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.

Members of the Friends of the Bureau of Labor Statistics (as of September 5, 2014)

Airlines for America
American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR)
American Statistical Association
America’s Natural Gas Alliance
Annie E. Casey Foundation
APB Associates
Association of Agricultural and Applied Economics
Association of Population Centers
Association of Public Data Users
The Beer Institute 
Bureau of Business & Economic Research at West Virginia University
Bureau of Business Research, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Center for Human Resource Research at the Ohio State University
Center for Regional Economic Competitiveness
Consortium of Social Science Associations
Council for Community and Economic Research  
Council on Food, Agricultural and Resource Economics
Council of Professional Associations on Federal Statistics
Development Strategies
Edison Electric Institute
Haver Analytics
International Council of Shopping Centers, Inc.
National Association for Business Economics
National Association of Forensic Economists
National Association of Home Builders
National Association of Workforce Boards
National Beer Wholesalers Association
National Multifamily Housing Council
NFIB Research Foundation
Population Association of America
Prison Policy Initiative
RTI international
Southeast Michigan Council of Governments
Workforce Data Quality Campaign
Katharine Abraham, University of Maryland
Kermit Baker, Harvard University
Robert Bednarzik, Georgetown University
Kathleen DeBoer, OECD, Washington Center
Richard Forstall
Barbara M. Fraumeni, Central University for Finance and Economics
Diane Herz, Mathematica Policy Research  
Martha W Jones, Vanderbilt University
Alan B. Krueger, Princeton University
Ataman  Ozyildirim, The Conference Board
Andrew Reamer, GW Institute of Public Policy, George Washington University
Martha Farnsworth Riche
Constance Sorrentino

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

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

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