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Save the BLS International Labor Comparisons Program

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UPDATE:  The Conference Board, a global, independent research association working in the public interest, announced on June 27, 2013 that it will continue the International Labor Comparisons (ILC) Program of the Bureau of Labor Statistics that was terminated as of July 1 by the federal government due to across-the-board spending cuts termed "sequestration."  The Conference Board will continue the  ILC program on its current basis and make the data available to the public at no cost.  The transition will be implemented over the summer. "By continuing the high-quality International Labor Comparison statistical program, we are safeguarding an important data source on labor market performance and competitiveness that is widely used for business analysis as well as research purposes," said Bart van Ark, Executive Vice-President and Chief Economist of The Conference Board.   For further information, see the link to The Conference Board News Release in the right hand column.


 Previous petition to the Congress follows: 

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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International supporters:  Please enter a proxy State and Zip of Maryland 21045.  Then put your city and country at the beginning of the comments section.


Robert Bednarzik, Ph.D, Georgetown Public Policy Institute


On the Chopping Block: BLS's International Wage Data Comparison Program in Manufacturing and Technology News, February 28, 2012

Letter to Secretary Solis March 2012

ILC website:
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