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The 2012 President’s Budget for the Bureau of Labor Statistics

On February 14, 2011, President Obama submitted his 2012 budget to Congress. The President’s Budget provides $647.0 million in funding to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) for the 2012 fiscal year that will begin on October 1, 2011. This is an increase of $35.6 million over the BLS 2010 appropriation. At this time, final Congressional action has not occurred on the 2011 President's Budget.

The 2012 level of funding will enable the BLS to continue to fulfill its unique role in developing national labor- and price-related statistics. It includes funds to improve the quality of the data produced by several BLS statistical programs, but also includes an elongation, elimination, and reduction of a few BLS programs.

2012 Budget Highlights

The 2012 President’s Budget for the BLS includes the following new program changes:

  1. Annual Current Population Survey Supplement ($1.6 million). This supplement will enhance the capability of the BLS to produce data on contingent work and alternative work arrangements, work schedules and other topics relating to workplace flexibility, along with other issues. In odd years, the BLS will conduct the Contingent Work Supplement to capture data on contingent work and alternative work arrangements. In even years, the BLS will conduct other supplements relevant to the BLS mission, including topics that will provide more data on workplace flexibility and work-family balance.
  2. Establish a New National Longitudinal Surveys (NLS) Youth Cohort ($10.0 million). This proposal will enhance the capability of the BLS to produce timely and relevant data on the U.S. labor market. This will ensure that information is available on the employment and socioeconomic conditions of youth, including differences by sex, race, and ethnicity, and subsequent labor market experiences as they progress through later stages of their lives. The cost of this proposal will be partially offset by elongating the two existing NLS surveys. See item 3 for more details.
  3. Elongate the National Longitudinal Surveys Fielding Schedules (-$6.0 million). The cost of the new cohort (see item 2) will be offset partially by elongating the fielding schedules of the 1979 and 1997 cohorts of the NLS of Youth. Each survey gathers information on the labor market experiences of groups of American men and women at multiple points in time. Decreased frequency of data collection and dissemination will lead to lower response rates and higher attrition over time, degrading data quality and usability.

The 2012 President's Budget also carries forward the following program changes from the 2011 President's Budget:

  1. Modernize the Consumer Expenditure survey ($8.8 million)
  2. Reduce the Variance of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) ($13.0 million)
  3. Research Improvements to the Frame of Retail Outlets in the CPI ($1.0 million)
  4. Develop a Supplementary Statistical Poverty Measure ($2.5 million)
  5. Eliminate the International Labor Comparisons Program (-$2.0 million)

As described in the 2012 President's Budget, the BLS is implementing the Current Employment Statistics restructuring initiative and the alternative to the Locality Pay Surveys initiative in 2011. Also, in order to avoid other programmatic reductions, the BLS will eliminate the 2011 initiative to expand the sample in the Occupational Employment Statistics program to measure occupational employment and wage growth.


Last Modified Date: February 14, 2011