Content rich government resources abound.  As a citizen and a researcher, I’m ever thankful for Government Document Depository Libraries and the wealth of electronic resources made available to all.

One of the most content rich resources that has probaby seen an increase in traffic from citizen researchers is the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

With the Jobs report released last week and the discouraging numbers involved, more people are probably interested in seeing what past trends were and what the current situation is from manufacturing to white collar jobs.  BLS offers you that ability.

Not all of the information that is available is easy to get to but the site continues to improve.  Here are a few usage tips:

  • Pay attention to the Categories.  Searching within the specific topic you are interested in will provide better returns on a search.
  • Use the Tables and Databases carefully.  This is where the trends data can be most powerful.
  • Look for in-depth research within the Publications feature.
  • And if you must approach the site in a Google-like way, at least consider choosing one of the drop-down “libraries” before you hit search.

Obviously, this is just a teaser for how you can improve your use of the BLS site.  I really can’t give away all of my secrets now can I?

The good news about this teaser, is it’s fairly adaptable to any online search environment.  So make your results relevant and think before you type.