Bureau of Labor Statistics

Original Caption: Chicago Ghetto On The South Side. Although The Percentage Of Chicago Blacks Making $7,000 Or More Jumped From 26 To 58% Between 1960 And 1970, A Large Percentage Still Remained Unemployed. The Black Unemployment Rate Generally Is Assumed To Be Twice That Of The National Unemployment Rate Published Monthly By The Bureau Of Labor Statistics, 05/1974


Original Caption: South Side Black Workers Passing The Time Playing Checkers On East 35th Street Before Going To Work In Chicago. The City Census Figures Show A Significant Gap In Economic Security Between Blacks And Whites. Median Black Income Between 1960 And 1970 Increased From $4,700 To $7,883 But The Dollar Gap Between The Two Races Widened. Blacks Were Receiving The Average Of $3,603 Less Than The Median White Family, 05/1973

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics has excellent data that provides a detailed picture of the workforce. With a wide range of measures and statistics, and can add to the human story. There are average citizens behind those numbers.

The BLS does have a K-12 Teacher’s Desk section, with the purpose of teaching economic concepts and skills. The options here are not as rich as some of the other websites. The games do not directly build economic skills or understandings. As history teachers, this is not really the value of the BLS website.

The historical data is more challenging to access, and may be useful more with older students. However, modern connections can be made effectively with the resources available here.

The reason that the Bureau of Labor Statistics is so important . . . is the labor data! We do not have to wonder about income inequality or unemployment rates, we have data for that. Finding the right data sets can enhance student investigations, especially from late elementary through high school. Numbers can tell stories that can too easily be missed otherwise. Go to the BLS for recent data, and empower older students to find and use these labor statistics for themselves.

For elementary school students, aside from some of the most basic resources here, it is probably better to look at some of the guidance for economics instruction that is available from the Federal Reserve. These resources are much friendlier to the elementary level.