To help investors large and small identify investment opportunities, the Bureau of Labor Statistics publishes vital economic information that directly affects financial markets in the United States and around the world. We provide the numbers you see in the news headlines and thousands more detailed statistics to help you make informed decisions about your investments.
The Employment Situation report provides the first glimpse each month on the Nation’s economic condition. More than 400,000 nonfarm business establishments and government agencies provide information on employment, earnings, and work hours for the Nation and for specific industries. About 60,000 U.S. households also provide information on employment, unemployment, and other important labor market characteristics.
The next three monthly reports provide measures of price changes, commonly called “inflation.”
The Consumer Price Index (CPI) report provides information on changes in the prices that consumers pay for goods and services. The CPI for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), which is reported most often in the media, is available for the entire U.S., broad geographic areas, and 26 local areas. To help you gain greater insights on inflation, we publish price trends for major categories of consumer expenditures, specific items within these categories, and special indexes such as the CPI-U for All Items Less Food and Energy.
The Producer Price Indexes (PPI) report provides information on changes in the prices producers receive for their products and services. Investors interested in broad measures of inflation can refer to the PPI stage-of-processing indexes such as finished goods, intermediate materials, and crude materials. Indexes that exclude foods and energy are also available for these series. Information concerning price trends for specific products and services is available through PPI industry or commodity indexes.
The U.S. Import and Export Price Indexes report provides information on changes in the prices of goods and services traded between the U.S. and the rest of the world. These indexes provide accounting by dollar value for nearly all U.S. import and export goods and for the air freight and air passenger services industries. Import price indexes are available by locality of origin. This information is important for analyzing global prices, trade volume, exchange rates, and terms of trade.
The quarterly Employment Cost Index (ECI) report provides measures of change in employers’ costs for total compensation and its components—wages, salaries, and employee benefits. To help you analyze changes in labor costs across the economy, the ECI is published separately for private industry, State and local governments, and all civilian workers. Information on compensation cost trends is also available for industries, occupational groups, geographic areas, and union status.
The monthly Real Earnings report, released at the same time as the Consumer Price Index, provides statistics on workers’ average hourly and weekly earnings adjusted for inflation.
The quarterly Productivity and Costs report provides measures of change in worker efficiency and costs to produce goods and services. From this report, you can examine “unit labor costs,” which compare labor costs and output, to assess how much labor costs are contributing to inflationary pressures. Productivity growth is an important condition for growth in real earnings.