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 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.[5]

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.[6]

Bureau of Labor Statistics
Bureau of Labor Statistics logo
Agency overview
FormedJune 27, 1884
JurisdictionFederal government of the United States
HeadquartersPostal Square Building
Washington, D.C., U.S.
Employees2,500[1]
Annual budget$609 million[2]
Agency executives
  • William J. Wiatrowski (Acting), Commissioner[3]
  • William J. Wiatrowski, Deputy Commissioner[4][3]
Websitewww.bls.gov

History

The Bureau of Labor was established in the Department of the Interior 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.[7] 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 by the Department of Commerce Act (32 Stat. 827), February 14, 1903. Finally, it was transferred to the Department of Labor in 1913 where it resides today.[8][9] The BLS is now headquartered in the Postal Square Building near the United States Capitol and Union Station.

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.[10][11] 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.[12][13]

Statistical reporting

Statistics published by the BLS fall into four main categories:[14]

Prices

Employment and unemployment

US Unemployment measures
Unemployment measurements by the BLS from 1950 to 2010

Compensation and working conditions

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

Footnotes

  1. ^ "What BLS Does". Bureau of Labor Statistics. February 9, 2009. Archived from the original on May 8, 2011. Retrieved May 10, 2011.
  2. ^ "BLS 2016 Operating Plan". US Department of Labor. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2017-03-01. Retrieved 2017-02-22.
  3. ^ a b "Bureau of Labor Statistics: Senior Staff". Bureau of Labor Statistics. 2017-01-30. Archived from the original on 2017-02-23. Retrieved 2017-02-22.
  4. ^ "William J. Wiatrowski, Deputy Commissioner". Bureau of Labor Statistics. 2017-01-30. Archived from the original on 2017-02-23. Retrieved 2017-02-22.
  5. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 2014-06-11. Retrieved 2013-12-22.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  6. ^ Cohen, Patricia (2016-11-03). "How Economic Data Is Kept Politics-Free". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on 2017-03-11. Retrieved 2017-02-23.
  7. ^ GB McKinney, Henry W. Blair’s Campaign to Reform America: From the Civil War to the U.S (2012) 110-111
  8. ^ "Records of the Bureau of Labor Statistics [BLS]". National Archives. 2016-08-15. Archived from the original on 2017-02-24. Retrieved 2017-02-23.
  9. ^ "Overview : U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics". www.bls.gov. Archived from the original on 2017-02-23. Retrieved 2017-02-23.
  10. ^ Presidential Nominations, 112th Congress (011 - 2012), PN1404-112 Archived 2016-01-02 at the Wayback Machine, Library of Congress, thomas.loc.gov
  11. ^ Senate Confirms Erica Groshen to Head Bureau of Labor Statistics Archived 2017-09-04 at the Wayback Machine, by Jeffrey Sparshott at Wall Street Journal]
  12. ^ President Donald J. Trump Announces Key Additions to his Administration, whitehouse.gov, 17 Oct 2017
  13. ^ Nomination - William Beach — Department of Labor, 16 Jan 2019
  14. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2017-02-23. Retrieved 2017-02-23.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  15. ^ "American Time Use Survey". Bureau of Labor Statistics. Archived from the original on 2017-02-23.
  16. ^ "Current Employment Statistics". Bureau of Labor Statistics. Archived from the original on 2017-02-23.
  17. ^ "Local Area Unemployment Statistics". Bureau of Labor Statistics. Archived from the original on 2017-09-08.
  18. ^ "Employment, Hours, and Earnings from the Current Employment Statistics survey (State & Metro Area) Home Page". Bls.gov. 2012-05-30. Archived from the original on 2012-06-15. Retrieved 2012-06-22.
  19. ^ "Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey Home Page". Bls.gov. Archived from the original on 2012-06-16. Retrieved 2012-06-22.
  20. ^ "Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages". Bls.gov. 2012-03-28. Archived from the original on 2012-06-10. Retrieved 2012-06-22.
  21. ^ "Business Employment Dynamics Home Page". Bls.gov. 2012-05-01. Archived from the original on 2012-10-15. Retrieved 2012-06-22.
  22. ^ "Mass Layoff Statistics Home Page". Bls.gov. 2012-05-16. Archived from the original on 2017-02-23. Retrieved 2017-02-22.
  23. ^ "Injuries, Illnesses, and Fatalities". Bls.gov. Archived from the original on 2012-06-26. Retrieved 2012-06-22.
  24. ^ "Overview of BLS Productivity Statistics". Bls.gov. Archived from the original on 2012-06-25. Retrieved 2012-06-22.

Further reading

External links

Anthropologist

An anthropologist is a person engaged in the practice of anthropology. Anthropology is the study of various aspects of humans within past and present societies. Social anthropology, cultural anthropology, and philosophical anthropology study the norms and values of societies. Linguistic anthropology studies how language affects social life, while economic anthropology studies human economic behavior. Biological (physical), forensic, and medical anthropology study the biological development of humans, the application of biological anthropology in a legal setting, and the study of diseases and their impacts on humans over time, respectively.

Aryness Joy Wickens

Aryness Joy Wickens (January 5, 1901 – February 2, 1991) was an American economist and statistician who served as acting commissioner of the US Bureau of Labor Statistics and as president of the American Statistical Association, and who helped develop the United States Consumer Price Index.

Computer engineering

Computer engineering is a branch of engineering that integrates several fields of computer science and electronic engineering required to develop computer hardware and software. Computer engineers usually have training in electronic engineering (or electrical engineering), software design, and hardware-software integration instead of only software engineering or electronic engineering. Computer engineers are involved in many hardware and software aspects of computing, from the design of individual microcontrollers, microprocessors, personal computers, and supercomputers, to circuit design. This field of engineering not only focuses on how computer systems themselves work but also how they integrate into the larger picture.Usual tasks involving computer engineers include writing software and firmware for embedded microcontrollers, designing VLSI chips, designing analog sensors, designing mixed signal circuit boards, and designing operating systems. Computer engineers are also suited for robotics research, which relies heavily on using digital systems to control and monitor electrical systems like motors, communications, and sensors.

In many institutions of higher learning, computer engineering students are allowed to choose areas of in-depth study in their junior and senior year because the full breadth of knowledge used in the design and application of computers is beyond the scope of an undergraduate degree. Other institutions may require engineering students to complete one or two years of general engineering before declaring computer engineering as their primary focus.

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 for the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The BLS uses the data to publish reports early each month called the Employment Situation. This report provides estimates of the unemployment rate and the numbers of employed and unemployed people in the United States based on the CPS. A readable Employment Situation Summary is provided monthly. Annual estimates include employment and unemployment in large metropolitan areas. Researchers can use some CPS microdata to investigate these or other topics.

The survey asks about the employment status of each member of the household 15 years of age or older as of the calendar week containing the 12th day of the month. Based on responses to questions on work and job search activities, each person 16 years and over in a sample household is classified as employed, unemployed, or not in the labor force.

The CPS began in 1940, and responsibility for conducting the CPS was given to the Census Bureau in 1942. In 1994 the CPS was redesigned. CPS is a survey that is: employment-focused, enumerator-conducted, continuous, and cross-sectional. The BLS increased the sample size by 10,000 as of July 2001. The sample represents the civilian noninstitutional population.

Discouraged worker

In economics, a discouraged worker is a person of legal employment age who is not actively seeking employment or who does not find employment after long-term unemployment. This is usually because an individual has given up looking or has had no success in finding a job, hence the term "discouraged".

In other words, even if a person is still looking actively for a job, that person may have fallen out of the core statistics of unemployment rate after long-term unemployment and is therefore by default classified as "discouraged" (since the person does not appear in the core statistics of unemployment rate). In some cases, their belief may derive from a variety of factors including a shortage of jobs in their locality or line of work; discrimination for reasons such as age, race, sex, religion, sexual orientation, and disability; a lack of necessary skills, training, or experience; or, a chronic illness or disability.As a general practice, discouraged workers, who are often classified as marginally attached to the labor force, on the margins of the labor force, or as part of hidden unemployment, are not considered part of the labor force, and are thus not counted in most official unemployment rates—which influences the appearance and interpretation of unemployment statistics. Although some countries offer alternative measures of unemployment rate, the existence of discouraged workers can be inferred from a low employment-to-population ratio.

Jobless recovery

A jobless recovery or jobless growth is an economic phenomenon in which a macroeconomy experiences growth while maintaining or decreasing its level of employment. The term was coined by the economist Nick Perna in the early 1990s.

Layoff

A layoff is the temporary suspension or permanent termination of employment of an employee or, more commonly, a group of employees (collective layoff) for business reasons, such as personnel management or downsizing an organization. Originally, layoff referred exclusively to a temporary interruption in work, or employment but this has evolved to a permanent elimination of a position in both British and US English, requiring the addition of "temporary" to specify the original meaning of the word. A layoff is not to be confused with wrongful termination. Laid off workers or displaced workers are workers who have lost or left their jobs because their employer has closed or moved, there was insufficient work for them to do, or their position or shift was abolished (Borbely, 2011). Downsizing in a company is defined to involve the reduction of employees in a workforce. Downsizing in companies became a popular practice in the 1980s and early 1990s as it was seen as a way to deliver better shareholder value as it helps to reduce the costs of employers (downsizing, 2015). Indeed, recent research on downsizing in the U.S., UK, and Japan suggests that downsizing is being regarded by management as one of the preferred routes to help declining organizations, cutting unnecessary costs, and improve organizational performance. Usually a layoff occurs as a cost-cutting measure.

List of economic reports by U.S. government agencies

The following reports on economic indicators are reported by United States government agencies:

Business activity

Wholesale Inventories

Industrial Production (Federal Reserve)

Capacity Utilization

Regional Manufacturing Surveys (purchasing managers' organizations and Federal Reserve banks)

Philadelphia Fed Index (Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia)

Construction Spending (U.S. Census Bureau)

Business inventory

Business Inventories (U.S. Census Bureau)

International

International trade (U.S. Census Bureau and the Bureau of Economic Analysis)

Trade balance

Export prices

International Capital Flows (U.S. Treasury Department)

Treasury International Capital (TICs)

Sales

Auto and Truck Sales (U.S. Department of Commerce)

Auto Sales

Truck Sales

Retail sales (U.S. Census Bureau)

Orders

Durable Goods Orders (U.S. Census Bureau)

Factory Orders (U.S. Census Bureau)

Real estate

Housing Starts and Building Permits (U.S. Census Bureau)

Building permits

Housing starts

New Home Sales (U.S. Census Bureau)

Production

GDP (Gross Domestic Product) (Bureau of Economic Analysis)

Productivity and Costs (Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Consumer

Consumer Credit (Federal Reserve)

Employment Cost Index (U.S. Department of Labor)

Personal Income and Consumption (Bureau of Economic Analysis)

Personal Income

Employment

The Employment Report (Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Hourly Earnings

Nonfarm Payrolls

Initial Claims

Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Quits Rate

Price increase ("inflation")

CPI (Consumer Price Index) (Bureau of Labor Statistics)

PPI (Producer Price Index) (Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Government

Treasury Budget (U.S. Treasury Department)

Monetary

M2 (Federal Reserve Board)

List of household surveys in the United States

This is a list of surveys of households in the United States.

Master of Social Work

The Master of Social Work (MSW) is a master's degree in the field of social work. It is a professional degree with specializations compared to Bachelor of Social Work (BSW). MSW promotes macro-, meso- and micro-aspects of professional social work practice, whereas the BSW focuses more on direct social work practices in community, hospitals (outpatient and inpatient services) and other fields of social services.

Microbiologist

A microbiologist (from Greek μῑκρος) is a scientist who studies microscopic life forms and processes. This includes study of the growth, interactions and characteristics of microscopic organisms such as bacteria, algae, fungi, and some types of parasites and their vectors. Most microbiologists work in offices and/or research facilities, both in private biotechnology companies as well as in academia. Most microbiologists specialize in a given topic within microbiology such as bacteriology, parasitology, virology, or immunology.

Monthly Labor Review

The Monthly Labor Review is published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Issues often focus on a particular topic. Most articles are by BLS staff.

Annually since 1969, the Lawrence R. Klein Award has been awarded to authors of articles appearing in the Monthly Labor Review, generally one to BLS authors and one to non-BLS authors.

National Longitudinal Surveys

The National Longitudinal Surveys (NLS) are a set of surveys sponsored by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) of the U.S. Department of Labor. These surveys have gathered information at multiple points in time on the labor market experiences and other significant life events of several groups of men and women. Each of the NLS samples consists of several thousand individuals, many of whom have been surveyed over several decades.

Occupational Outlook Handbook

The Occupational Outlook Handbook is a publication of the United States Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics that includes information about the nature of work, working conditions, training and education, earnings and job outlook for hundreds of different occupations in the United States. It is released biennially with a companion publication, the Career Guide to Industries and is available free of charge from the Bureau of Labor Statistics' website. The 2012–13 edition was released in November 2012 and the 2014–15 edition in March 2014.

Because it is a work by the United States federal government, the Handbook is not under copyright and is reproduced in various forms by other publishers, often with additional information or features.The first edition was published in 1948.

Oregon Commissioner of Labor

The Oregon Commissioner of Labor is an elected government position in the U.S. state of Oregon. The commissioner is the chief executive of Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries and serves a four-year term.The commissioner is also chairperson of the State Apprenticeship and Training Council and executive secretary of the Wage and Hour Commission. The commissioner enforces state laws related to employment, housing, and public accommodation with respect to discrimination, wages, hours of employment, working conditions, prevailing wage rates, and child labor. The commissioner also enforces state laws prohibiting discrimination related to vocational, professional, and trade schools, and administers licensing required by many professional services. The commissioner oversees the Wage Security Fund, a source of coverage for unpaid wages in some business closure and group health situations.Upon inception, from 1903, the position was titled Oregon Labor Commissioner until 1918. It was called Oregon Commissioner of the Bureau of Labor Statistics and Inspector of Factories and Workshops from 1918 until 1930. It became Oregon Commissioner of the Bureau of Labor from 1930 to 1979 when the legislature changed it to Oregon Commissioner of Labor and Industries.Nine individuals have served as commissioner since the office's inception. Party affiliation is included, though the legislature made the position a nonpartisan office in 1995; the first nonpartisan election was in 1998.

Statistician

A statistician is a person who works with theoretical or applied statistics. The profession exists in both the private and public sectors. It is common to combine statistical knowledge with expertise in other subjects, and statisticians may work as employees or as statistical consultants.

Unemployment

Unemployment or joblessness is a situation in which the able bodied people who are looking for a job cannot find a job.

The unemployment rate is a measure of the prevalence of unemployment and it is calculated as a percentage by dividing the number of unemployed individuals by all individuals currently in the labor force. During periods of recession, an economy usually experiences a relatively high unemployment rate. Millions of people globally or 6% of the world's workforce were without a job in 2012.The causes of unemployment are heavily debated. Classical economics, new classical economics, and the Austrian School of economics argued that market mechanisms are reliable means of resolving unemployment. These theories argue against interventions imposed on the labor market from the outside, such as unionization, bureaucratic work rules, minimum wage laws, taxes, and other regulations that they claim discourage the hiring of workers. Keynesian economics emphasizes the cyclical nature of unemployment and recommends government interventions in the economy that it claims will reduce unemployment during recessions. This theory focuses on recurrent shocks that suddenly reduce aggregate demand for goods and services and thus reduce demand for workers. Keynesian models recommend government interventions designed to increase demand for workers; these can include financial stimuli, publicly funded job creation, and expansionist monetary policies. Its namesake economist John Maynard Keynes, believed that the root cause of unemployment is the desire of investors to receive more money rather than produce more products, which is not possible without public bodies producing new money. A third group of theories emphasize the need for a stable supply of capital and investment to maintain full employment. On this view, government should guarantee full employment through fiscal policy, monetary policy and trade policy as stated, for example, in the US Employment Act of 1946, by counteracting private sector or trade investment volatility, and reducing inequality.In addition to these comprehensive theories of unemployment, there are a few categorizations of unemployment that are used to more precisely model the effects of unemployment within the economic system. Some of the main types of unemployment include structural unemployment and frictional unemployment, as well as cyclical unemployment, involuntary unemployment, and classical unemployment. Structural unemployment focuses on foundational problems in the economy and inefficiencies inherent in labor markets, including a mismatch between the supply and demand of laborers with necessary skill sets. Structural arguments emphasize causes and solutions related to disruptive technologies and globalization. Discussions of frictional unemployment focus on voluntary decisions to work based on each individuals' valuation of their own work and how that compares to current wage rates plus the time and effort required to find a job. Causes and solutions for frictional unemployment often address job entry threshold and wage rates.

United States Consumer Price Index

The United States Consumer Price Index (CPI) is a set of consumer price indices calculated by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). To be precise, the BLS routinely computes many different CPIs that are used for different purposes. Each is a time series measure of the price of consumer goods and services. The BLS publishes the CPI monthly.

Waiting staff

Waiting staff are those who work at a restaurant or a bar, and sometimes in private homes, attending customers—supplying them with food and drink as requested. A server or waiting staff takes on a very important role in a restaurant which is to always be attentive and accommodating to the customers. Each waiter follows rules and guidelines that are developed by the manager. Wait staff can abide by these rules by completing many different tasks throughout their shifts, such as food-running, polishing dishes and silverware, helping bus tables, and restocking working stations with needed supplies.

Waiting on tables is (along with nursing and teaching) part of the service sector, and among the most common occupations in the United States. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that, as of May 2008, there were over 2.2 million persons employed as servers in the U.S.Many restaurants choose a specific uniform for their wait staff to wear. Waitstaff may receive tips as a minor or major part of their earnings, with customs varying widely from country to country.

Deputy Secretary of Labor
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