According to its mission statement, "The Bureau of Labor
Statistics (BLS) produces some of the Nation's most sensitive and
important economic data. The BLS is an independent national
statistical agency within the Department of Labor responsible for
measuring labor market activity, working conditions and price
changes in the economy."
Much like the Census Bureau in the Department of Commerce, the BLS
collects, analyzes and distributes important economic information
that is the basis for legislation, policy decisions and a wide range
of other functions important to the economy and labor market. BLS
data is key to measuring the real-world effects of the 2008-2009
recession on American workers and families.