Publications of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Permanent URI for this collection

Catherwood Library has an extensive collection of bulletins, reports, and periodicals published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. These publications provide a wealth of historical and current data on the U. S. labor environment, as well as selected information on non-U.S. countries.


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 20 of 349
  • Item
    Facts of the Catch: Occupational Injuries, Illnesses, and Fatalities to Fishing Workers, 2003-2009
    Janocha, Jill (2012-08-01)
    Fishers and related fishing workers deal with a set of working conditions unique among all other occupations. This occupation is characterized by strenuous work, long hours, seasonal employment, and some of the most hazardous conditions in the workforce. These workers are often at sea for weeks or months at a time, sometimes having to stand on deck, fishing for long periods with little or no sleep. They are constantly being tossed around by wind and rough seas, with water in their face and under their feet, which adds an element of balance to the skills needed to do their job safely. Weather does not stop production, and given that these workers do not work in a factory or office building, it increases the unpredictability of their working conditions. Access to on-site medical care for these workers is limited to the knowledge of those on the boat with them or the response of the Coast Guard. Thanks to television shows such as Deadliest Catch, Lobstermen, Swords, Rajin Cajuns, Hook Line and Sisters, Wicked Tuna, Big Shrimpin’, and Toughest Tribes, viewers can see the hazards these workers face first hand. But what do the numbers show? Fishers and related fishing workers have had the highest fatal injury rate of any occupation since 2005. Their rate of fatal injury in 2009 was 203.6 per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers, more than 50 times the all-worker rate of 3.5. From 2003 to 2009, an average of 48 fishers and related fishing workers died each year as a result of an injury incurred on the job. There were approximately 31,000 people employed as fishers and related fishing workers in 2009. This issue of BEYOND THE NUMBERS looks at data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Injuries, Illnesses, and Fatalities program on fishers and related fishing workers for the period from 2003 to 2009. Although this report focuses primarily on fatal injuries among workers in this occupation, for context, it begins with some information on the nonfatal injuries and illnesses experienced by these workers. This is followed by a detailed description of what the data from the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) show about fatal injuries to fishers and related fishing workers during the 2003–2009 period. The final section gives an overview of the fatal injuries that occurred among a subset of the fishers and related fishing workers in the private shellfish fishing industry, including crab fishing, lobster fishing, and shrimp fishing, in order to provide more insight into the special hazards these workers endure.
  • Item
    Labor Market Risks of a Magnitude-6.8 Hayward Fault Earthquake in the San Francisco Bay Area: An Update
    Holden, Richard J.; Luo, Tian; Heidl, Anne; Mann, Amar (2016-10-01)
    [Excerpt] This Beyond the Numbers article updates a previous BLS Regional Report, “Labor market risks of a magnitude 6.9 earthquake in Alameda County,” that provided estimates of potential exposure to San Francisco Bay Area businesses and employees. This article analyzes the most damaged areas anticipated for that event—those areas with very strong to severe shaking on the Modified Mercalli Index (MMI VII or greater). We identify the businesses in these probable shaking zones and quantify the businesses, employees, and wages that are at risk.
  • Item
    Gasoline Prices: Cyclical Trends and Market Developments
    Hoglund, Lori E. (2015-05-01)
    Gasoline prices experience volatility often credited to fluctuations in the crude oil market, but gasoline is subject to its own supply and demand pressures. Cyclical trends such as seasonal changes in refining costs, production adjustments, and changes in demand contribute to gasoline price movements over a typical year. Recently, however, market developments not influenced by seasonal fluctuations have affected prices. From 2010 to 2014, increased access to cost-advantaged domestic sources of crude oil has expanded domestic gasoline production, and evolving consumption patterns in the United States and abroad have altered both import and export demand. Between January 2005 and September 2008, the producer price index for gasoline trended generally higher. (See chart 1.) The onset of the Great Recession pressured producer prices lower in the fourth quarter of 2008, a 67.8-percent drop, before prices started to rebound in early 2009. By mid-2011, prices reached prerecession levels and remained in a tight range before dropping more than 50 percent in the latter half of 2014 and early 2015. This Beyond the Numbers article examines the many factors that contributed to shifting producer gasoline prices from 2005 through 2014.
  • Item
    Tenure of American Workers
    Hipple, Steven F.; Sok, Emy (2013-09-01)
    Information on employee tenure—the length of time that workers have been with their current employer—may not grab headlines or get mentioned in social media as frequently as other measures of the labor market, such as employment growth, the unemployment rate, or earnings trends. Nevertheless, measures of employee tenure can be useful in understanding long-term trends in the labor market. A number of factors can affect the median tenure of workers, including changes in the age profile among workers, as well as changes in the number of hires and separations. This Spotlight on Statistics examines trends in employee tenure by various demographic and socioeconomic characteristics, and highlights some of the factors that affect these trends for the period from 1996 to 2012.
  • Item
    BLS Spotlight on Statistics: Self-Employment in the United States
    Hipple, Steven F.; Hammond, Laurel A. (2016-03-01)
    [Excerpt] Although it is possible to identify the incorporated self-employed separately, they are counted as wage and salary workers in the official statistics because, legally, they are employees of their own business. This Spotlight on Statistics examines recent trends in self-employment by various demographic and socioeconomic characteristics, including both the unincorporated and the incorporated self-employed, as well as data on paid employees who work for the self-employed.
  • Item
    People Who Are Not in the Labor Force: Why Aren't They Working?
    Hipple, Steven F. (2015-12-01)
    People who are neither working nor looking for work are counted as “not in the labor force,” according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Since 2000, the percentage of people in this group has increased. Data from the Current Population Survey (CPS) and its Annual Social and Economic Supplement (ASEC) provide some insight into why people are not in the labor force. The ASEC is conducted in the months of February through April and includes questions about work and other activities in the previous calendar year. For example, data collected in 2015 are for the 2014 calendar year, and data collected in 2005 are for the 2004 calendar year. In the ASEC, people who did not work at all in the previous year are asked to give the main reason they did not work. Interviewers categorize survey participants’ verbatim responses into the following categories: ill health or disabled; retired; home responsibilities; going to school; could not find work; and other reasons. This Beyond the Numbers article examines data on those who were not in the labor force during 2004 and 2014 and the reasons they gave for not working. The data are limited to people who neither worked nor looked for work during the previous year.
  • Item
    Employment Patterns in Political Organizations
    Himes, Douglas (2016-05-01)
    This Beyond the Numbers article takes a look at employment and wage data for the political organizations industry from the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) program. This industry is strongly affected by the U.S. election calendar, its employment and wages varying accordingly. Anyone interested in a career in political organizations might well heed the lesson presented by these data: opportunities in this industry may be abundant one year and scarce the next.
  • Item
    Gold Prices During and After the Great Recession
    Hergt, Brian (2013-02-01)
    Gold, a highly valuable precious metal, has many practical uses that span multiple industries. Historically, one of the primary uses of gold has been to make objects, such as jewelry. Malleability is one of gold’s special properties, allowing it to be hammered into sheets, drawn into wires, and cast into different shapes. In addition to jewelry, gold is used to manufacture many products that we use in our everyday lives, especially electronics. This is because gold is an efficient conductor of electricity, and electronic components made with gold tend to be very reliable. Televisions, cell phones, calculators, Global Positioning System (GPS) devices, and computers are examples of products produced with small amounts of gold. Gold is widely used in other areas, as well, such as the medical, aerospace, and glassmaking industries. Beyond its artistic and utilitarian uses, gold is used as a vehicle for monetary exchange through the issuance of gold coins and bars. (The former gold standard was established as a monetary system in which the standard economic unit of account was a fixed weight of gold.) Even though the United States transitioned to a system of fiat money (deriving its value from regulation) in the early 1970s, many investors continue to use gold as an investment to hedge against inflation, currency weakness, and other economic disruptions. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is of the opinion that gold prices are influenced by many factors. In 2011 he said, “Well, I pay attention to the price of gold, but I think it reflects a lot of things. It reflects global uncertainties. The reason people hold gold is as a protection against what we call tail risk, really, really bad outcomes. And to the extent that the last few years have made people more worried about the potential of a major crisis, then they have gold as a protection.”
  • Item
    Spending on Pets: "Tails" from the Consumer Expenditure Survey
    Henderson, Steven (2013-05-01)
    Nearly three-quarters of U.S. households own pets. There are about 218 million pets in the United States, not counting several million fish. Pet ownership crosses many demographic boundaries, with Americans of different ages and levels of wealth reporting spending on pets. Further, Americans spend a substantial amount of money on the care and feeding of their animals. Americans spent approximately $61.4 billion in total on their pets in 2011. On average, each U.S. household spent just over $500 on pets. This amounts to about 1 percent of total spending per year for the average household. Using information collected in the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Consumer Expenditure (CE) Diary and Interview Surveys from 2007 to 2011, this article looks at the trends in spending by household or consumer unit, and examines which groups spent the most and the least on pets.
  • Item
    Expenditures of Urban and Rural Households in 2011
    Hawk, William (2013-02-01)
    The United States is a nation of great diversity. Large houses and big red barns are found on the open farmlands of the Midwest while apartments and coffee shops occupy rs of busy city streets. The varying landscapes shape the lives, customs, and spending habits of Americans. Using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Expenditure Survey (CE), this BEYOND THE NUMBERS article examines demographic characteristics and spending habits of urban and rural households in the United States in 2011. In total, approximately 92 percent of households were urban and 8 percent were rural. The following data highlight important differences between consumer expenditures by rural and urban households in 2011: Urban households spent $7,808 (18 percent) more than rural households. Urban households received $15,779 (32 percent) more in yearly income than rural households. Higher housing expenditures by urban consumers accounted for about two-thirds of the difference in overall spending between urban and rural households. Rural households spent 32 percent more on prescription and nonprescription drugs than urban households. Urban households spent 28 percent more on food away from home and 5 percent less on food at home than rural households. Overall, urban households spent 7 percent more on food than rural households. Rural households spent more on gasoline and motor oil, and spent a higher percentage of their car and truck budgets on used vehicles. In the transportation spending category, urban households spent more on airline fares. Although rural and urban households spent about the same on entertainment, rural households spent more on pets, and urban households spent more on fees and admissions.
  • Item
    Examining Trends in the Nonresidential Building Construction Producer Price Indexes (PPIs)
    Harper, Justin M. (2014-05-01)
    In 2004, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) unveiled the Producer Price Index (PPI) nonresidential building construction initiative with the publication of an index for new warehouse building construction. PPI has since added nonresidential building construction indexes for schools, offices, industrial buildings, and health care buildings. This construction sector initiative is noteworthy as it expanded coverage into an important sector of the U.S. economy not previously measured by the PPI, and allowed the examination of different drivers of building construction inflation. According to Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) data, in the first quarter of 2005, the value of private fixed investment in structures totaled $1.137 trillion, representing about 8.9 percent of total gross domestic product (GDP). Of private fixed investment in structures, nonresidential structures alone represented $330.8 billion, or about 2.6 percent of total GDP. By the fourth quarter of 2013, nonresidential structures investments grew to $473.4 billion, or 2.8 percent of total GDP.
  • Item
    The First Hundred Years of the Bureau of Labor Statistics
    Goldberg, Joseph P.; Moye, William T. (1985-09-01)
    [Excerpt] This volume reports on the first century of a government agency whose founders hoped that, by publishing facts about economic conditions, the agency would help end strife between capital and labor. The Bureau's early work included studies of depressions, tariffs, immigrants, and alcoholism and many assignments to investigate and mediate disputes between labor and management. Most of these functions- especially those involving formulation of policy- passed on to other agencies. The Bureau today remains one of the Nation's principal economic factfinders. In writing the book, Drs. Goldberg and Moye had full freedom to interpret events in accordance with their judgments as historians, without conformance to an "official" view of institutional history. Given the perspective made possible by passing years, the authors offer broader evaluations of the Bureau's early history than of contemporary events.
  • Item
    A Profile of the Working Poor, 1997
    Goings, Gloria P. (1999-08-01)
    [Excerpt] This report presents data on the relationships between labor force activity and poverty in 1997 for individual workers and their families. The data were collected in the March 1998 supplement to the Current Population Survey, a nationwide monthly survey of about 50,000 households conducted by the Bureau of the Census for the Bureau of Labor Statistics. For a detailed description of the source of the data and an explanation of the concepts and definitions used in this report, see the Technical Note.
  • Item
    How Parents Use Time and Money
    Foster, Ann C.; Kreisler, Craig K. (2012-08-01)
    [Excerpt] This article examines weekday resource allocation decisions of married couples with a husband employed full time and with children under 18. These decisions relate, among other things, to working for pay; doing unpaid household work; purchasing services such as childcare, laundry and drycleaning, and food away from home; and eating out. Information about spending decisions was obtained from the 2009 Consumer Expenditure Survey (CE) and information about time use was obtained from the 2009 American Time Use Survey (ATUS). Results show that, Regardless of employment status, wives were more likely than husbands to spend time in household activities. On an average weekday, married fathers spent more time working than married mothers did, even married mothers employed full time. The proportion of families reporting childcare expenses and the average amount spent by those reporting were highest for families with full-time working wives and lowest for families with wives not employed for pay. Consistent with other research, working-wife families did not spend more on housekeeping and laundry services than did families with wives not employed for pay. Families with full-time working wives spent the greatest dollar amount on food away from home, but there was no significant difference in spending between families with part-time working wives and families with wives not employed for pay.
  • Item
    Spending Patterns of Families Receiving Means-Tested Government Assistance
    Foster, Ann C.; Hawk, William R. (2013-12-01)
    Government means-tested assistance programs, such as Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income (SSI), provide cash and noncash benefits to many low-income families. In 2009, 19.0 percent of U.S. families, on average, participated in at least one major means-tested program per month. Participation rates were highest for one-parent families headed by women, 46.3 percent, compared with 26.5 percent for one-parent families headed by men and 12.3 percent for married- couple families. This article uses data from the 2011 Consumer Expenditure Interview Survey to examine the spending patterns of families receiving benefits from one or more government means-tested assistance programs. Families with children under 18 are the focus of this research, because the poverty rate for children under 18 was highest for this group, at 21.9 percent in 2011, compared with 13.7 percent for people age 18 to 64 and 8.7 percent for people age 65 and older. Findings show that: Average total expenditures of families receiving means-tested assistance were less than half those of families not receiving assistance. For families receiving assistance, food, housing, and transportation accounted for 77.0 percent of the family budget, compared with 65.5 percent of the budget of families not receiving assistance. Among one-parent families receiving assistance, 36.8 percent did not own a car, compared with 3.0 percent of families not receiving assistance and 9.7 percent of two-parent families receiving assistance.
  • Item
    A Closer Look at the Spending Patterns of Older Americans
    Foster, Ann C. (2016-03-01)
    The aging of the United States population will influence the economy for many years to come. The Census Bureau projects that in 2050, the population aged 65 and older will be 83.7 million, almost double its estimate of 43.1 million in 2012. This article examines the spending patterns of households with a reference person age 55 and older. Age 55 was chosen because the article focuses on spending changes that occur as household members age and transition to retirement as well as during retirement. Understanding expenditure patterns in later life is crucial to evaluating financial security in retirement. This analysis uses integrated data from the 2014 Consumer Expenditure Survey (CE), which separates the 55-and-older age range into three groups: ages 55–64, 65–74, and 75 and older.
  • Item
    New Education Classification Better Reflects Income and Spending Patterns in the Consumer Expenditure Survey
    Foster, Ann C. (2014-01-01)
    An individual’s level of education and associated earnings profoundly influence spending patterns. Published Consumer Expenditure Survey (CE) data shown average expenditures, income, and other consumer unit (CU) characteristics classified by education of the reference person. With the release of calendar year 2012 CE data on September 10, 2013, the education of reference person classification was replaced by the highest education level of any member in the consumer unit. The major reason for this change is that the highest level of education attained by any household member more accurately reflects income and spending patterns than does the education level of the reference person only. For example, data from the Census Bureau show that the proportion of married couples where the wife is the more educated spouse increased during the 1996–2010 period. This means that the education level in families where the husband is designated as the reference person could be understated. Table 1 shows selected characteristics, mean annual expenditures, and expenditure shares for consumer units classified by the highest level of education of any CU member, which is the new breakdown. Table 2 presents the same data classified by education of the reference person, which is the old breakdown. (Both tables show data for 2012.)
  • Item
    Movies, Music, and Sports: U.S. Entertainment Spending, 2008-2013
    Foster, Ann C. (2015-03-01)
    [Excerpt] This Beyond the Numbers article examines entertainment spending from 2008 to 2013 and breaks the spending down into its four parts: fees and admissions; audio and visual equipment and services; pets, toys, hobbies, and playground equipment; and other entertainment supplies, equipment, and services. This article also analyzes the relationships between entertainment spending and 1) income, 2) education, and 3) age.
  • Item
    Household Healthcare Spending in 2014
    Foster, Ann C. (2016-08-01)
    This Beyond the Numbers article uses 2014 CE data to examine household spending on healthcare and its components. The article first examines the relationship between healthcare spending and household pretax income and then the relationship between healthcare spending and the age of the reference person.
  • Item
    Hispanic Household Spending in 2015
    Foster, Ann C. (2017-07-01)
    Although the Hispanic population has grown more slowly in recent years, it still exerts a powerful influence on the U.S. economy. Consumer Expenditure Survey (CE) data show that, in 2015, households with a reference person of Hispanic or Latino origin were 13 percent of the sample, compared with 12.2 percent in 2010 and 10.6 percent in 2005. This Beyond the Numbers article uses 2015 CE data to examine spending by households with a Hispanic or Latino reference person, compared with households without a Hispanic or Latino reference person. (In the article, for convenience, “Hispanic or Latino” is shortened to “Hispanic.”) Spending by Hispanic households is compared with spending by households with a non-Hispanic White reference person and spending by households with a non-Hispanic Black or African-American reference person.