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October 1989, Vol. 112, No. 10
Developing statistics to meet society's needs
Janet L. Norwood
Commissioner of Labor Statistics
Deborah P. Klein
Economist, Office of the Commissioner
The article is drawn from "The Changing Focus of Government Statistics: A Historical Perspective," an invited paper prepared by the authors for the Sesquicentennial Program of the American Statistical Association. Summaries of other BLS papers presented at the 1989 ASA conference appear on pages 29-33.
Three historical illustrations show how Government agencies adapt to changing social and economic needs by developing new concepts and methods. As conditions in society have changed, new information needs have emerged, and new classification schemes and innovative approaches to the conceptual framework and the definitions within it have been developed and modified to meet those needs. This article discusses contributions of Federal agencies to statistical development.
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