The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) falls within the Departmental Cross-Cutting Strategic Goal to enhance the opportunities for Americas workforce. The BLS does this by providing to both public and private decision-makers relevant information on labor economics. This information helps to give those new to the labor force, displaced workers, or those wishing to improve their potential, the information needed to achieve success in todays job market. This information also helps policy-makers with regards to making legislative decisions. Within this goal are two agency strategic goals. Goal one is to measure the economy through producing and disseminating timely, accurate, and relevant information in our areas of expertise. Goal two is to improve the accuracy, efficiency, and relevancy of our economic measures and program outputs through increased application of state-of-the-art statistical techniques, economic concepts, technology, and management processes.
The primary realization of BLS mission is the production and dissemination of its statistics. The BLS depicts this in the agencys strategic goal one. Within this production goal, each performance goal highlights a different program. The performance goals within strategic goal one are the accomplishment of the program deliverables. For example, the successful publication of high quality National Labor Force statistics according to the announced schedule is a performance goal under strategic goal one.
BLS performance indicators for goal one reflect three aspects of high-quality statistics. The first is the output or number of different measures each program produces. BLS produces measures for the Nation and for geographic, demographic, industrial, or occupational sub-sectors of economic activity. Publishing a full range of measures allows decision-makers to select the statistic most relevant for the decision they face. For example, a plant location decision could be made using information about the labor market conditions for particular areas surrounding the potential sites.
Some BLS programs produce statistics that are so important to understanding the economy that the Office of Management and Budget has designated them principal economic indicators. For those programs, BLS publishes a schedule of when the data will be released. These schedules permit all decision-makers to know when information will be available and provide the data to all decision makers at the same time, as soon as possible after the period they report. The second performance measure BLS reports for these programs reflects how often BLS meets the release dates in that published schedule.
Finally, the performance indicators include a reliability measure for each principal economic indicator. Decision-makers need to know how well the BLS statistics reflect the economic activity they describe. While there is a wide variety of conditions that govern the reliability of statistical measures, the BLS performance indicators report on one condition for each major economic indicator.
The BLS reflects its commitment to continuous improvement of its statistical processes and products in the agencys strategic goal two. The objectives identified under this goal cover a full range of improvements, such as program, technology, and customer outreach improvements. For objectives within strategic goal two, the performance goals are significant milestones expected to be completed towards the accomplishment of strategic goal two in the given year. For example, updating the Consumer Price Index (CPI) housing sample to reflect current demographic and geographic population characteristics is a performance goal under strategic goal two. The performance indicators for goal two are the accomplishment of the milestones at the scheduled time.
The 1999 Budget Request for BLS includes two program increases. First, the BLS is requesting funds to continue to improve the timeliness and accuracy of the Consumer Price Index. Since the BLS first sought funds to launch the CPI Revision currently underway, interest in the CPI as a measure of inflation has escalated dramatically, along with a variety of concerns regarding the impact of the CPI on Federal expenditures and receipts. The BLS is proposing a series of steps to strengthen the statistical and methodological infrastructures supporting the current CPI program. These proposals will help to revise the CPI more rapidly at the time of the next Revision, allow the BLS to produce alternative measures of change in the cost of living comparable in precision to the ongoing CPI, improve the measurement of changes in the quality of goods and services, and bring new goods and services into the ongoing CPI on a more timely basis. This program initiative will help BLS accomplish strategic goal two.
Second, the BLS is requesting resources to develop monthly data on the number of separations, new hires, and current job openings at the National level. These data are an important way to assist policy-makers understanding of imbalances between the demand and supply of labor. Presently there is no broad economic indicator specifically designed to assess the demand for labor or the existence of labor shortages in the U.S. labor market. BLS expects the first survey data will be published in 2001. This program initiative will help BLS accomplish strategic goal two.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) is the principal fact-finding agency for the Federal Government in the broad field of labor economics and statistics. The BLS is an independent national statistical agency that collects, processes, analyzes, and disseminates essential statistical data to the American public, the U.S. Congress, other Federal agencies, State and local governments, business, and labor. The BLS also serves as a statistical resource to the Department of Labor (DOL).
BLS data must satisfy a number of criteria, including relevance to current social and economic issues, timeliness in reflecting todays rapidly changing economic conditions, accuracy and consistently high statistical quality, objectivity,and impartiality in both subject matter and presentation.
With the strongest commitment to integrity and objectivity, the BLS will be premier among statistical agencies, producing impartial, timely, and accurate data relevant to the needs of our users and to the social and economic conditions of our nation, its workers, and their families.
The BLS is headed by a Commissioner who administers the various programs for which the BLS is responsible. The BLS mission is carried out through a number of Budget Activities. Each Activity is headed by an Associate Commissioner and is made up of various program offices that are responsible for providing specific statistical information or administrative support. The seven Activities are:
The Bureau of Labor Statistics two strategic goals contribute to the Departments larger commitment to enhance opportunities for Americas workforce and to the more specific Agency mission to:
BLS 1999 program activities and initiatives focus on continuing to provide to both public and private decision-makers relevant information on labor economics. The 1999 Budget Request for BLS is $398,870,000 and 2,485 FTE. With this level, the BLS will collect, process, analyze, and disseminate data on: employment and unemployment; prices and inflation at various levels of the economy; consumer expenditures; wages and employee benefits; occupational injuries and illnesses; productivity and technological change in U.S. industries; and projections of the labor force and employment by industry and occupation. This level includes two program increases that BLS believes will significantly improve the quality of the information available to decision-makers in both public and private sectors. One of these activities - Improving the Timeliness and Accuracy of the Consumer Price Index - was initiated in 1998; the other, Job Opening and Labor Turnover Statistics, is a new initiative. This level also includes three program decreases: the second year of the scheduled phasing down of the Consumer Price Index Revision (CPIR) program; the first year of the scheduled decrease to the Standard Industrial Classification (North American Industry Classification System) Revision; and the Current Population Survey (CPS) supplement on contingent and alternative work arrangements. The following are highlights:
Last Modified Date: October 16, 2001