Business & Career Library

Business Resources: Wages, Prices And Consumer Spending

All Brooklyn Public Library locations will be closed for Labor Day weekend from Saturday, August 30 through Monday, September 1.

Consumer Spending

Knowledge of price trends is essential for business planning, both in terms of staying aware of pay scales for employees, and in setting competitive prices for products and services. A U.S. government Web site of considerable value to business people is produced by the Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS): www.bls.gov. Here you can find Consumer Price Index Information , which can be targeted for the New York metro region. Select New York from the drop down menu under Regional Resources, which displays a color-coded map of the U.S..

Remember that there are several ways of computing consumer prices, and that the most commonly cited CPI (consumer price index) for all urban consumers (CPI-U) is not the same as that used in computing adjustments to Social Security Benefits, which is the CPI-W for urban wage earners and clerical workers. The BLS Web site also offers important data about employment, unemployment and wage rates. These are vital statistics for tracking the state of labor markets and competition for jobs, by geographic data and occupation or industry. See www.bls.gov/ncs/ocs for infomation about wages, and www.bls.gov/data for unemployment rates.