The general duty of the Bureau of Labor Statistics is to acquire and diffuse among the people of the United States helpful information on subjects connected with labor, in a lucid and comprehensive sense and especially upon its relation to capital, the hours of labor, the earnings of laboring men and women, and the way to promote their material, social, intellectual and moral prosperity.
Under the direction of the Secretary of Labor, the Bureau of Labor Statistics is empowered to collect, collate, and report at least once each year, full statistics of the conditions of labor and the products and distribution of the products of the same. The Secretary has the power to employ any or either of the bureaus provided for his department and to rearrange such statistical work, and to distribute or consolidate the same as he may deem advantageous to the public interests.
The Secretary also has authority to call upon other departments of the Government for statistical data and results obtained by them.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics also collect, report and publish at least once each month full statistics of the volume of and changes in employment, the total wages paid, and the total hours of employment, in the service of the Federal Government, the States and political subdivisions and in the following industries and their principal branches also:
Mining, quarrying, and crude petroleum production
Agriculture and lumbering
Transportation, communication, and other public utilities
The retail and wholesale trades
The Bureau of Labor Statistics of the United States Department of Labor is also authorized to make systematic studies of productivity and labor costs in the manufacturing, mining, transportation, distribution, and other industries.