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Documents on Documents: Monthly Labor Review

The Monthly Labor Review, which has been published since 1915, initiated a new design this summer and in an article in the July issue, editors explain the new design and offer a little history and time line of the publication.

There are two particularly notable changes to new articles. First, they will be published in HTML as well as PDF, making them more accessible on different devices and more interactive (links, interactive graphics, and charts with underlying data). Second, articles in the MLR will be published as they become ready throughout the month rather than all together at one time.

Two other important changes: MLR has discontinued the “Current Labor Statistics” section and the “Labor Month in Review.”

The web site has also been redesigned to allow better access to past issues (from the January 1981 issue forward). Users will be able to browse by author, date, department (including book reviews), and subject. The “archive” now includes material from the now-shuttered Compensation and Working Conditions Online (CWC Online) publication.

The editors also say that “MLR is moving away from publishing visual essays. BLS now has a format better suited to the visual presentation of materials; look for visual essays in Spotlight on Statistics. We encourage readers to peruse this publication for data analysis in a more visually oriented presentation.”

New maps, charts, tables from BLS’s Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages

A very nice new online application from the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

  • Introducing the QCEW State and County Map Application

    The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has developed an interactive state and county map application available at http://beta.bls.gov/. The application displays geographic economic data through maps, charts, and tables, allowing users to explore employment and wage data of private industry at the National, State, and county level. Throughout this application, URLs are specific to the data displayed, so links can be bookmarked, reused, and shared. The application includes maps, charts, tables, and a link to standard BLS data tables and graphs.

  • QCEW State and County Map

hat tip to Sabrina I. Pacifici!

Tracking Unemployment Statistics: The Movie

Actually, it is just a 2 min 30 sec video bringing the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to the little screen. Washington Post Federal Eye blogger Ed O’Keefe posted his video story Tracking Unemployment Statistics on September 4. It features footage of real BLS employees talking about how the stats are compiled for the monthly Employment Situation release. For action shots, the video captures real BLS employees (or extras?) walking between their office and the Union Station metro stop.

BLS has a less visual but much more detailed webpage on the topic, Monthly Employment Situation Report: Quick Guide to Methods and Measurement Issues.

Employment Situation – Commissioner’s Statement from BLS

Keith Hall, the Commissioner of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, issued a statement on the current employment situation. The total number of job losses in 2008 was 2.6 million and the rate of unemployment increased from 6.8 % to 7.2 %. He states that it is “the highest rate since January 1993.” Although employment declined in several major industrial sectors, it increased in healthcare. In the last year, 372,000 jobs were added in the healthcare sector.

Details of the depressing employment situation are readily available for access.

1) Employment Situation
2) Metropolitan Area Employment and Unemployment (Monthly)
3) Mass Layoffs (Monthly)
4) Regional and State Employment and Unemployment (Monthly)