U.S. Department of Labor

What It Does for You

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The U.S. Department of Labor is a Cabinet-level federal agency with three overall functions that supports the American labor force. It protects the rights of workers and retirees, provides job training, and provides statistics related to working, prices, and income.

What It Does

The DOL was created on March 4, 1913, by President William Howard Taft, and its creation gave workers a seat in the president's Cabinet for the first time. The Department's goal is to provide a productive workforce for the U.S. economy. It creates an attractive work environment by enforcing labor and pension laws. This keeps the U.S. competitive by keeping one of the most important components of supply available and functioning. By protecting the rights of workers, it attempted to replace the role of labor unions.

The BLS measures the performance of the labor force by providing important statistics, including the jobs report. The most important current statistics published by the BLS are employmentlabor force participation rateunemployment, and inflation.

How It Affects the Economy

The DOL increases the productivity of businesses by keeping their employees relatively happy and preventing strikes. It thereby increases U.S. competitiveness, economic growth, and job creation. One of the most impactful things the DOL does is provide the monthly Jobs Report. You wouldn't think boring statistics could be so exciting, but billions of dollars in the stock market are won or lost depending on how many jobs are added. 

How It Affects You

If you're working, the DOL protects your rights as a worker. If you're looking for a new job, the American Job Center Network connects you to employers, helps you see what you're good at, and helps veterans find jobs. These One-Stop Centers offer a broad range of service assistance for job seekers.

If you're a veteran, the Veterans Employment and Training Service (VETS) will train you and help you find employers that are looking to hire vets. They also assist veterans in integrating themselves into the community by helping them find meaningful careers and obtain employment support. You should receive time and a half if you work more than 40 hours a week; if you think you're being cheated on overtime pay, the Wage and Hour Division of the DOL will protect your rights under the Fair Labor Standards Act.

7 Primary DOL Agencies

The DOL has 28 agencies within it, and the seven most notable ones are:

Other DOL Agencies