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September 2008, Vol. 131, No. 9
Knowing younger workers better: information from the NLSY97
Dan Black, Robert Michael, and Charles Pierret
For more than 40 years, the U.S. Department of Labor has undertaken a series of major, national studies that track labor force behavior. These studies follow the same men and women, year after year, and by doing so reveal much about what affects wages and hours of work, how new skills influence success in the job market, how health and schooling interact to influence careers, and how unexpected events—from plant closings and bad weather to product innovations and the openings of new markets—affect earnings. The National Longitudinal Surveys (NLS) program has become one of the Nation’s most respected and influential sources of data about the work force since its inception in 1966, administered through the Employment and Training Administration until 1984 and through BLS thereafter. The NLS program consists of seven samples of men and women who have been surveyed periodically and have reported on many of their behaviors in and related to labor markets. These surveys have been used in thousands of research projects within the Government and in research universities and analytic think tanks. The studies constitute a major component of what researchers now know about the roles of schooling, intellectual ability, health, migration, community, and family in developing the "human capital" and "social capital" that influence the distribution of earnings in the United States and the level of our Nation’s gross domestic product.
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Related BLS programs
National Longitudinal Surveys
Who goes to college? Evidence from the NLSY97.—Aug. 2008.
NLSY97: an introduction, The.—August 2001.
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