This Web version of the BLS Handbook of Methods includes a table of Handbook contents and the full text of each chapter. You may browse the chapters on the HTML pages, or you may download and print whole chapters using the PDF files (How to View PDF Files.) BLS is in the process of updating the Handbook of Methods. Updated chapters are flagged with the UPDATED sticker.
The BLS Handbook of Methods presents detailed explanations of how the Bureau of Labor Statistics obtains and prepares the economic data it publishes. BLS statistics are used for many purposes, and sometimes data well suited to one purpose may have limitations for another. This edition of the Handbook, like its many predecessors, aims to provide users of BLS data with the most current information necessary to evaluate the suitability of the statistics for their needs.
Chapters for each major Bureau program give a brief account of the program's origin and development and then follow with comprehensive information on concepts and definitions, sources of data and methods of collection, statistical procedures, where the data are published, and their uses and limitations. Sources of additional technical information are given at the end of most chapters.
The Handbook was written by members of the staffs of the various BLS program offices. It was edited and prepared for publication in the Bureau's Division of BLS Publishing, Office of Publications and Special Studies.
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Last Modified Date: July 14, 2009