(a) Basic criteria. The Assistant Secretary shall classify a civil jurisdiction as a labor surplus area whenever, as determined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average unemployment rate for all civilian workers in the civil jurisdiction for the reference period is (1) 120 percent of the national average unemployment rate for civilian workers or higher for the reference period as determined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, or (2) 10 percent or higher. No civil jurisdiction shall be classified as a labor surplus area if the average unemployment rate for all civilian workers for the reference period is less than 6.0 percent.
(b) Criteria for exceptional circumstances. The Assistant Secretary, upon petition submitted by the appropriate State Workforce Agency, may classify a civil jurisdiction, a Metropolitan Statistical Area, or a Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area as a labor surplus area whenever such an area meets or is expected to meet the unemployment tests established under § 654.5(a) as a result of exceptional circumstances. For purposes of this paragraph “exceptional circumstances” shall mean catastrophic events, such as natural disasters, plant closings, and contract cancellations expected to have a long-term impact on labor market area conditions, discounting temporary or seasonal factors. For purposes of this paragraph, “Metropolitan Statistical Area” and “Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area” shall mean the areas officially defined and designated as such by the Office of Management and Budget.
(Approved by OMB under control number 1205-0207)