The Conference Board Takes Over International Labor Statistics Program from the U.S. Government

NEW YORK, June 27, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The Conference Board announced today that it will continue a statistical program on international labor statistics that is to be eliminated by the federal government due to across-the-board spending cuts. The Bureau of Labor Statistics, a unit of the United States Department of Labor, has announced that it will shut down the International Labor Comparison (ILC) program on July 1.

The program provides businesses, government agencies, academics, and the public with high-quality data on manufacturing productivity, unit labor costs, consumer price, wage rates, and employment and unemployment for up to 34 countries. It adjusts data to a common framework of concepts, definitions, and classifications to facilitate data comparisons across countries. ILC data are used to assess United States economic performance relative to other countries, as well as to evaluate the competitive position of the United States in international markets. The Conference Board will continue the program on its current basis and make the data available to the public at no cost. The program will be transferred to The Conference Board over the summer.

"Every large company needs access to this data, and it can only be gathered effectively by leveraging non-commercial relationships between various government and statistical agencies around the world," said Jon Spector, President and CEO of The Conference Board. "If a government agency cannot continue to maintain this information, it requires an independent institution to take over the task."

The program is an important addition to The Conference Board portfolio of economic information, including The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index®, Leading Economic Index®, and Employment Trends Index™ as well as its Total Economy Database™ on Growth and Productivity. In 1996, The Conference Board took over the U.S. Leading Economic Index program from the United States Department of Commerce.

"By continuing the high-quality International Labor Comparison statistical program, we are safeguarding an important data source on labor market performance and competitiveness that is widely used for business analysis as well as research purposes," said Bart van Ark, Executive Vice-President and Chief Economist of The Conference Board.

About the Conference Board

The Conference Board is a global, independent business membership and research association working in the public interest. Our mission is unique: To provide the world's leading organizations with the practical knowledge they need to improve their performance and better serve society. The Conference Board is a non-advocacy, not-for-profit entity holding 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt status in the United States. www.conference-board.org

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