At a Glance

Is your grandfather more likely to be working now than he would have been in 1970?

Bureau of Labor Statistics

According to their website, the Bureau of Labor Statistics is " the principal fact-finding agency for the Federal Government in the broad field of labor economics and statistics." That is to say, when the government needs numbers on the labor force, they turn to the BLS.

If the government looks to BLS, why don't you give it a try, as well? While the site offers a wide variety of statistics and occupational outlook information, the vast majority is either current or catalogs perhaps the last decade. One of the most engaging sections, the one that we recommend to you, is the Spotlight on Statistics. This section includes a grab-bag of statistical topics, presented in colorful, easy-to-follow graphs and charts. We're still talking 20th and 21st century data, but the range covered is greater. Some of the topics aren't particularly relevant to a history classroom, unless used to compare to older statistics located elsewhere.

That said, topics of note include Health Care—both a great tie-in to current events in civics, as well as a source of historical comparison—, African American History Month, and Older Workers. In these sections, find answers to questions such as "What percentage of African Americans held at least a bachelor's degree in 1970? 2008?" and "How has the number of workers over 65 changed since 1948?"