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Congress should restore funding for the International Labor Comparisons (ILC) program at the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

BLS’s International Labor Comparisons program adjusts foreign data to a common framework, allowing one to compare the traded sector health and competitiveness of the United States against that of other countries. The ILC data provides complete and comparable time series for extremely useful indicators including manufacturing output, hours, compensation, and productivity, as well as labor force, employment, price, and industry statistics. Funding for the ILC program was terminated by the 2013 sequestration, yet this data is critical to understanding U.S. economic competitiveness, and should be restored by Congress immediately.