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United States Department of Labor

United States
Department of Labor
Seal of the U.S. Department of Labor
Flag of the U.S. Department of Labor

The Frances Perkins Building, which serves as the headquarters of the U.S. Department of Labor.
Agency overview
Formed March 4, 1913 (1913-03-04)[1]
Headquarters Frances Perkins Building
200 Constitution Avenue NW
Washington, D.C., U.S.
Employees 17,450 (2014)
Annual budget $12.1 billion (2013)[2]
Agency executives Thomas E. Perez, Secretary
Christopher P. Lu, Deputy Secretary
Website .gov.DOLwww

The United States Department of Labor (DOL) is a cabinet-level department of the U.S. federal government responsible for occupational safety, wage and hour standards, unemployment insurance benefits, re-employment services, and some economic statistics; many U.S. states also have such departments. The department is headed by the U.S. Secretary of Labor.

The purpose of the Department of Labor is to foster, promote, and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers, and retirees of the United States; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and assure work-related benefits and rights. In carrying out this mission, the Department of Labor administers and enforces more than 180 federal laws and thousands of federal regulations. These mandates and the regulations that implement them cover many workplace activities for about 10 million employers and 125 million workers.

The Department’s headquarters is housed in the Frances Perkins Building, named in honor of Frances Perkins, the Secretary of Labor from 1933 to 1945 and the first female cabinet secretary in U.S. history.[3]


  • History 1
  • Agencies of the U.S. Department of Labor 2
    • Other 2.1
  • Related legislation 3
  • See also 4
  • Notes and references 5
  • Bibliography 6
  • External links 7


The former flag of the U.S. Department of Labor, used from 1914 to 1960.


  • Official website
  • U.S. Department of Labor in the Federal Register
  • Official blog
  • U.S. Department of Labor Historical Office
  • Summary of the Major Laws of the Department of Labor
  • Labor Certification Tracker: A Labor Certification tracker that lets users share and discuss the details of their labor applications, reducing guesswork and making it easier to estimate processing times.
  • Immigration links A list of frequently used links for employment-based immigrants.
  • United States Department of Labor collected news and commentary at The Washington Post

External links

  • Lombardi, John (1942). Labor's Voice in the Cabinet: A History of the Department of Labor from Its Origins to 1921. New York: Columbia University Press. 


  1. ^ "Chapter 1: Start-up of the Department and World War I, 1913-1921". History of the Department of Labor. Retrieved February 4, 2013. 
  2. ^ "FY 2014 Department of Labor Budget in Brief". U.S. Department of Labor. U.S. federal government. 2014. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ Bureau of Labor Statistics
  5. ^
  6. ^ William Bauchop Wilson
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^  
  10. ^ a b Kamen, Al (2010-04-23). "AFGE pushes for flextime at Labor Department".  
  11. ^ "Best Places to Work > Overall Index Scores".  
  12. ^ About USICH | United States Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH). (1987-07-22). Retrieved on 2013-08-12.
  13. ^
  14. ^ Post Store (2012-07-25). "Raymond Jefferson leaves Labor Department after ethics finding". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2014-02-07. 
  15. ^ "McCaskill criticizes Labor Department contracting 'boondoggle' : News". 2011-07-28. Retrieved 2014-02-07. 
  16. ^ United States Department of Labor. Retrieved on 2013-08-12.
  17. ^ "Remarks By Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez, Swearing-In Ceremony". United States Department of Labor. 2013. Retrieved 2014-08-08. 

Notes and references

See also

Related legislation

Agencies of the U.S. Department of Labor

Tom Perez was appointed as Secretary of Labor on July 23, 2013. According to remarks by Perez at his swearing-in ceremony, "Boiled down to its essence, the Department of Labor is the department of opportunity."[17]

On March 4, 2013, the Department began commemorating its centennial.[16]

In July 2011, the Department was rocked by the resignation of Ray Jefferson, Assistant Secretary for VETS, in a contracting scandal.[13][14][15]

During 2010 a local of the Obama administration.[10] Department officials said the program was modern and fair and that it was part of ongoing contract negotiations with the local.[10] In August 2010, the Partnership for Public Service ranked the Department of Labor 23rd out of 31 large agencies in its annual "Best Places to Work in the Federal Government" list.[11] In December 2010, then-Department of Labor Secretary Hilda Solis was named the Chair of the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness,[12] of which Labor has been a member since its beginnings in 1987.

In the 1970s, following the unions.[9]

President Lyndon Johnson asked Congress to consider the idea of reuniting Commerce and Labor. He argued that the two departments had similar goals and that they would have more efficient channels of communication in a single department. However, Congress never acted on it.

During the John F. Kennedy Administration, planning was undertaken to consolidate most of the department's offices, then scattered around more than 20 locations. Construction on the "New Labor Building" began in the mid‑1960s and finished in 1975. It was named in honor of Perkins in 1980.

Frances Perkins, the first female cabinet member, was appointed to be Secretary of Labor by President Roosevelt on March 4, 1933. Perkins served for 12 years, making her the longest serving Secretary of Labor.

The Federal Employees' Compensation Act, signed Sept. 7, 1916, provided benefits to workers who are injured or contract illnesses in the workplace. The act established an agency responsible for federal workers’ compensation, which was transferred to the Labor Department in the 1940s and is today known as the Office of Workers' Compensation Programs.[8]


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