The Department of Labor’s MissionTo 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.
The importance of the Department of Labor’s mission demands continual innovation, learning and improvement. Since 2010, the department’s Chief Evaluation Office (CEO) has supported DOL’s work with research, evaluation and analysis activities. CEO works to fulfill a number of Departmental legislative mandates related to evidence, while ensuring that our research adheres to the Department’s Evaluation Policy principles of rigor, relevance, transparency, independence, and ethics.
CEO is an independent, department-level office located in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Policy, supporting all of DOL in developing and disseminating credible information and data about DOL programs, policies, operations, and activities, using scientific methods.
CEO Newsletter Archive
- Building the Evidence Base is CEO’s newsletter, where we share our latest research, data, resources, and upcoming events. Sign up to receive the newsletter and other updates.
- View past editions of Building the Evidence Base.
For questions about CEO, please email us at ChiefEvaluationOffice@dol.gov.
What We Do
Evidence-Building Plans & Assessments – CEO leads the department’s efforts, per the Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act (“Evidence Act”), to publicly describe future plans and current capacity to conduct evidence-building activities across three reports: an Annual Evaluation Plan, an Evidence-Building Plan, and a Capacity Assessment for Research, Evaluation, Statistics, and Analysis. Find the most recent public reports on DOL’s Evidence Hub.
Learning Agendas – CEO coordinates the department’s annual learning agenda process, in which DOL agencies identify priority questions, propose ideas for future research or evaluation studies, and describe current evidence-related activities for internal planning purposes. Significant evaluation research is included in the department’s public evaluation and evidence-building plans.
Evaluation Policy – As the central office managing the department’s evaluation activities, CEO helps ensure all evaluations and research are conducted in accordance with the department’s established Evaluation Policy principles of rigor, relevance, transparency, independence, and ethics.
Data Infrastructure – CEO works with the department’s Chief Data Officer on data infrastructure to improve the department’s capacity to leverage data as a strategic asset and support data management.
Federal Advising – CEO supports federal evidence building efforts. For example, the Chief Evaluation Officer serves on the interagency Evaluation Officer Council and is one of the three Evaluation Officers appointed to the Federal Advisory Committee on Data for Evidence-Building.
Program Evaluation – CEO works closely with all offices and agencies throughout the department to sponsor independent evaluations and research, primarily conducted by external, third-party contractors that address priorities set by the Secretary and the agencies and adhere to the standards in the department’s Evaluation Policy. Explore our current and completed studies, or research by topic area.
Data Analytics – CEO offers a variety of sophisticated data analytics resources to agencies within the department. Through its Data Analytics Unit, a team of social scientists, CEO provides support in data quality assessments, web-scraping, data merging/wrangling, statistical estimations, hypothesis testing, machine learning and more.
Behavioral Insights – CEO’s Behavioral Interventions Program provides support and expertise to offices and agencies to test strategies aimed at improving the effectiveness and customer or user experience of departmental programs, and also provides public resources to help practitioners get started with behavioral science-informed work.
DOL Staff Surveys – CEO collaborates with agencies to design and implement rigorous surveys of DOL staff on a variety of topics.
CEO is responsible for a variety of internal capacity-building activities, including: developing and sponsoring research roundtables on topics as requested by DOL agencies; providing technical trainings and presentations of new research for DOL staff; maintaining an internal website of evaluation, evidence and data analytics resources; and sharing a monthly newsletter of recently-published, labor-related research.
Clearinghouse for Labor Evaluation and Research (CLEAR) – CEO makes rigorous evidence accessible for DOL staff, as well as practitioners, policymakers and researchers from the general public, by maintaining the department’s Clearinghouse for Labor Evaluation and Research (CLEAR). CLEAR is a trusted source of comprehensive research resources by labor topic, including summaries of descriptive statistical studies and outcome analyses, implementation, and causal impact studies.
CEO Email Updates – CEO publishes a quarterly e-newsletter called Building the Evidence Base to share the latest research, data, resources, and upcoming events with the labor community as well as sends eblasts for important, timely announcements. Sign up to receive updates here.
Labor Research Scholars & Grants – CEO funds grants and awards to engage the academic community in efforts to build evidence for labor programs and policies.
Research Resources – CEO leads the development of tailored briefings and one-pagers of individual research project findings, the current evidence base for programs, and other special topics. CEO also curates and develops additional resources to support the labor research community in planning or conducting research.
Public Websites – Upholding DOL’s Evaluation Policy principle of transparency, CEO publicly shares a list of all current studies and research reports, briefs, datasets, and videos for completed studies. On behalf of the department, CEO also maintains DOL’s Evidence Hub, a public website to communicate about the department’s evidence-building efforts.
External Presentations – CEO engages with the external labor research community by attending and speaking at events. Email us at ChiefEvaluationOffice@dol.gov for speaking requests and inquiries.
To develop and implement evaluations, CEO works closely with all offices and agencies throughout the department, including:
- Bureau for International Labor Affairs (ILAB)
- Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA)
- Employment and Training Administration (ETA)
- Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA)
- Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
- Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP)
- Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP)
- Office of Labor-Management Standards (OLMS)
- Office of the Solicitor (SOL)
- Office of Workers' Compensation Programs (OWCP)
- Veterans Employment and Training Services (VETS)
- Wage & Hour Division (WHD)
- Women's Bureau (WB)
CEO In Action: Unemployment Insurance (UI)
An example of how CEO can bring many types of expertise, resources, and support to DOL's work
The Department of Labor’s (DOL) Chief Evaluation Office (CEO) sponsors independent evaluations and research, primarily conducted by external, third-party contractors in accordance with the Department of Labor Evaluation Policy. CEO’s research development process includes extensive technical review at the design, data collection and analysis stage, including: external contractor review and OMB review and approval of data collection methods and instruments per the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA), Institutional Review Board (IRB) review to ensure studies adhere to the highest ethical standards, review by academic peers (e.g., Technical Working Groups), and inputs from relevant DOL agency and program officials and CEO technical staff. Final reports undergo an additional independent expert technical review and a review for Section 508 compliance prior to publication. The resulting reports represent findings from this independent research and do not represent DOL positions or policies