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BLS COVID-19 Questions and Answers

COVID-19 Publications

The Economics Daily

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People not looking for work because of COVID-19

In October 2021, 7.9 percent of people who were not in the labor force but wanted to work were prevented from looking for a job because of the COVID-19 pandemic. This was down from 52.6 percent in May 2020. read more »

Monthly Labor Review

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Employment in rail transportation heads downhill between November 2018 and December 2020

This article provides an analysis of the recent employment declines in the rail transportation industry. read more »

Spotlight on Statistics

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America's Recovery: Labor Market Characteristics of People with a Disability

October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month, and the theme in 2021 is America’s Recovery: Powered by Inclusion. COVID-19 had a large impact on the labor market for people with and without disabilities. Historical differences between these groups remain largely unchanged during the pandemic and economic recovery. This Spotlight examines changes in labor force characteristics of people with a disability during COVID-19 and the recovery through September 2021. read more »

Beyond the Numbers

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Measuring consumer price change during economic downturns: a review of assumptions about consumer spending

During economic downturns, how do these measures help in analyzing price change, and what can we assume about consumption? This Beyond the Numbers article explores the final C-CPI-U during the Great Recession and the recession that occurred as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, the article evaluates consumer spending assumptions of the CPI-U and preliminary C-CPI-U during these recessionary periods to highlight challenges of lagged consumer spending data. 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 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: November 23, 2021