What Is the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)?

What Is the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) is a U.S. governmental organization that gathers and distributes various economic and job-related information. The BLS oversees two significant measures of inflation: the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and the Producer Price Index (PPI). Furthermore, the organization creates reports on employment, labor force participation, productivity, and wages both at a national and regional level.


In the realm of federal agencies, the Bureau of Labor Statistics takes the lead as an eminent data collector and distributor concerning the U.S. economy and labor market. Integral to its array of reports are the Consumer Price Index and the Producer Price Index, two vital metrics in assessing inflation trends.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS): A Historical Overview and Vital Data Releases

The Bureau of Labor Statistics, a part of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), serves as a significant repository of statistical data related to labor market dynamics, prices, and productivity. With a commitment to accuracy and impartiality, its reports play a pivotal role as influential economic indicators for the nation.

The BLS data is highly sought by media, businesses, academics, and policymakers for informed decision-making. Economists and market participants closely monitor its releases to make accurate predictions about the future performance of the economy and markets.

Key Data Releases

  1. Consumer Price Index (CPI): A comprehensive measure of inflation and cost of living, representing a fixed basket of goods prices.
  2. Producer Price Index (PPI): Reflects the average prices received by American producers for their goods and services.
  3. Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS): Provides localized data on labor efficiency and unemployment.
  4. National Compensation Survey (NCS): Offers detailed insights into workers' earnings across various sectors.
  5. Current Population Survey (CPS): A monthly survey conducted jointly with the Census Bureau, providing employment and demographic characteristics of individuals of working age, including the national unemployment rate.

Historical Background

Established in 1884 under the Department of the Interior, the BLS initially focused on researching economics and labor. After operating independently for about 15 years, it became part of the Department of Commerce and Labor in 1903. Later, in 1913, during the transformation into the Department of Commerce (DOC), the BLS found its current home within the Department of Labor (DOL), responsible for enforcing labor standards and promoting workers' welfare at the cabinet level.


The Bureau of Labor Statistics is a crucial U.S. governmental organization that gathers and distributes economic and labor-related information, including measures of inflation like the CPI and PPI. Its reports on employment, productivity, and wages are highly influential, serving various stakeholders. Throughout its history, the BLS has evolved to its present position within the Department of Labor, remaining a reliable and indispensable source of economic data in the United States.

U.S. Department of Labor (DOL)
Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)
Consumer Price Index (CPI)
Producer Price Index (PPI)
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