Having recently reached my first anniversary as Commissioner, it seems appropriate to share some thoughts on what I’ve learned about BLS in the past year. One thing I see every day is how hard BLS employees work to get the facts right about the U.S. labor market and economy. Before I came to BLS, I certainly knew how seriously BLS staff embrace our mission of being objective, timely, accurate, and relevant with our data, analyses, and services. As Commissioner, I can observe the staff’s commitment to quality up close every day, and it’s a pure pleasure to work with such dedicated professionals.
Another thing I have really come to understand this year is the very special bond BLS has with the American people. As users of BLS data, the American public expects us to get the facts right, to provide objective, relevant information in a timely manner so that individuals, businesses, and policymakers can make better-informed decisions. They also depend on us to be open and transparent in our methodology—so that all can understand exactly what our statistics mean. BLS could not meet these high expectations without the cooperation of the individuals, businesses, and organizations that provide data to BLS by participating in our surveys and programs. Nearly all BLS surveys and programs are voluntary—meaning individuals, businesses, and organizations do not have to participate if they choose not to. And yet they participate at extraordinarily high rates, helping to make our measures the most reliable available. The BLS staff and I are so grateful for that cooperation. We strive to make participation in our surveys and programs as easy as possible. We also have in place multiple layers of protection (legal and procedural) to safeguard the privacy and confidentiality of survey participants. The enduring success of this special bond—the essence of BLS—depends on the trust the American people place in us, and this year has shown me just how energetically the BLS staff honors and works to uphold that trust.
As a prime example of continuing our mission to inform the public about the U.S. labor market and economy, BLS released the January 2014 Employment Situation report this morning. Read my statement about the report.
Also, let me call your attention to a new video about a BLS program. Tina Bartsch, who heads the BLS Division of Occupational Employment Projections, appeared on the “America by the Numbers” segment of C-SPAN’s Washington Journal program last Friday. Ms. Bartsch spoke about the latest set of 10-year BLS projections of the U.S. labor market and economy out to 2022.
Watch the video: C-SPAN Washington Journal (January 31, 2014)