New Labor Department app sends unemployment data straight to your smartphone

J. Arthur Bloom Deputy Editor
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Want the most up-to-date statistics on how many jobs the U.S. economy has shed this month? There’s an app for that.

The U.S. Department of Labor released an app for Apple and Android smartphones on Wednesday that allows users to check in real-time the unemployment rate, unemployment insurance claims, Producer Price Index, the Employment Cost Index, productivity, the U.S. Import Price Index and the Export Price Index. The app updates itself as new data are released.

The DOL’s August employment report showed U.S. unemployment steady at 9.1 percent, adding zero jobs.

“We know that people around the world are interested in labor statistics,” wrote Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis in a press release.  “The Labor Department is continuously exploring how to share important information using the fastest, simplest, most wide-reaching means available, and this app allows us to increase the accessibility of our statistical data.”

Other apps on the Labor Department website include one that tracks local heat indices, because “working in the summer heat can be dangerous”; a digital timesheet; and an interactive mobile tour of the 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire.