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 U.S. government 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, 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.
Since 1915, the BLS has published a journal, the Monthly Labor Review, 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 was 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, is serving as Acting Commissioner until the next commissioner is sworn in. William Beach has been nominated for the position and was confirmed on March 19, 2019. Dr. William Beach was confirmed by the United States Senate on March 13, 2019. William Beach's Senate Confirmation
Statistics published by the BLS fall into four main categories:
As defined by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget, the principal agencies of the Federal Statistical System have statistical activities as their core mission and conduct much of the government’s statistical work.