Today, President Obama presented to Congress his fiscal year 2016 budget request. That request proposes $632.7 million in funding for BLS for the year beginning October 1, 2015. That is an increase of $40.5 million over the funding we have received for fiscal year 2015. In this post, I’ll share some information about the budget and what it means for BLS.
Our customers and employees will be pleased to learn that, at this proposed funding level, we won’t have to reduce BLS programs in fiscal year 2016. The 2016 budget would allow BLS to continue providing important information about the labor market, price changes, and working conditions the American public needs and values to make decisions.
New program initiatives in the 2016 budget would enable BLS to meet important data needs. One initiative proposes improving the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey to better understand U.S. labor market dynamics. If this initiative receives funding, BLS would release the data sooner, when The Employment Situation comes out each month. The proposal also would expand the survey sample and add more focused questions on labor market issues.
The 2016 budget also proposes adding questions to the Current Population Survey each year about workplace trends. These questions would be on such topics as the growth of alternative work arrangements and flexible work schedules and on the work-family balance.
In addition, BLS would change the Consumer Expenditure Survey to support the U.S. Census Bureau as it develops alternative poverty measure. These new measures would complement the standard measure the Census Bureau has produced since the 1960s.
Finally, the fiscal year 2016 budget includes a proposal to restore funding for the International Price Program Export Price Indexes.
More specific information on the program changes in the fiscal year 2016 budget are at http://www.dol.gov/dol/budget.