Department of Labor Logo United States Department of Labor
Dot gov

The .gov means it's official.
Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you're on a federal government site.


The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

National Longitudinal Surveys

NLS Mission Statement

The National Longitudinal Surveys (NLS) provide information on the complex relationships between an individual's labor market activities and other experiences such as education, health, family formation, and economic decision-making over the life course.  We strive to deliver excellent customer service to help researchers and policymakers use these rich data sets to their full advantage.


NLS Strategies and Goals

Strategy 1 (Production):  Produce high quality data that is accurate, timely, and meets the needs of a diverse user base, while protecting the confidentiality of NLS respondents.

Goal 1.1 Maintain high response rates and representativeness of key subsamples.

Goal 1.2 Ensure data accuracy throughout each stage of production.

Goal 1.3 Maintain respondent confidentiality.

Goal 1.4 Protect NLS data from unauthorized access or revision.

Strategy 2 (Valued and trusted data):  Maximize the value of NLS data by continually improving accuracy and cultivating the longitudinal design and topical breadth for use across disciplines. 

Goal 2.1: Plan for a new youth cohort.

Goal 2.2: Communicate with NLS stakeholders on unique advantages of NLS data and solicit feedback.

Goal 2.3 Develop long-term plans for introducing new cohorts and retiring existing cohorts upon completion of their working lives.

Goal 2.4: Evaluate questionnaire content to ensure relevance to the life stage of the sample members.

Goal 2.5: Promote cross-cohort use of NLS data.

Goal 2.6: Assess and propose treatments to coverage, measurement, non-response, and other sources of error that may affect the accuracy of NLS data.

Strategy 3 (Source data innovation):  Expand data collection methods and use of alternate data sources to improve statistical quality, while lowering respondent burden. 

Goal 3.1 Investigate linking and integration of administrative data with NLS data.

Goal 3.2 Expand respondent contact and data collection methods.

Goal 3.3 Expand use of already collected data not currently available to BLS.

Strategy 4 (Organizational excellence):  Foster staff development, engagement, effectiveness and satisfaction. 

Goal 4.1: Define roles of NLS staff, BLS non-programmatic staff, advisory groups, and contractors.

Goal 4.2 Make effective decisions to allocate limited resources efficiently.

Goal 4.3: Formulate, standardize, and document program and contracting procedures and requirements.

Goal 4.4:  Develop materials for new employees.

Goal 4.5:  Support on-going staff training.

Goal 4.6: Organize the files in shared directories.

Strategy 5 (Exceptional relationships and customer experience):  Increase availability of NLS information to appeal to a broad customer base in forms that are easy to access, understand, and use. 

Goal 5.1: Develop and improve the NLS Website on and the NLSinfo Website.

Goal 5.2: Develop and enhance NLS data products.

Goal 5.3: Improve user outreach and support.

Goal 5.4: Provide researchers with secure access to well-documented confidential data.