US Bureau of Labor Statistics

  www.bls.gov
  www.bls.gov

US Bureau of Labor Statistics Reviews

Updated December 4, 2014
Updated December 4, 2014
46 Reviews
3.6
46 Reviews
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Erica L. Groshen
2 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great work/life balance

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Economist in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Economist in Washington, DC

    I worked at US Bureau of Labor Statistics full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Extremely flexible daily schedule
    No dress code (some norms apply)
    Federal employee benefits (eg, health, leave, etc)
    Work can be somewhat interesting if you're into data analysis
    Initial career ladder pay raises are close to 20% for the first few years of employment as an economist
    Almost impossible to get fired

    Cons

    Almost impossible to get fired (in some offices, 30% of the workers do 70% of the work and there are no repercussions. Also, once someone gets a position, they never lose that position regardless of performance; this makes for some interesting challenges when dealing with management.)
    Higher paying positions (GS-14) require becoming a supervisor or having a PhD (BLS loses a lot of talented workers by forcing them to leave to a higher paying job or forcing them to become a supervisor where their technical talents are no longer utilized)

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Be extremely careful about who you hire. Every dud that you hire puts more work on the people that are actually doing the work. After a while, or once said worker gets to GS-12, they will leave because they're either overworked or sick of being taken advantage of. When they leave, their considerable amount of work is only absorbed by the few others who actually work and they then become overworked as well. This leads to more turnover, especially because it takes months for HR to put together a list of people to interview and hire every time someone leaves.

    Consider creating more technical GS-13 and GS-14 positions to retain talent and program knowledge. As it is right now, the best GS-12s in each office often have to leave their program or the agency to get promoted. This is crazy because as soon as they actually get a good handle on how their program works they're forced to take a promotion into a program or agency that they have no idea about. It's also demoralizing for the GS-9 or GS-11 in the other program or agency that now has to teach their new senior analyst or supervisor how to do the job that pays 20% more than theirs.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Laidback work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at US Bureau of Labor Statistics

    Pros

    Flexible hours, laidback work. Overall good atmosphere

    Cons

    Many of the employees there typically do not care about career advancement. Quite a few are content with just staying where they are. There are a few exceptions--I had one coworker who was brilliant and really trying to make a difference, but there's just not enough people like him.,

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Find people who are motivated.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    Good place to start your career

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Economist in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Economist in Washington, DC

    I worked at US Bureau of Labor Statistics full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    great work-life balance - 40hrs/week
    automatic promotion for the first few years
    workplace flexibility - work from home 1 or 2 time a week
    overall low stress job
    great place to learn (self teach) technical skills

    Cons

    learning curve plateaus very quickly
    work is repetitive
    managers are not necessarily more knowledgeable (they just get promoted based on how long they've been there)

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Managers at the BLS (gs-14,gs-15) are hired primarily based on tenure or other non-knowledge based factors. There is a saying in the government that you'll get promoted as long as you don't die and this is very true at the managerial level. Managers don't necessarily know more economics/statistics, they simply didn't die and rode the wave to the manager level. Its extremely frustrating to work for someone who is less knowledgeable than you on the subject matter.
    My advice. Take the job, get the automatic promotions to gs-12 and make it a means to an end by learning as much technical skills as possible (SAS,R,SQL,Excel,Access) which is going to be your ticket out of there. That's what I did and now I am working for a very prestigious private company making more than a gs-15 salary and I am 29.
    Good luck

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5.  

    It's A Paycheck

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC

    I have been working at US Bureau of Labor Statistics full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    I go in, do what I have to do, and leave.

    I get paid.

    Cons

    Internal politics, and lots of it.

    The work is definitely not what I was told it would be.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I don't speak bureaucrat, so they wouldn't understand.

    I do like our Commissioner (Erica Groshen) because she's trying to make some changes within BLS but we're a part of Dept. of Labor, and they like to remind us of that fact by creating obstacles and being contrary.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Approves of CEO
  6. 2 people found this helpful  

    all depends on your manager

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Economist in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Economist in Washington, DC

    I worked at US Bureau of Labor Statistics full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    work-life balance can't be beat with flexible balance, low-stress, and flexible telework. if you get a good manager, you will be allowed to do whatever you want.

    Cons

    some people are lazy and can't get fired, so you will be rewarded for good work by getting MORE work.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7.  

    Excellent workplace!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Economist in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Economist in Washington, DC

    I have been working at US Bureau of Labor Statistics full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    Dedicated public servants with excellent technical abilities. Highly supportive and effective management. Excellent work/life balance. Excellent work environment.

    Cons

    Slow pace of work environment. Not a particularly exciting place to work.

  8.  

    Great place to begin a career

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at US Bureau of Labor Statistics

    Pros

    Very flexible, great work-life balance, great compensation, benefits and vacation time. Telework has become very commonplace and is somewhat encouraged. Nice people and relaxed work environment.

    Cons

    Work can be a bit boring, sometimes seems like managers are giving out busy work. There are so many levels of management and it starts to seem like each level is just interested in impressing his/her next supervisor up. No interest in innovation or creativity. As of late it has not been easy to move up or around.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9.  

    Great agency to work for; little turnover and many lifetime employees

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Program Analyst in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Program Analyst in Washington, DC

    I have been working at US Bureau of Labor Statistics full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    BLS is a great statistical agency and has great leadership and vision at the highest levels

    Cons

    lower-level management can sometimes be lacking, but that can occur at any agency

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  10.  

    Stale Environment

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Intern in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Intern in Washington, DC

    I worked at US Bureau of Labor Statistics as an intern (less than an year)

    Pros

    Access to tons of data analytics and very smart people

    Cons

    A somewhat stale environment and not much room for growth.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11.  

    Economist at Bureau of Labor Statistics

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Economist in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Economist in Washington, DC

    I have been working at US Bureau of Labor Statistics full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Low stress work environment, comfortable work/life balance

    Cons

    rather monotonous and unexciting, not the most emotionally fulfilling work

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

US Bureau of Labor Statistics Photos

Bureau of Labor Statistics, 1st St NE entrance. (Photo thanks to Flickr user brownpau, available under by v2.0)
This building houses the U.S. Postal Service Museum, Capitol City Brewery, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics (Photo thanks to Flickr user TheLawleys, available under by v2.0)
Cube at the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in Washington, DC (Photo thanks to Flickr user TheLawleys, available under by v2.0)

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