The Bureau of Labor Statistics joins with the international statistical community in celebrating the United Nations-declared World Statistics Day on October 20, 2010.
"Statistics permeate modern life," writes UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in his message recognizing the importance of statistics in shaping society. "They are the basis for many governmental, business and community decisions."
For over 125 years, BLS has served the nation as the principal U.S. Federal source of information on the labor market and on price changes. Today, the Bureau operates two dozen surveys and programs that continue to provide impartial, timely, and accurate data on the employment situation, wages and benefits, worker safety, and productivity, among other products.
The Bureau also produces data on consumer and producer price movements. The Consumer Price Index (CPI), the nation's most widely used measure of inflation as experienced by households, has a significant impact on the finances of the American people and the Federal government because it is used to calculate cost-of-living payments and adjust collective bargaining agreements, Social Security recipient payments, and individual tax brackets.
BLS data provide details on the demographic characteristics of American workers such as their age, sex, race, ethnicity, educational attainment, marital status, family structure, and veterans' status. Other data focus on breakdowns by industry and occupation, answering questions such as where people work, what they do, and how much they earn.
Keith Hall, the current Commissioner of Labor Statistics, notes that the first commissioner of BLS stressed in 1904 that labor statistics should relate to the "material, social, intellectual, and moral prosperity of society itself," rather than solely to narrow fields.
"Over the years, BLS has done that by producing data that influence and shape policies which affect the well-being of American workers and their families, retirees, businesses, healthcare, retirement benefits, the minimum wage, workforce education and training, economic development, workplace safety, and consumer spending," said Hall.
Below you will find links to short descriptions of the BLS and its mission and vision. You will also find a link to an article celebrating the 125th Anniversary of BLS written by William J. Wiatrowski, Associate Commissioner for Compensation and Working Conditions.
Last Modified Date: October 20, 2010