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BLS Restricted Data Access

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) allows eligible researchers the opportunity to gain access to restricted data files for select statistical research projects. For more information about these options and the specific data files available, please refer to our ”Who is Eligible?” and “How to Apply” pages. 

Researchers are encouraged to apply for access as early as possible and to discuss projects with the appropriate BLS contacts prior to applying. Please contact BLS to discuss the feasibility of your project and learn how to submit a strong research proposal.  

The application process for requesting access to restricted data changed in December 2022. The Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act of 2018 called for the Federal government to establish a standard application process (SAP) through which eligible researchers may apply for access to confidential microdata. In response, the federal statistical system is developing an SAP Portal at The SAP Portal is a web-based data catalog and common application to apply for research use of confidential data from federal statistical agencies and units. All applications requesting access to BLS restricted data must now be submitted using the SAP Portal common application.

Information about confidential microdata available for research use can be found in the SAP data catalog and on the BLS website "What Datasets are Available?" page.