications can be made for civil jurisdictions, 
Metropolitan Statistical Areas or Combined Statistical Areas, as 
defined by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget. In order for an 
area to be classified as a LSA under the exceptional circumstance 
criteria, the state workforce agency must submit a petition requesting 
such classification to the Department of Labor's ETA. The current 
criteria for an exceptional circumstance classification are:
    1. An area's unemployment rate is at least 6% percent for each of 
the three most recent months;
    2. A projected unemployment rate of at least 6% percent for each of 
the next 12 months because of an event; and
    3. Documentation that the exceptional circumstance event has 
occurred. The state workforce agency may file petitions on behalf of 
civil jurisdictions, Metropolitan Statistical Areas, or Micropolitan 
Statistical Areas.
    State Workforce Agencies may submit petitions in electronic format 
to [email protected], or in hard copy to the U.S. Department of 
Labor, Employment and Training Administration, Office of Workforce 
Investment, 200 Constitution Avenue NW, Room C-4514, Washington, DC 
20210, Attention Samuel Wright. Data collection for the petition is 
approved under OMB 1205-0207, expiration date July 31, 2020.

    Signed at Washington, DC.

John Pallasch,
Assistant Secretary for Employment and Training Administration.
[FR Doc. 2019-20849 Filed 9-24-19; 8:45 am]