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Publications of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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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 - 10 of 349
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    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.
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    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.
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    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.
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    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.
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    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.
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    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.
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    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.
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    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.”
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    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.
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    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.