UPDATE: The International Labor Comparisons (ILC) Program has been eliminated under the March 1, 2013 "sequestration." Under its $30 million budget cut, the Bureau of Labor Statistics decided to protect core programs and eliminate three programs: International Labor Comparisons, Mass Layoff Statistics, and Green Jobs measures.
The International Labor Comparisons Program of the Bureau of Labor Statistics is proposed for elimination in the President's FY-2011 budget. For just $2 million annually and with 50 years of experience, the BLS International Labor Comparisons Program produces timely, high-quality international comparisons of labor force, productivity, hourly compensation, and prices for many industrialized countries. The program has pioneered in the development of comparative data for emerging economies, notably China and Brazil and with work in progress on India and others. This program provides the only data available that ensure comparisons are "apples to apples" and not "apples to oranges”; that is, they permit valid comparisons of the U.S. labor market with labor markets abroad and reliable assessments of U.S. manufacturing competitiveness.
To preserve these widely used and vital comparisons in our increasingly global economy, the undersigned appeal to the Congress to restore funding for the BLS Program of International Labor Comparisons.
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Robert Bednarzik, Ph.D, Georgetown Public Policy Institute
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