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BLS COVID-19 Questions and Answers

COVID-19 Publications

Monthly Labor Review

Monthly Labor Review article image

Diffusion indexes of state and metropolitan area employment changes

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics publishes eight diffusion index series that measure the geographic dispersion of employment change and are useful in describing the impact of the pandemic and ongoing job recovery. read more »

The Economics Daily

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Consumer expenditures on travel declined sharply from 2019 to 2020

The average household spent about $2,100 on travel in 2019. With the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, this average dropped to $926 for the year, a decrease of 56 percent. Within the travel budget, the sharpest decline—in both dollars and percent terms—was in transportation. read more »

Beyond the Numbers

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What the long-term impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic could mean for the future of IT jobs

Before the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, many IT jobs were already projected to be in high demand over the next decade. The pandemic has made IT workers even more important to the future economy, and the jobs projections for these occupations have increased. read more »

Spotlight on Statistics

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Demographic Changes in Employment during the COVID-19 Pandemic

This Spotlight on Statistics compares employment before and during the COVID-19 pandemic for men and women and for different racial and ethnic groups, age groups, and other worker characteristics. read more »

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in coordination with agencies across the federal government, continues to monitor the impacts of COVID-19. BLS is committed to producing and distributing gold-standard data while also keeping the public, our employees, and our partners at the U.S. Census Bureau and state agencies safe.

This page will be updated regularly.

Are there changes in operations at BLS in response to COVID-19?

The Office of Management and Budget has issued guidance encouraging maximum telework flexibilities for federal employees, so most BLS employees are working remotely, while maintaining the highest level of service.

Who do I contact if I have questions?

Existing communications channels (phone, email, internet) continue to operate as normal during this period.

Will data releases be delayed?

BLS intends to release all data on our normal schedule as announced on the BLS release calendar.

Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on BLS programs

Employment and Unemployment Statistics

Price and Spending Statistics

Productivity and Costs Statistics

Workplace Injuries and Illnesses, Compensation, Occupational Requirements, and Work Stoppages Statistics

How could COVID-19 affect BLS data collection?

BLS collects data through a variety of methods for its surveys. Much of the data, particularly from businesses, are collected online and through telephone interviews. Some data, however, are collected in person. For data that are typically collected in person, we are limiting in-person collection and focusing on phone, email, and internet.

Will BLS predict any impacts from COVID-19?

BLS does not make predictions about labor market data that we produce and distribute.

Will visitors be allowed in the Postal Square Building?

Although BLS has been open for business throughout the pandemic, our headquarters in Washington, DC, is not open to the public. Our staff continues to be on maximum telework.

BLS has suspended access to restricted microdata until support staff are available to help external researchers in the Postal Square Building. BLS will allow extensions of data access agreements that expire during the time support staff are unavailable.

Other COVID-19 Resources

Last Modified Date: April 13, 2022