U.S. Department of Labor

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Department of Labor
Secretary:Tom Perez
Deputy Secretary:Seth D. Harris
Annual budget:$91.9 billion (2013)
Total employed:17,450
Year created:1913
Official website:http://www.dol.gov/


Executive Departments of the United States

Executive Departments
Department of DefenseDepartment of StateDepartment of Homeland SecurityDepartment of JusticeDepartment of CommerceDepartment of EducationDepartment of the TreasuryDepartment of AgricultureDepartment of EnergyDepartment of LaborDepartment of TransportationDepartment of the InteriorDepartment of Health and Human ServicesDepartment of Veterans AffairsDepartment of Housing and Urban Development

Department Secretaries
Ashton CarterJohn KerryJeh JohnsonLoretta LynchPenny PritzkerArne DuncanJack LewTom VilsackErnest MonizTom PerezAnthony FoxxSally JewellSylvia Mathews BurwellRobert McDonaldJulian Castro
The Department of Labor (DoL) is a United States executive department formed in 1913 to help workers, job seekers and retirees by creating standards for occupational safety, wages, hours and benefits and by compiling economic statistics. William B. Wilson was the first secretary appointed by President Woodrow Wilson in 1913.[1] The current secretary is Tom Perez, who was confirmed by the Senate on July 18, 2013.[2]

The Department of Labor currently employs 17,450 people both in the U.S. and abroad.[3] Among the agencies overseen by the Department are the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).[4]


The Bureau of Labor Statistics, originally part of the Department of the Interior, began collecting data in 1884. In 1913, President William Howard Taft created the Labor Department in 1913, which absorbed the BLS. On President Taft's last day in office, he signed the Organics Act, officially creating the U.S. Department of Labor as an executive department of the United States.[1] President Woodrow Wilson then appointed the first secretary, William B. Wilson, to head the department.

The following is a list of notable events throughout the history of the Department of Labor:[1]

  • 1915: U.S. Employment Service formed, placing immigrants into jobs
  • 1916: Office of Workers' Compensation Programs formed, providing benefits to those injured or made ill due to poor working conditions
  • 1930: Bureau of Labor statistics begins recording unemployment numbers
  • 1935: National Labor Relations Board is formed, codifying unfair labor practices and protecting collective bargaining rights
  • 1935: Social Security Board is formed, paying benefits to retirees and disabled and unemployed workers from payroll taxes
  • 1938: Fair Labor Standards Act is passed, codifying the 40-hour work week and paid overtime guidelines
  • 1959: Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act is passed to combat corruption due to the rumored presence of organized crime in unions
  • 1962: Manpower Development and Training Act is passed, forming the first federal job training program
  • 1963: Equal Pay Act of 1963 is passed, establishing equal pay for the same jobs done by men and women
  • 1964: Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employment discrimination based on race, religion, color, sex or national orientation
  • 1970: Occupational Safety and Health Administration is formed, mandating safe and healthy working conditions
  • 1977: Mine Safety and Health Administration is formed, mandating regular mine inspections and enforcing employment standards in the mining industry
  • 1990: Americans with Disabilities Act is passed, prohibiting discrimination against those with mental, physical or emotional disabilities and creating guidelines for accessibility



The official department mission statement is as follows:

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.[5]

—Department of Labor[6]


Secretary Tom Perez currently heads the Department of Labor.

Note: Votes marked "N/A" represent voice votes or unrecorded votes. Missing votes will be filled as they are researched.

Organizational chart

DOL org chart.gif


Obama administration


U.S. Department of Labor[7] Annual Budget
YearBudget (in billions)% Difference from previous year
  • Note: 2014 only represents the Department's budget request, not an enacted budget.


The Best Places to work in the Federal Government is a website that tracks workforce trends in federal agencies. According to their analysis, from 2005-2011, the Department of Labor has added an average of 61 jobs per year.[8]


On March 5, 2013, the Department of Labor announced mandatory furloughs for 4,700 employees, varying in length, but some agencies have reduced the hours required.[9]

See also

External links