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BLS Information

Information Guide

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Information Guide



The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) is the principal fact-finding agency for the federal government in the broad field of labor economics and statistics. BLS is an independent national statistical agency that collects, processes, analyzes, and disseminates essential statistical data for the public, Congress, other federal agencies, state and local governments, business, and labor. BLS also serves as a statistical resource for the U.S. Department of Labor.

BLS data must satisfy a number of criteria, including relevance to current social and economic issues, timeliness in reflecting today's rapidly changing economic conditions, accuracy, consistently high statistical quality, and impartiality in both subject matter and presentation.

About The BLS Information Guide

To make it easier for you to request information or data, we have provided:

  • descriptions of the information and data that we produce, as well as descriptions of the publications in which they appear
  • instructions needed to use various electronic means (internet, email, and so forth) for access to information or data
  • names and telephone numbers of people to contact for additional information

If you have any comments about the BLS Information Guide, contact us.

Where you can obtain information from BLS

Recorded telephone messages
Mid-Atlantic Region, 215-597-3282
  • CPI: U.S., and:
    • Pittsburgh 412-644-2900
    • Philadelphia 215-656-3948
    • Washington–Baltimore 410-962-4898
Mountain–Plains Region, 816-285-7000
  • CPI: U.S., Denver, Kansas City, St. Louis, Midwest, West
New England Region, 617-565-2327
  • CPI: U.S., Boston, and Northeast
  • Selected unemployment, ECI, and PPI data available
New York–New Jersey Region, 646-264-3600
  • CPI: U.S. and New York
Southwest Region, 972-850-4800
  • CPI: U.S., Dallas–Fort Worth, and Houston
  • Selected PPI and ECI data available
Western Region, 415-625-2270
  • CPI: U.S., West, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Anchorage, Honolulu, Phoenix, Portland, and San Diego

CPI = Consumer Price Index
PPI = Producer Price Index
ECI = Employment Cost Index

CPI data are available via fax upon request. Additional data are available for all regions.

Obtaining information through BLS products

Current data and analyses are available online and come in the form of news releases, periodicals, reports, summaries, and bulletins. Printed copies of older BLS publications usually can be found at federal depository libraries. Check with your local librarian or find the Federal Depository library nearest you through the Government Publishing Office (GPO) website: Another resource for older publications is the St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank’s Fraser digital library:

News releases: BLS news releases announce that new data are available. News releases typically consist of a short narrative with at least one chart. For information on specific news releases, see individual BLS program areas.

Periodicals, summaries, reports, bulletins, and other materials: BLS produces analytical summaries, articles, reports, and chart presentations that are posted online on a varied schedule. New material is added daily.

Monthly Labor Review (MLR): Established in 1915, the MLR is the principal journal of fact, analysis, and research published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Each month, economists, statisticians, and experts from the Bureau join with private sector professionals and state and local government specialists to provide a wealth of research on a wide variety of fields about the economy. (Note: Compensation and Working Conditions (CWC) Online was discontinued, but articles from that publication are still available in the Monthly Labor Review.)

Beyond the Numbers (BTN): This publication features current, brief analyses that highlights interesting topics on employment and unemployment, prices and spending, global economy, pay and benefits, workplace injuries, productivity, and special studies and research.

Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH): This publication offers a detailed look at the projected growth for occupations, as well as pay and education and training for those occupations. It is a nationally recognized source of career information, designed to provide valuable assistance to individuals making decisions about their future work lives. The OOH is updated every 2 years.

Career Outlook: This publication contains articles and brief summaries on careers including employment, earnings, and education and training needs. Each issue is designed to help guidance counselors, career planners, employment analysts, and young people keep up with occupational employment developments in a fast-changing economy.

BLS Reports: Typically containing a few pages of analysis and numerous tables, these annual reports provide data on women in the labor force, labor force characteristics by race and ethnicity, the working poor, and consumer expenditures.

The Economics Daily (TED): TED is a daily synopsis, highlighting new or interesting data produced by BLS.

Spotlight on Statistics: This presentation uses charts, maps, and other imagery to describe economic analysis. It contains brief bulleted observations to guide the reader through the illustrations.

Handbook of Methods: The Handbook provides the most current, detailed explanations of how the BLS obtains and prepares the economic data it publishes.

Are you searching for a specific topic or a definition of a BLS term? Please review our A-Z Index and our Glossary.

Classroom Resources for K‑12 Teachers

BLS has a webpage devoted to helping students and teachers discover valuable information about the economy and jobs. Created with students from kindergarten through 12th grade in mind, the Classroom webpage is a fun way to learn about BLS and the data we produce.

Our Teacher’s Desk has classroom activities and videos that you can incorporate into your lesson plans to explain common economic concepts using BLS data! It also has informational posters to print out and hang in your classroom and around the school. These posters feature the fastest growing occupations, employment growth and wages for various occupation groups, employment and earnings by educational attainment, and much more. We update these posters when we publish new data.

In Student’s Desk you can explore careers that relate to your interests and learn about the economic concepts BLS uses. You can also make your own data chart using our K-12 Chart Maker tool!

Test your knowledge of BLS concepts with our Games and Quizzes.

Feel free to contact us to learn more about the K-12 webpage or to send us your feedback.

How to Contact Information Providers

Information specialists in the following offices are available to assist you:

What Topics Are You Interested In?

Does BLS produce statistics on worker characteristics/demographics?

Demographic Statistics

Current Population Survey (CPS)

Comprehensive national information on the employment and unemployment experiences of the population

Key Takeaways:
  • The CPS program is based on a monthly survey of over 60,000 households.

  • CPS provides employment data classified by age, gender, race, education, and a variety of other characteristics.  

  • CPS provides detailed reports on subgroups such as displaced workers, working women with children, activities of recent high school graduates and dropouts, union members, and volunteers.

  • CPS publishes weekly and hourly earnings by occupation, industry, demographic group, full- or part-time employment status, and more.

News releases:
Similar to CPS:

American Time Use Survey  Real Earnings, State Employment and Unemployment, County Employment and Wages, Employee Benefits in the US, Metropolitan Area Employment and Unemployment, Employee Tenure, Foreign Born Workers: Labor Force Characteristics  

Employment Statistics

National Longitudinal Surveys

Demographic snapshots of groups of Americans, at various points in their lives

Key Takeaways:
  • The NLS are a series of surveys that gather information on the work and life experiences of groups of Americans, called cohorts, born during specific periods, at multiple points in time.
  • Each of the NLS cohorts (for example, older Millennials) consists of several thousand sample-members, some of whom have been surveyed for decades. These data offer the opportunity to study specific groups of Americans over long periods of their lives.
  • NLS data and documentation are available for free at www. A searchable record of research based on NLS data is available at
News releases:
Data available:
Active surveys:
Similar to NLS:

American Time Use Survey, Employment Characteristics of Families, College Enrollment and Work Activity of Recent High School and College Graduates, Work Experience of the Population

Contact Information

Bureau of Labor Statistics

Contact BLS” to reach national and regional BLS information offices which are available to help you find and use BLS data, publications, and services. Also, you will find the contact information for all the BLS programs if you need answers to specific questions about BLS data or its surveys.

Other Federal Organizations