17.11.2019

The US government website in charge of employment data is down

Since the 1880s, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics has tracked and published data about American jobs and workers, including average wages, how many people are employed by certain industries, and how consumers spend money.

Right now, none of that information about the world’s largest economy is available online; the BLS website has been showing a “temporarily unavailable” message all afternoon.

Contacted late this afternoon, a Department of Labor spokesman said initially he wasn’t aware the website was down. He called back quickly to say the site went dark at 2:15 pm EDT, the press office didn’t know the cause, and the tech department was working to have it back up as soon as possible.

The BLS’s outage might be the result of a simple error that occurred during regular website maintenance. The Trump White House’s public-facing policies, websites, and press releases have been marked by inconsistencies, spelling errors, and a lack of adherence to historical protocol. The administration has also deliberately stopped releasing some information, like White House visitor logs and public accounts of Trump’s calls with world leaders.

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The website’s outage comes as the real strength of the US economy under Trump is being hotly debated, with one of the biggest weaknesses right now the stagnation of wages—the very data that the BLS keeps.

 

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