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BLS COVID-19 Questions and Answers

COVID-19 Publications

The Economics Daily

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107.5 million private sector workers in pandemic-essential industries in 2019

We have used a list of pandemic-essential industries from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to count the number of workers in “essential industries” in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Just before the Covid-19 pandemic, in 2019 the United States had an average annual private employment of 107.5 million in essential industries. read more »

Beyond the Numbers

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The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the input and output prices of the airline and hotel industries: Insights from new BLS data

This Beyond the Numbers article examines the impact of COVID-19 on firms in the air travel and accommodation (e.g., hotels) industries using the new input to industry indexes as well as the Producer Price Index (PPI) output price indexes for these industries. read more »

Monthly Labor Review

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Employment projections in a pandemic environment

This article examines the impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic on the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 2019–29 employment projections through two alternate scenarios: a moderate impact scenario and a strong impact scenario. read more »

Career Outlook

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Effects of the pandemic on projected employment in selected industries, 2019–29

How will the pandemic affect employment over the decade? This chart shows differences projected in some industries. read more »

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in coordination with agencies across the federal government, continues to monitor the impacts of the COVID-19 virus, also known as novel coronavirus. 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 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 many BLS employees are working remotely—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 Indexes

Productivity and Costs Statistics

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

How could COVID-19 affect BLS data collection?

BLS employs a wide variety of collection 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 visiting researchers be allowed in the building?

Although BLS headquarters in Washington, D.C., is open, the Office of Management and Budget has issued guidance encouraging maximum telework flexibilities for federal employees. BLS has suspended access to restricted microdata until support staff are available to assist external researchers in the Postal Square Building. BLS will allow for extensions of data access agreements should support staff be unavailable for an extended period.

Other COVID-19 Resources

Last Modified Date: February 24, 2021