The Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) is the principal fact-finding agency for the Federal Government in the broad field of labor economics and statistics. A few are included here.
Under the BLS, the Office of Occupational Statistics and Employment Projections develops information about the labor market for the Nation as a whole for 10 years in the future. This department answers such questions as the following:
- What are the hottest jobs?
- What are the occupations with the most job growth?
- What industries are expected to have the fastest growing employment?
- Can the current job occupational projections be compared to previous projections?
The department also provides information on such topics as employee benefits, employee tenure, average pay, employment cost, layoffs, healthcare expenditures, collective bargaining settlements, and work stoppages.
Employment and unemployment numbers
Few economic data are as closely watched as measures of employment and unemployment. The Bureau of Labor Statistics programs covering jobs and joblessness reveal more than the general level of economic activity and utilization of labor. These programs also provide statistics on the following:
- The situations of minorities, women, and other demographic groups
- Contingent and displaced workers
- Hours and earnings in industries
- State and local area unemployment
- Mass layoffs
- Occupational employment and wages
- Labor market experiences measured for the same workers at multiple points in time,
- Workers covered by unemployment insurance
- Labor demand and turnover
This area of the BLS covers such information as the following:
- National unemployment with a monthly survey of the payroll records of business establishments provides data on employment, hours, and earnings of workers at the National level.
- State and local employment with a monthly survey of business establishments provides estimates of employment, hours, and earnings for individual States and metropolitan areas.
- State and local unemployment rates with monthly estimates of employment and unemployment are available for all States, metropolitan areas, small labor market areas, counties, cities of 25,000 or more, all cities and towns in New England, and certain other areas.
- Mass layoff statistics with monthly reports on all mass layoffs and quarterly reports on layoffs lasting more than 30 days. These reports identify, describe, and track the effects of major job cutbacks, using data from each State’s unemployment insurance database supplemented with employer-provided data.
The BLS also provides the Occupational Outlook Handbook, which describes, for a wide range of occupations, the nature of the work, working conditions, the training and education needed, earnings, and expected job prospects.