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The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), a branch of the U.S. Department of Labor, is an important source of information on employment and unemployment in the United States. Employment and Earnings, a monthly BLS publication, gives complete statistics on employment in the United States. The BLS also releases special reports, such as Working in the 21st Century (2002). In addition, the BLS publishes the Monthly Labor Review, which contains articles on issues relating to jobs and how workers are affected by changes in the labor market. The Monthly Labor Review also provides historical data and supplies information on employee benefits, including medical and life insurance, disability insurance, and retirement.

The monthly BLS News examines employment situations. The BLS also publishes Issues in Labor Statistics, which includes such items as "Labor Force Participation during Recent Labor Market Downturns" (2003) and "A Glance at Long-term Unemployment in Recent Recessions" (2006). The BLS annually surveys employee benefits, most recently in Employee Benefits in Private Industry: 2005 (August 2005).

The BLS biennial Occupational Outlook Handbook is one of the most complete sources on jobs available. The 2006–07 edition of the handbook outlines future job projections to 2014. It also provides detailed descriptions of most jobs and directs the reader to further information. The BLS Occupational Outlook Quarterly contains valuable articles on employment and the labor market.

The quarterly Family Economics and Nutrition Review, prepared by the Agricultural Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, contains articles on family living as well as jobs and workers. The Survey of Consumer Finances, published by the Federal Reserve Board, discusses income and participation in savings and thrift plans.

The U.S. Census Bureau, a branch of the U.S. Department of Commerce, is a major source of information about the American people. Some of its studies concern employment and employee earnings. Helpful publications from the U.S. Census Bureau include Money Income in the United States, 2002 (2004); Characteristics of Business Owners, 1992 Economic Census (1997); Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2006 (2006); and Finances of Municipal and Township Governments: 2002 (2005).

The U.S. Department of Education also publishes research on educational levels and their relationship to career opportunities. Its publications include Digest of Education Statistics, 2004 (2005); Condition of Education, 2005 (2005); Projections of Education Statistics to 2014 (2005); and Changes in Patterns of Prices and Financial Aid (2005).

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) offers a library of free publications, including fact sheets and startup guidelines for current and prospective business owners. An online collection of special reports is also available at http://www.sba.gov/library/reportsroom.html. These include such titles as Small Business and Micro Business Lending in the United States for Data Years 2003–2004 and Self-Employed Business Ownership Rates in the United States: 1979–2003. The SBA publishes E-Biz: Strategies for Small Business Success (2002) and Homebased Business: The Hidden Economy (2002), both of which were prepared by Joanne H. Pratt, and The Effect of Changes in Monetary Policy on the Expectations, Spending, and Hiring Decisions of Small Business Owners (2005).

Dun & Bradstreet, a company of The Dun and Brad-street Corporation (Murray Hill, New Jersey), compiles the annual Business Starts Records and Business Failure Records. Dun & Bradstreet also supplies data on business Internet usage and minority business owners' attitudes toward their businesses.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce (Washington, D.C.) provides information on employee benefits in an annual Employee Benefits Study. The most recent edition of the study may be ordered by calling 1-800-638-6582 or online at http://www.uschamber.com/resources/research/benefits.htm.

BizStats, edited and published by Patrick O'Rourke, CPA, is a free business and online source that provides business statistics and benchmarks and online analysis of business and industries at http://bizstats.com/.

Information Plus sincerely thanks all of the organizations listed above for the valuable information they provide.

Additional topics

Jobs and Career OpportunitiesCareers and Occupations: Looking to the Future