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Friday, May 10, 2013

Data Users Advisory Committee meeting; new Spotlight on international comparisons

This week at BLS we held one of our twice-yearly meetings with our Data Users Advisory Committee. The Committee advises BLS from the points of view of data users from various sectors of the U.S. economy, including the labor, business, research, academic, and government communities. Committee members provide important feedback about the analysis, dissemination, and uses of BLS data and published reports and on the need for new statistics. Before I became BLS Commissioner, I was a member of this Committee, and I was very glad that BLS solicits advice from data users. Now that I am Commissioner, I have an even greater appreciation for the Committee’s advice. This week’s meeting featured discussions about the new Occupational Requirements Survey, the presentation of geographic data, BLS outreach activities to various customer groups, and a new approach to developing and presenting occupational replacement needs in BLS employment projections.

Also this week, BLS published a new edition of Spotlight on Statistics on international comparisons of economic measures. These measures include gross domestic product, unemployment rates, compensation costs, labor productivity rates, and consumer prices. This Spotlight on Statistics compares these and other measures across countries in the Americas, Europe, Asia, and the South Pacific to get a glimpse of how individual economies have performed in recent years and historically.

All of us at BLS are very proud that BLS Research Statistician Polly Phipps was recently elected as a Fellow of the American Statistical Association. This very high honor recognizes Polly’s service to the statistics profession and her outstanding research contributions to BLS in the study of survey error and corresponding improvements to the accuracy of survey and administrative data. This is a rare honor awarded by the association to no more than one-third of one percent of its members in a given year.

Finally this week, the career website The Muse included profiles of three Department of Labor employees, including Jay McDaniel of BLS.