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BLS Information
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BLS COVID-19 Questions and Answers

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in coordination with agencies across the federal government, continues to monitor the impacts of the COVID-19 virus, also known as novel coronavirus. BLS is committed to producing and distributing gold-standard data while also keeping the public, our employees, and our partners at the U.S. Census Bureau safe.

This page will be updated as needed.

Effects of COVID-19 Pandemic on Employment and Unemployment Statistics

Are there changes in operations at BLS in response to COVID-19?

The Office of Management and Budget has issued guidance encouraging maximum telework flexibilities for federal employees, so many BLS employees are working remotely—maintaining the highest level of service.

Who do I contact if I have questions?

Existing communications channels (phone, email, internet) continue to operate as normal during this period.

How could COVID-19 affect BLS data collection?

BLS employs a wide variety of collection methods for its surveys. Much of the data, particularly from businesses, are collected online and through telephone interviews. Some data, however, are collected in person. For data that are typically collected in person, we are limiting in-person collection and focusing on phone, email, and internet.

Will data releases be delayed?

BLS intends to release all data on our normal schedule as announced on the BLS release calendar.

Are pre-release press lockups for U.S. Department of Labor data being suspended?

The U.S. Department of Labor is closely monitoring and following guidance of public health officials related to COVID-19. Out of an abundance of caution and to protect the health and well-being of both Labor Department staff and reporters, the Department will suspend until further notice all pre-release media lockups. This suspension does not impact the scheduled public release of data. News releases will continue to be made available as scheduled on agency websites, www.bls.gov or www.dol.gov. Technical and media contacts listed on each news release will continue to be available for questions.

This notification does not announce a permanent procedure or policy change regarding the use of media lockups.

Will BLS predict any impacts from COVID-19?

BLS does not make predictions about labor market data that we produce and distribute.

Will visiting researchers be allowed in the building?

Although BLS headquarters in Washington, D.C., is open, the Office of Management and Budget has issued guidance encouraging maximum telework flexibilities for federal employees. BLS has suspended access to restricted microdata until support staff are available to assist external researchers in the Postal Square Building. BLS will allow for extensions of data access agreements should support staff be unavailable for an extended period.

Last Modified Date: April 6, 2020