I was interviewed recently for the “On Leadership” blog of The Washington Post. Tom Fox of the Partnership for Public Service asked me about the importance of our work at BLS and the value of the data we produce for policymakers, businesses, and households to make better-informed decisions. Tom and I also discussed the great importance I place on exchanging ideas with different audiences, both inside and outside BLS. Tom asked about my goals for BLS and the opportunities and challenges we face, such as collecting and understanding data in an increasingly complex global economy and providing high-quality data and services with fewer budgetary resources.
This week BLS published a news release on the labor force characteristics of the foreign born in 2012. There were 25.0 million foreign-born persons in the U.S. labor force in 2012, comprising 16.1 percent of the total labor force. In 2012, the labor force participation rate of the foreign born was 66.3 percent, compared with 63.2 percent for the native born.