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The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) is a unit of the
United States Department of Labor The United States Department of Labor (DOL) is a cabinet-level department of the U.S. federal government responsible for occupational safety and health, wage and hour standards, unemployment benefits, reemployment services, and some economic ...
. It is the principal fact-finding agency for the
U.S. government The federal government of the United States (U.S. federal government or U.S. government) is the national government of the United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or U ...
in the broad field of labor economics and statistics and serves as a principal agency of the U.S. Federal Statistical System. The BLS is a governmental statistical agency that collects, processes, analyzes, and disseminates essential statistical data to the American public, the
U.S. Congress The United States Congress or U.S. Congress is the bicameral legislature of the federal government of the United States and consists of the House of Representatives and the Senate. The Congress meets in the United States Capitol in Wa ...

U.S. Congress
, other Federal agencies, State and local governments, business, and labor representatives. The BLS also serves as a statistical resource to the United States Department of Labor, and conducts research into how much families need to earn to be able to enjoy a decent standard of living. The BLS data must satisfy a number of criteria, including relevance to current social and economic issues, timeliness in reflecting today's rapidly changing economic conditions, accuracy and consistently high statistical quality, impartiality in both subject matter and presentation, and accessibility to all. To avoid the appearance of partiality, the dates of major data releases are scheduled more than a year in advance, in coordination with the
Office of Management and Budget The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is the largest office within the Executive Office of the President of the United States The Executive Office of the President (EOP) comprises the offices and agencies that support the work of the pres ...
.


History

The Bureau of Labor was established in the
Department of the Interior The United States Department of the Interior (DOI) is a federal executive department of the Federal government of the United States, U.S. government. It is responsible for the management and conservation of most federal lands and natural resource ...
by the Bureau of Labor Act (23 Stat. 60), June 27, 1884, to collect information about employment and labor. It followed the hearings led by Henry W. Blair of the Committee of the Senate upon the relations between Labor and Capital.
Carroll D. Wright
Carroll D. Wright
was the first U.S. Commissioner of Labor. It became an independent (sub-Cabinet) department by the Department of Labor Act (25 Stat. 182), June 13, 1888. It was incorporated, as the Bureau of Labor, into the
Department of Commerce and Labor The United States Department of Commerce and Labor was a short-lived Cabinet department of the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country Contiguous United ...
by the Department of Commerce Act (32 Stat. 827), February 14, 1903. Finally, it was transferred to the
Department of Labor The Ministry of Labour ('' UK''), or Labor ('' US''), also known as the Department of Labour, or Labor, is a government department responsible for setting national labour standards, labour dispute mechanisms, employment, workforce participation, tra ...
in 1913 where it resides today. The BLS is now headquartered in the
Postal Square Building
Postal Square Building
near the
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United States Capitol
and
Union Station A union station (also known as a union terminal and, in Europe, a joint station) is a railway station Rail transport (also known as train transport) is a means of transferring passengers and goods on wheeled vehicles running on rails, whi ...
. Since 1915, the BLS has published a journal, the ''
Monthly Labor Review The ''Monthly Labor Review'' (''MLR'') is published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) is a unit of the United States Department of Labor. It is the principal fact-finding agency for the government of the ...
'', with articles about the data and methodologies of labor statistics. The BLS is headed by a commissioner who serves a four-year term from the date he or she takes office. The most recent Commissioner of Labor Statistics is William W. Beach, who was assumed office on March 28, 2019 Dr. William Beach was confirmed by the United States Senate on March 13, 2019
William Beach's Senate Confirmation
Erica Groshen Erica Lynn Groshen (born August 6, 1954) is the former Commissioner of Labor Statistics and head of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the independent, principal fact-finding agency for the U.S. government in the broad fields of labor ec ...

Erica Groshen
, who was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on January 2, 2013 and sworn in as the 14th Commissioner of Labor Statistics on January 29, 2013, for a term that ended on January 27, 2017. William Wiatrowski, Deputy Commissioner of the BLS, was serving as Acting Commissioner until the next commissioner, William Beach was sworn in.


Past Commissioners

*
Carroll D. Wright
Carroll D. Wright
January 1885 – January 1905 *
Charles P. Neill Charles Patrick Neill (December 12, 1865 – October 3, 1942) was an American American(s) may refer to: * American, something of, from, or related to the United States of America, commonly known as the United States The United States of ...
February 1905 – May 1913 *
George Wallace William Hanger George Wallace William Hanger (March 28, 1866 – December 26, 1935) was a mediator for the Federal Board of Mediation and Conciliation and held other positions for government agencies involved in the resolution of labor disputes. Biography He ...
May 1913 – August 1913 (Acting) *
Royal Meeker Royal Meeker (February 23, 1873 – August 16, 1953) was a progressive American economist, born at Quaker Lake, Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania. He graduated from Iowa State College in 1898, then studied with E.R.A. Seligman at Columbia Univers ...

Royal Meeker
August 1913 – June 1920 *
Ethelbert Stewart Ethelbert Stewart (1857–1936) was the commissioner of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) from 1921 to 1932. Stewart worked as a coffin-maker, then founded and edited labor newspapers. He was made the commissioner of labor for the state o ...

Ethelbert Stewart
June 1920 – June 1932 * Charles E. Baldwin July 1932 – July 1933 (Acting) *
Isador Lubin
Isador Lubin
July 1933 – January 1946 * A. Ford Hinrichs January 1946 – July 1946 (Acting) *
Aryness Joy Wickens Aryness Joy Wickens (January 5, 1901 – February 2, 1991) was an American economist An economist is a practitioner in the social sciences, social science discipline of economics. The individual may also study, develop, and apply theories and ...
July 1946 – August 1946 June 1954 – July 1955 (Acting) *
Ewan Clague Ewan Clague (1896–1987) was the commissioner of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) from 1946 to 1965.
August 1946 – September 1965 * Arthur Ross October 1965 – July 1968 *
Ben Burdetsky {{Infobox Given Name Revised , name = Ben , image= , imagesize= , caption= , gender = , meaning = , region = , origin = , related names = Benjamin (name), Benjamin, Benedict (given name), Benedict, Bengt (disambiguation), Bengt, Bennett ...
July 1968 – March 1969 (Acting) *
Geoffrey H. Moore
Geoffrey H. Moore
March 1969 – January 1973 * Ben Burdetsky January 1973 – July 1973 (Acting) *
Julius Shiskin The gens Julia was one of the most ancient patrician Patrician may refer to: * Patrician (ancient Rome), the original aristocratic families of ancient Rome, and a synonym for "aristocratic" in modern English usage * Patrician (post-Roman Europe) ...
July 1973 – October 1978 * Janet L. Norwood May 1979 – December 1991 * William G. Barron Jr. December 1991 – October 1993 (Acting) * Katharine G. Abraham October 1993 – October 2001 * Lois Orr October 2001 – July 2002 (Acting) * Kathleen Utgoff July 2002 – July 2006 * Philip Rones July 2006 – January 2008 (Acting) * Keith Hall January 2008 - January 2012 * John M. (Jack) Galvin January 2012 – January 2013 (Acting) *
Erica Groshen Erica Lynn Groshen (born August 6, 1954) is the former Commissioner of Labor Statistics and head of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the independent, principal fact-finding agency for the U.S. government in the broad fields of labor ec ...

Erica Groshen
January 28, 2013 – January 27, 2017 * William J. Wiatrowski January 2017 – March 2019 (Acting) * William W. Beach March 13, 2019 – present


Statistical reporting

Statistics published by the BLS fall into four main categories:


Prices

* U.S. Consumer Price Index *
Producer Price Index A producer price index (PPI) is a price index A price index (''plural'': "price indices" or "price indexes") is a normalized average (typically a weighted average) of price A price is the (usually not negative) quantity of payment or c ...

Producer Price Index
* U.S. Import and Export Price Indices * Consumer Expenditure Survey


Employment and unemployment

*
Current Population Survey The Current Population Survey (CPS) is a monthly survey of about 60,000 U.S. households conducted by the United States Census Bureau The United States Census Bureau (USCB), officially the Bureau of the Census, is a principal agency of the Fede ...
(The "Household Survey") ** The
American Time Use Survey The American Time Use Survey (ATUS), sponsored by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and conducted by the United States Census Bureau (USCB), is a time-use survey which provides measures of the amounts of time people spend on various activities, i ...
* Current Employment Statistics (The "Establishment Survey") ** Payroll Employment **
Economic geography Economic geography is the subfield of human geography Human geography or anthropogeography is the branch of that is associated and deals with humans and their relationships with communities, cultures, economies, and interactions with the en ...
** Salary Data * Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS) ** List of U.S. states by unemployment rate * Current Employment Statistics State and Area program * The Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) * The Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) * The Business Employment Dynamics (BED) program * Ten year occupational employment projections * Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) * Mass Layoff Statistics--discontinued in 2013


Compensation and working conditions

* National Compensation Survey ** Employment Cost Index * Workplace Injury and Fatality Statistics


Productivity

*
Labor productivity Workforce productivity is the amount of goods In economics Economics () is the social science that studies how people interact with value; in particular, the Production (economics), production, distribution (economics), distribution, a ...
, aggregate and by industry *
Multifactor productivity In economics, total-factor productivity (TFP), also called ''multi-factor productivity'', is usually measured as the ratio of aggregate output (e.g., GDP) to aggregate inputs. Under some simplifying assumptions about the production technology, g ...
* State labor productivity


Statistical regions

Data produced by the BLS is often categorized into groups of states known as Census Regions. There are 4 Census Regions, which are further categorized by Census Division as follows: Northeast Region * New England Division: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. * Middle Atlantic Division: New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. South Region * South Atlantic Division: Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia. * East South Central Division: Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Tennessee. * West South Central Division: Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas. Midwest Region * East North Central Division: Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin. * West North Central Division: Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota. West Region * Mountain Division: Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming. * Pacific Division: Alaska, California, Hawaii, Oregon, and Washington.


See also

* Alternative employment arrangements *
Bureau of Economic Analysis The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) of the United States Department of Commerce The United States Department of Commerce is an executive department The United States federal executive departments are the principal units of the Federal ...
*
Career Guide to Industries
Career Guide to Industries
* Data.gov * Economic reports *
Index of Leading Indicators The Conference Board Leading Economic Index is an American economic leading indicator intended to forecast future economic activity. It is calculated by The Conference Board The Conference Board, Inc. is a 501(c) organization, 501(c)(3) non-pro ...
* Job Creation Index *
Monthly Labor Review The ''Monthly Labor Review'' (''MLR'') is published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) is a unit of the United States Department of Labor. It is the principal fact-finding agency for the government of the ...
*
National Income and Product Accounts The national income and product accounts (NIPA) are part of the national accounts National accounts or national account systems (NAS) are the implementation of complete and consistent accounting technique Technique or techniques may refer ...
*
Occupational Outlook Handbook A job, employment, work or occupation, is a person A person (plural people or persons) is a being that has certain capacities or attributes such as reason, morality, consciousness or self-consciousness, and being a part of a culturally establ ...
*
U.S. Census Bureau The United States Census Bureau (USCB), officially the Bureau of the Census, is a principal agency of the U.S. Federal Statistical System, responsible for producing data about the American American(s) may refer to: * American, something of, ...
*
USAFacts USAFacts (c. 2017) is a non-profit organization and website that provides data and reports on the US population, its government's finances, and government's impact on society. History and background USAFacts was founded by former Microsoft CE ...


Footnotes


Further reading

* Joseph P. Goldberg and William T. Moye
''The First 100 Years of the Bureau of Labor Statistics''
Bulletin No. 2235. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1985. * William J. Wiatrowski
"BLS at 125: Using historic principles to track the 21st-century economy"
''Monthly Labor Review'', June 2009, pp. 3–25.


External links

*
Records of the Bureau of Labor Statistics in the National Archives (Record Group 257)

Bureau of Labor Statistics
in the
Federal Register The ''Federal Register'' (FR or sometimes Fed. Reg.) is the official journal A government gazette (also known as official gazette, official journal, official newspaper, official monitor or official bulletin) is a periodical publication that h ...

Publications of the BLS
available on
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Bulletins of the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics
dating back to 1895
Local Area Unemployment Reports
{{DEFAULTSORT:Bureau Of Labor Statistics 1884 establishments in the United States Federal Statistical System of the United States National statistical services Official statistics Statistical organizations in the United States Unemployment in the United States