Re-broadcast from August 3, 2012, NPR’s Caitlin Kenney of Planet Money reported on the secrecy practices of the BLS or the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Kenny terms the secrecy around the BLS monthly jobs report as the “biggest secret in the U.S. economy”:
The single most important number in the U.S. economy comes out on the first Friday of each month at 8:30 a.m. That’s when the government reports how many jobs were added or gained in the previous month.
BLS utilizes elaborate research methods in arriving at official accounts on the state of the U.S. economy, including “assuring the confidential nature of reported data” from businesses and individuals who voluntarily supply information. Kenney’s report is a fascinating look into BLS secrecy, data security, and “Top Secret” information handling practices on U.S. job numbers and workforce stats. So, we have another category of government secrecy: unemployment secrecy or workforce secrecy.
Listen to Kenney’s report here.