Joseph L. Miller, 70, a private labor relations consultant in Washington for many years and prior to that a reporter with the Associated Press, died of emphysema Saturday at his home in Washington.

Mr. Miller was born in Uniontown, Pa.He graduated from Haverford College, Haverford, Pa., in 1930. He worked briefly on a newspaper in Uniontown and then joined the AP in Harriburg, Pa. He was transferred to AP Washington bureau in 1932 and specialized in reporting labor relations.

In 1938, he resigned from the AP and joined the National Association of Broadcasters as a labor specialist. During World War II, he worked for the War Labor Board and then went into the Navy, where he also specialized on labor matters.

His last Naval assignment was on the staff of the White House, where he was a labor consultant to John R. Steelman, an aide to President Harry S. Truman. In 1947, re set up his own consulting firm and operated it until his death.

Mr. Miller was a member of the National Press Clulb.

Survivors include his wife, Elinor Carter Lord Miller, of the home in Washington; a son, Andrew, of Rome, Italy; a daughter, Mrs. Alexander Warrikoff, of Himbach, Germany; a sister, Ruth Miller, of Uniontown, Pa., and three grandchildren.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the Washington Cathedral, Washington, D.C.