The reference period used in preparing the LSA list was January 2009 through December 2010. The national average unemployment rate (including Puerto Rico) during this period was 9.5 percent. Twenty percent higher than the national unemployment rate is 11.4 percent. Since the ceiling unemployment rate is 10.0 percent, the qualifying rate is 10.0 percent. Therefore, areas included on the FY 2012 labor surplus area list had an average unemployment rate of 10.0 percent or above during the reference period. Areas included on the FY 2012 annual Labor Surplus Area list are all counties, county equivalents, balance of county (where the entire county did not make the LSA list), and cites with a population greater than 25,000 (the population criteria for cities do not apply in a small number of New England states) with an average unemployment rate of 10.0 percent or above during the previous two calendar years.
If an area did not make this year's LSA list and is currently experiencing an unemployment rate at or above the qualifying unemployment rate may be eligible to be added to this year's LSA list through an exceptional circumstance petition. For more information about the classification process and exceptional circumstance petition, see "Description of Labor Surplus Areas".The FY 2012 Labor Surplus Area classifications will be in effect from October 1, 2011 through September 30, 2012.