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Freedom of Information Act Requests

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) provides the public the right to request access to federal agency records or information. Like all federal agencies, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) is required to disclose records requested unless the requested information falls under one or more of the nine exemptions contained in the statute. FOIA applies only to federal agencies and does not create a right of access to records held by Congress, the courts, or state or local government agencies. The Department of Justice Office of Information Policy homepage provides the full text of the FOIA.

Please see our BLS FOIA Frequently Asked Questions for quick answers to common questions.

BLS Statistical Data Product Requests versus Requests for Records under FOIA

Many statistical data products produced by the BLS can be found on the BLS website and may be obtained without making a request under FOIA.

Statistical data questions or special data requests for information not readily available on the BLS website should be submitted directly to the appropriate BLS program that produces the data. Submitting your questions to the appropriate BLS program or the BLS Division of Information and Marketing Services is the most direct way to receive the answers you are seeking, and we recommend it over submitting a FOIA request. Please contact the BLS program that produces the data or the Division of Information and Marketing Services before submitting your FOIA request for BLS data products.

  • BLS microdata, including establishment names, cannot be released to FOIA requestors pursuant to FOIA Exemption (b)(3), records that are specifically exempted from disclosure by statute. Under the Confidential Information Protection and Statistical Efficiency Act (CIPSEA) (PDF) (44 USC Section 3561 et seq.), Federal agencies are specifically prohibited from releasing in identifiable form information acquired under a pledge of confidentiality for exclusively statistical purposes. This assurance enables the BLS to collect sensitive information provided voluntarily by individuals and entities that might not otherwise cooperate. If we failed to keep our pledge of confidentiality, it could cause a detrimental effect on the participation of respondents, thereby impairing our ability to collect reliable data. 

  • Please see our BLS FOIA Frequently Asked Questions for information on additional exemptions and how they apply to BLS records.

BLS FOIA Information

  • How to make a FOIA request

    Before making a request, we encourage you to visit the BLS and DOL websites to see if the information you seek is already publicly available. You can find a lot of useful information on a range of topics on bls.gov. 

    If the information you want is not publicly available, you can submit a FOIA request to the BLS FOIA Office (see Instructions for Submitting a FOIA Request to the BLS, below.) The request must be in writing and must reasonably describe the records you seek. Please be as specific as possible in describing the records requested. The more specific you are about the records or types of records you are requesting, the more likely it will be that the BLS can locate those records. 

  • Instructions for Submitting a FOIA Request to the BLS

    The BLS accepts FOIA requests by e-mail, mail, or fax.

    You can e-mail your request to:

    foiarequests@dol.gov

    Or mail* your request to:

    U.S. Department of Labor
    Bureau of Labor Statistics
    FOIA Disclosure Officer
    Room 4080 Postal Square Building
    2 Massachusetts Avenue, N.E.
    Washington, DC 20212-0001

    Or fax your request to:

    Bureau of Labor Statistics
    FOIA Disclosure Officer
    (202) 691-5111

    * Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, BLS staff continue to operate on a maximum telework posture, and access to mail may be delayed.

  • BLS FOIA Service Center

    FOIA requesters seeking information concerning the status of their FOIA request within BLS, information about the agency's FOIA response, or general information on the agency's FOIA practices and resources may contact the service center at (202) 691-7628 or BLSFOIAServiceCenter@bls.gov.

Frequently Requested Materials

Other FOIA Resources

 

Last Modified Date: January 7, 2022