The Department of Labor has published its annual list of Labor Surplus Areas (LSA) for Fiscal Year 2018. What is a LSA you ask? A LSA is a civil jurisdiction that has a civilian average annual unemployment rate during the previous two calendar years 20 percent above the average annual civilian unemployment rates for all states & Puerto Rico during the same period. Civil jurisdictions are defined as follows:
- A city of at least 25,000 population on the basis of the most recently available estimates from the Bureau of the Census; or
- 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
- A county, except those counties which contain any type of civil jurisdictions defined in A or B above; or
- A “balance of county” consisting of a county less any component cities and townships identified in paragraphs A or B above; or
- A county equivalent which is a town in the States of Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island, or a municipio in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
The national unemployment rate during the past two years was 5.12 percent, so the areas included on the Department of Labor’s list have an unemployment rate of 6.1453 percent or higher. Being a LSA matters for the following reasons:
- The Administrator for Federal Procurement Policy uses the LSA list to identify where procurement set asides should be emphasized in order to strengthen our Nation’s economy;
- General Service Administration (GSA) Online Representations and Certifications Application (ORCA) system uses the LSA list as a tool to determine if a business qualifies as a Labor Surplus Area concern;
- The Small Business Administration uses the LSA list for bid selections for small business awards in Historically Underutilized Business Zones (HUBZones);
- Some state and local area governments use the LSA list to allocate employment related assistance (food stamps and training); and
- Private industry has used the LSA list for strategic planning and potential areas of human capital.
The list of LSA’s can be found here: https://www.doleta.gov/programs/lsa.cfm
About the Author
Colin Johnson is a Contracts Manager who focuses on business development and federal contracts management. His expertise is in preparing quotes and responses for both government and commercial entities for training and legal support services.