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Every crime is born of necessity. If you want less crime, you must change the conditions. Poverty makes crime. Want, rags, crusts, misfortune - all these awake the wild beast in man, and finally he takes, and takes contrary to law, and becomes a criminal. And what do you do with him? You punish him. Why not punish a man for having consumption? The time will come when you will see that that is just as logical. What do you do with the criminal? You send him to the penitentiary. Is he made better? Worse. The first thing you do is to try to trample out his manhood, by putting an indignity upon him. You mark him. You put him in stripes. At night you put him in darkness. His feeling for revenge grows. You make a wild beast of him, and he comes out of that place branded in body and soul, and then you won't let him reform if he wants to. ~Robert Ingersoll, A Lay Sermon

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INFORMATION FROM THE BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS

Each month, millions of Americans look to the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) for answers to questions like these: Is unemployment going up or down? How much have prices changed since last month? What's happening to wages? BLS also traces national trends in productivity, employment costs, and other labor-related measures.

Besides monitoring the economy's pulse, BLS national economic statistics serve as guides when wages, pensions, and other payments are adjusted for changing prices--as required by escalator clauses in contracts and by provisions of law.

People interested in State and local economies use the Bureau's area statistics--State unemployment rates, the Consumer Price Indexes (CPI) for metropolitan areas, and wage rates for occupations common to regional industries.

BLS industry statistics cover employment, earnings, prices, productivity, and technology and include data on major industry sectors such as mining and manufacturing, on specific industries such as clothing and textiles, or on State and local areas. The numbers are used to measure the performance of an industry from one month or one year to the next, to compare performance among industries, and to adjust contracts for changes in industry prices, wages, and other conditions.

The Bureau also looks at the people behind the statistics. It examines the racial composition of the labor force, the kinds of jobs held by men and women, the level of education of those working and not working, and the unemployment problems of worker groups including teenagers, blacks, Hispanics, and women.

The Bureau gathers data on how people spend their money. BLS consumer expenditure studies provide not only a fixed market basket for computing the Consumer Price Indexes, but also insight into patterns of consumer spending. Market researchers and merchandisers use the Bureau's consumer expenditure data, classified by family characteristics such as size, income, and place of residence.

The Bureau develops long-term economic projections, based upon certain specific assumptions that include projections of aggregate labor force, potential demand, industrial output, and employment in 226 industry sectors. Government officials use this information to evaluate alternative economic policy options to analyze the implications of likely economic growth trends for the national economy, and to identify potential problems of labor utilization.

BLS analyzes changes in the occupational structure of industries resulting from changes in technology, product mix, and other factors, and translates projections of industry employment into future occupational employment demands.

This job outlook information is used by persons planning careers, jobseekers, training officials, education planners, and employment counselors.

BLS conducts annual surveys which measure the number, incidence, and severity of job-related injuries and illnesses by industry. Through supplementary surveys, BLS helps to identify specific safety hazards on the job. The findings are used by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and State safety agencies, as well as by management and labor. The Bureau collects information on wage and benefit changes in major collective bargaining agreements and on work stoppages involving 1,000 workers or more. The Bureau's file of collective bargaining agreements--open to the public--is a source of information about industry wage practices, supplementary benefits, and union security provisions. Negotiators for both labor and management use these BLS data. The Bureau also gathers international statistics. Comparisons of prices, wages, employment, unemployment, and unit labor costs show the competitiveness of U.S. industries and products in the world market.

The Bureau's sales publications are available from its Publcations Sales Center, P.O. Box 2145, Chicago, IL 60690, or from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. 20402. Single copies of other publications are available while supplies last from any of the Bureau's regional offices or from the Bureau's Inquiries and Correspondence Branch, Room 2831A, GAO Building, 441 G Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20212.

BLS Regional Offices

Region I (CT ME MA NH RI VT)
10th Floor
1 Congress Street
Boston, MA 02114

Region II (NJ NY PR VI)
Room 808
201 Varick Street
New York, NY 10014

Region III (DE DC MD PA VA WV)
3535 Market Street
P.O. Box 13309
Philadelphia, PA 19101

Region IV (AL FL GA KY MS NC SC TN)
1371 Peachtree St., N.E.
Atlanta, GA 30367

Region V (IL IN MI MN OH WI)
9th Floor
Federal Office Building
230 S. Dearborn Street
Chicago, IL 60604

Region VI (AR LA NM OK TX)
Room 221
Federal Building
525 Griffin Street
Dallas, TX 75202

Regions VII and VIII (CO IA KS MO MT NE ND SD UT WY)
911 Walnut Street
Kansas City, MO 64106

Regions IX and X (AK AS AZ CA GU HI ID NV OR WA Trust Territory of
the PI)
71 Stevenson Street
P.O. Box 193766 San Francisco, CA 94119-3766
________________________________________________________
This is one of a series of fact sheets highlighting U.S. Department of Labor Programs. It is intended as a general description only and does not carry the force of legal opinion.

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