The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) of the U.S. Department of Labor is the principal federal agency responsible for measuring labor market activity, working conditions, and price changes in the economy. Its mission is to collect, analyze, and disseminate essential economic information to support public and private decision making. As an independent statistical agency, BLS serves its diverse user communities by providing products and services that are accurate, objective, relevant, timely, and accessible.
What We Do
The first BLS Commissioner, Carroll D. Wright, described the Bureau’s mandate as “the fearless publication of the facts.” See our history page for a BLS historical timeline and pictures through the years.
Our Core Values
Just the Facts: “Is the glass half empty or half full?” At BLS we see an 8-ounce glass containing 4 ounces of liquid.
Complete transparency: We document the design and methods of our programs throughout our website. For example, see our Handbook of Methods, which documents every statistical program. Plus, see our Policies page.
Customer service: Our staff of experts can answer your questions. At the top of every webpage, you’ll find a link to the contact us page. The “contact us” page includes phone numbers, email, and physical addresses for national and regional statistical and information staffs. We also have speakers available to talk to your group. Sometimes updates about what is happening at BLS appear in announcements.
Innovation: We continuously improve our processes, products, and services to better serve the American people.
About half of our 2,400 employees are economists and statisticians, and almost 1,000 employees work across the country in regional offices.
Our Commissioner is nominated by the President, confirmed by the Senate, and serves a 4-year fixed term. The Commissioner is the only political appointee at BLS. This position is currently vacant. View our past Commissioners.
Deputy Commissioner William J. Wiatrowski is our highest ranking career employee and has been acting Commissioner since January 2017. Learn more about Bill and our other senior staff.