The National Longitudinal Surveys (NLS) are a set of surveys designed to gather information at multiple points in time on the labor market activities and other significant life events of several groups of men and women. NLS data have served as an important tool for economists, sociologists, and other researchers for more than 50 years. The NLS program started the original cohorts’ project in the mid-1960s with surveys of four groups: Mature Women, Young Women, Older Men, and Young Men. Today, we have three active cohorts:
Additional information about the program is available on the NLS Questions and Answers page.
“The National Longitudinal Surveys stand out because they are designed to answer key long-term questions about people’s paths through life.
The survey doesn’t just ask about labor market activity. It also asks about education, training, health, marriages and other relationships, children, use of government programs, juvenile crimes and arrests, drug and alcohol use, and much more. Why do we ask about these topics, some of which are pretty sensitive? In short, we’re trying to understand all the things that affect or are affected by labor market activity. That covers nearly every part of our lives.
This is all possible thanks to the people who have agreed to participate in the surveys across many years—so that we can understand people’s paths over time!”
-Erica L. Groshen, Commissioner (Read more at https://blogs.bls.gov/blog/2015/04/02/why-this-counts-tracking-labor-market-experience-over-a-lifetime/)
We understand that confidentiality is important to you. That is why the law and our own security policies strictly protect the confidentiality of participants in our surveys. Additional information about how we protect your confidentiality is available on the Confidentiality Pledge and Laws page. The NLS program has established set procedures for ensuring respondent confidentiality and obtaining informed consent. For more information about these procedures, visit the NLSY79 confidential and informed consent and NLSY97 confidential and informed consent links.
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Last Modified Date: August 3, 2020