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Overview of BLS Statistics

BLS produces statistics on many different characteristics. Click each characteristic below to see which BLS programs have data on that attribute.

Demographic Data

Several programs at the Bureau of Labor Statistics make significant amounts of data available for specific demographic categories. Demographic categories used by BLS include sex, age, race, and ethnic origin. The data by age generally are people of working age, defined as 16 years and older. Data on race generally are for Asians, Blacks or African Americans, and whites. Most data on ethnicity relate to people of Hispanic origin.

Statistics by Industry

Workplaces (establishments) are classified into industries based on their principal product or activity, as determined from information on annual sales volume. Two examples of industries are manufacturing and retail trade. BLS industry data are classified using the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS).

Statistics on Business Costs

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has a variety of numbers that can be used to gauge movements in business costs. Some of them measure labor costs, while others measure the prices of goods and services.

Statistics by Occupation

Workers are classified into occupational categories based upon the work they perform and their skills, education, training, and credentials. Two examples of occupations are accountants and auditors and janitors and cleaners. Some occupations are found in just one or two industries, but many occupations are found in a large number of industries. Most BLS occupation data use the Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) System.

Statistics by Geography

Most BLS programs publish data at the national level. Some programs also publish data for smaller geographic areas, allowing focus on regional, state, or local trends. For example, BLS publishes separate unemployment rates for the United States, for Texas, and for San Antonio. We also have a national wage data for registered nurses, as well as wage data for registered nurses in California and in Los Angeles.


Last Modified Date:September 1, 2020