Friends of the Bureau of Labor Statistics

The American Statistical Association (AmStat), Center for Regional Economic Competitiveness (CREC), Council of Professional Associations on Federal Statistics (COPAFS), and the National Association of Business Economics (NABE) have partnered with other organizations to establish a “Friends of the Bureau of Labor Statistics” group.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) produces essential economic information for public and private decision making. BLS:  1) measures labor market activity and provides the critical gauge of our nation's employment/unemployment status;  2) tracks consumer and producer price changes and develops price indicators, such as the principal inflation-measuring Consumer Price Index:  3) calculates the productivity of business endeavors in a manner that can be compared across sectors and countries; and (4) monitors working conditions.

The objectives of the Friends of BLS group are to:
  • Create a network of users of BLS data and information to facilitate the distribution of information, opinions, and ideas about BLS among users;
  • Act as a reservoir of individuals and organizations who could participate in seminars and other educational events for the public and for public policy decision makers about the utility and overall value of BLS programs; and
  • Support the BLS as an institution that provides critical data and tools to a wide variety of users for a wide variety of purposes.
Membership in the Friends of the Bureau of Labor Statistics coalition is free of charge. Individuals, associations and other organizations, and private firms are all eligible for membership.

The Friends of the BLS is not sanctioned by nor does it receive any support from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. It is completely independent of the BLS and BLS leadership.

The Friends of BLS will not take positions on particular programs or surveys of the BLS, focusing instead on the agency’s overall fiscal well-being. Membership in the Friends of BLS does not prevent an organization or individual from taking positions on specific programs, but the Friends group will put its imprimatur on activities toward the greater public good value of the agency, with any positions formed by overall group consensus.

The Friends of BLS will engage in such activities as: developing educational materials on the uses of BLS data and information; organizing and conducting briefings on aspects of the BLS program and their significance to businesses, communities, workforce organizations and educational institutions; and holding educational events for policy makers and their staff. Notices of changes in BLS programs, status of funding and other BLS-related news will be exchanged among members of the Friends of the BLS.

For further information or to join the Friends of the BLS, please contact John Thompson, COPAFS Executive Director, at or 202-507-6254

 Activity from the Friends of BLS

New! Letter from Michael Strain and Phillip Swagel in support of BLS: Here
March 6, 2018

Letter from Friends of BLS regarding FY 2018 Appropriations Request: House letter 
Here, Senate Letter Here 
Feb 28th, 2018


Letter to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pension in Support of  William Beach's Nomination as Commissioner of the BLS:  Here
December 1, 2017

Importance and Situation of BLS by Erica Groshen:  Here
October 2017 
Letter to Secretary Acosta in Support of BLS: Here
August 18, 2017

Letter to Congressional Appropriations Leadership in Support of FY2018 BLS Budget Here 
July 31, 2017

Erica Groshen Wall Street Journal Op-Ed: Here

April 20, 2017

Letter from former BLS Commissioners on  S.J. Res 276  Here
March 19, 2017

Members of the Friends of the Bureau of Labor Statistics (as of December 14, 2017)

Abt Associates                                               
American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR)
American Economic Association
American Psychological Association
American Sociological Association
American Statistical Association
Annie E. Casey Foundation
APB Associates
Association for University Business and Economic Research
Association of Academic Survey Research Organizations
Association of Population Centers
Association of Public Data Users
California Center for Population Research at UCLA
Center for Human Resource Research at the Ohio State University
Center for Regional Economic Competitiveness
Consortium of Social Science Associations
Cornell Population Center
Council for Community and Economic Research  
Council on Food, Agricultural and Resource Economics
Council of Professional Associations on Federal Statistics
CUNY Institute for Demographic Research
Economic History Association
Haver Analytics
ICPSR at the University of Michigan
Impaq International
Institute for Population Research at the Ohio State University
National Association for Business Economics
National Association of Home Builders
National Association of Workforce Boards
National Beer Wholesalers Association
National Multifamily Housing Council
NORC at the University of Chicago
Opportunity at Work
Population Association of America
Population Research Center at Berkley
Prison Policy Initiative
Puerto Rico Institute of Statistics
RTI international
Southeast Michigan Council of Governments
State International Development Organizations
U.S. Chamber of Commerce
Upjohn Institute
Urban Institute
Workforce Data Quality Campaign

Katharine Abraham, University of Maryland
Susan Athey
Robert Bednarzik, Georgetown University
Alberto Cavallo
Martha Gimbel
Erica Groshen
Diane Herz, Mathematica Policy Research  
Martha W Jones, Vanderbilt University
Jack Kleinhenz
Alan B. Krueger, Princeton University
Daniel H. Newlon
Demetra Nightingale
Colm O'Muircheartaigh
Ataman  Ozyildirim, The Conference Board
Andrew Reamer, GW Institute of Public Policy, George Washington University
Roberto Rigobon
Ken Simonson
Ray Stone
Michael Strain
Phillip L. Swagel
David Weinstein
Brady West
Kirk Wolter

Previous Work from the Friends of BLS

Letter Requesting Erica Groshen Reappointment dated October 11, 2016:  Here

Letter Regarding 2017 BLS Funding dated March 7, 2016:  

Senate Here House Here 

Letter Regarding BLS Appropriations dated November 5, 2015:  Here

Comment on Notice Regarding the BLS IPP Index dated July 8, 2015:  Here

Letter Regarding BLS Appropriations dated June 24, 2015:  Here

Letter Regarding BLS Appropriations dated April 2, 2015:  Here

Letter to Secretary Perez dated February 24, 2015:  Here

Agenda for July 10, 2014 Friends of BLS Meeting:  Here

July 10, 2014 Friends of BLS Meeting Notes:  Here

Briefing Notes:  The BLS Funding Situation, dated April 2014:  Here