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BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS:

An independent agency of the Federal government that collects labor economics data in the United States economy, conducts economic research and analysis, develops and implements estimation methodologies, and disseminates economic statistics to the public. The information produced by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS for short) allows the government, business leaders, researchers, and the public to follow and understand the performance of the U.S. economy, particularly in regard to workers, work places, and families of workers. The BLS also serves as a statistical resource to the U.S. Congress, other Federal agencies, and state and local governments.
Among the many goals of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the most important are producing and disseminating timely, accurate, and relevant information about the U.S. workforce and work place. Also, the BLS, constantly strives to improve the accuracy, efficiency, and relevance of the economic measures they produce. This of course has the purpose of better serving the informational needs of the decision makers throughout the economy.

Six Programs

Activities of the Bureau of Labor Statistics can be divided into six main programs: Employment and Unemployment, Prices and Living Conditions, Compensation and Working Conditions, Productivity and Technology, Employment Projections, and International Programs.
  • Employment and Unemployment: This program keeps track of the U.S. labor force and non-farm payroll statistics through the Current Population Survey and the Current Employment Statistics Survey. It also produces comprehensive information about unemployment, employment and wage data by Census regions and divisions, States, counties, metropolitan areas, and many cities, by place of residence. The program gathers, organizes and analyses information on mass layoffs, job openings and labor turnover. The official unemployment rate is a key macroeconomic measure generated under this program.

  • Prices and Living Conditions: This program mainly focuses on information about prices in the economy. Assorted price indexes, including Consumer Price Indexes, Producer Price Indexes, and the Import/Export Price Indexes are all under the responsibility of the program. Also, the program collects data on the buying habits of consumers by socioeconomic characteristics through the Consumer Expenditure Survey.

  • Compensation and Working Conditions: This program collects earnings data differentiated by worker characteristics, employer characteristics, and geographic area through the National Compensation Survey. The Safety and Health Statistics Division gathers data on illnesses and injuries on the job and data on worker fatalities. The program is in charged of producing data on major work stoppages (lockout and strike) and collective bargaining agreements.

  • Productivity and Technology: This program collects data and produces several indexes for industries and major sectors of the economy that relate output to labor, capital, and other inputs. The Foreign Statistics Division of this program collects comparative information by country on productivity and unit labor costs.

  • Employment Projections: This program collects data and produces projected estimates of conditions in the labor market and economy ten years into future. The Occupational Outlook Handbook produced by this program contains valuable career information on jobs, working conditions, training and education needed, earnings, and expected job prospects in a wide range of occupations.

  • International Programs: These assorted programs collect information from other countries about productivity and unit labor costs, compensation, labor force, employment, and unemployment, consumer and producer prices, and labor statistics.

Three Committees

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has three vital committees: Business Research Advisory Council, Labor Research Advisory Council and the Federal Economic Statistics Advisory Committee
  • Business Research Advisory Council: This council advises the BLS from the point of view of various sectors of the business community on technical matters related to the collection, tabulation, and analysis of Bureau statistics.

  • Labor Research Advisory Council: This council advises the BLS with respect to technical issues about the statistical work of the Bureau. Also, it provides advice about Bureau programs in relation to labor union needs.

  • Federal Economics Statistics Advisory Committee: This committee inspects BLS programs and provides advice on statistical methodology, research, and other technical matters related to the collection, tabulation, and analysis of economic statistics. This committee also advises the Bureau of Economic Analysis and the Bureau of the Census.


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BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS, AmosWEB Encyclonomic WEB*pedia, http://www.AmosWEB.com, AmosWEB LLC, 2000-2018. [Accessed: January 20, 2018].


Check Out These Related Terms...

     | National Bureau of Economic Research | Conference Board, The | Bureau of Economic Analysis | labor | factors of production |


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Related Websites (Will Open in New Window)...

     | Bureau of Labor Statistics | Bureau of Economic Analysis | Bureau of the Census |


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