The Employment and Training Administration (ETA) has published a Federal Register Notice for the information collection request (ICR) entitled “Petition for Classifying Labor Surplus Areas.”

This is a sixty-day notice with solicitation for comments from the public.  Consideration will be given to all comments received by February 10, 2020.

What is the LSA?

ETA issues the Labor Surplus Area (LSA) list annually, effective October 1 of each year, utilizing data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).  Areas meeting specific criteria are classified as LSAs.

Under these criteria, an area may be determined eligible for classification as an LSA, if it is experiencing a high rate of unemployment, which is not temporary or seasonal, and which was not adequately reflected in the unemployment data for the two-year reference period.

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What Does a Petition Involve?

Department regulations specify that the Department can add other areas to the annual LSA listing under an exceptional circumstance criteria. Such additions are based on information contained in petitions submitted by the state workforce agencies (SWAs) to ETA.

These petitions contain specific economic information about an area to provide ample justification for adding the area to the LSA listing under the exceptional circumstances criteria. The petitions submitted by the SWAs concern various aspects of unemployment, and the economic condition for a specific area, in order to provide justification for adding the area to the LSA list under the exceptional circumstances criteria.

Instructions designed to assist SWAs in the preparation of such petitions are currently contained on the ETA website:


How is the LSA Used?

Under Executive Orders 12073 and 10582, and 20 CFR parts 651 and 654, the Secretary of Labor is required to classify Labor Surplus Areas (LSAs) and disseminate this information for the use of all Federal agencies.

This information is used by Federal agencies for various purposes, including procurement decisions, waiver decisions for the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP), certain small business loan decisions, as well as other purposes determined by the agencies.