BLS Handbook of Methods

This Web version of the BLS Handbook of Methods includes a table of Handbook contents and the full text of each chapter. You may browse the chapters in HTML, or you may download and print whole chapters from the Catalog of PDF files. BLS is in the process of updating the Handbook of Methods. On both the Handbook contents page and the catalog of PDF files page, updated chapters will be flagged with the following sticker: UPDATED

The BLS Handbook of Methods presents detailed explanations of how the Bureau of Labor Statistics obtains and prepares the economic data it publishes. BLS statistics are used for many purposes, and sometimes data well suited to one purpose may have limitations for another. This edition of the Handbook, like its many predecessors, aims to provide users of BLS data with the most current information necessary to evaluate the suitability of the statistics for their needs.

Chapters for each major Bureau program give a brief account of the program’s origin and development and then follow with comprehensive information on concepts and definitions, sources of data and methods of collection, statistical procedures, where the data are published, and their uses and limitations. Sources of additional technical information are given at the end of most chapters.

The Handbook was written by members of the staffs of the various BLS program offices. It was edited and prepared for publication in the Bureau’s Division of BLS Publishing, Office of Publications and Special Studies.

Information in this bulletin is available to sensory impaired individuals. Voice phone: (202) 691-5200;  TDD message referral phone: 1-800-877-8339. This information is in the public domain and, with appropriate credit, may be reproduced without permission.

Next: Introduction


Last Modified Date: April 26, 2007