Department of Labor - History

Department of Labor - History

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Department of Labor - one of the Cabinet departments, established in 1913. Congress commissioned the Department of Labor to "foster, promote, and develop the welfare of the wage earners of the United States, to improve the working conditions, and to advance their opportunities for profitable employment." The Secretary of Labor is the head of the department. The program agencies that make up the Department of Labor are: the Occupational Safety and Health Administration; the Employment and Training Administration; the Mine Safety and Health Administration; the Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration; the Veterans' Employment and Training Service; the Employment Standards Administration; the Bureau of Labor Statistics; and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

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Labor History

The History Department at CEU pursues a cluster of activities around the theme of labor history from the early modern period to the end of the 20th century, with a special emphasis on Central, Southeastern and Eastern Europe, the Mediterranean and on comparative approaches beyond the region. The aim is threefold: to stimulate research and offer expertise in a field which has been greatly neglected in recent decades to integrate the study of the history of labor in these regions into the transnational history of labor worldwide and to contribute to and interact with the ongoing scholarly debate on the conceptual framings of trans-European and global labor history.

  • The CEU Press Book Series “Work and Labor: Transdisciplinary Studies for the 21st Century” (Editorial Board: Eszter Bartha, Adrian Grama, Don Kalb, David Ost, Susan Zimmermann) has been inaugurated. The first volume, edited by Marsha Siefert, will be published in 2019.
  • Since 2015, courses in labor history have been regularly taught in CEU’s History Department. Most recent incarnations include: Fall 2017: “Labor History: Global Trajectories, East European and Eurasian Dynamics ” , instructor Adrian Grama Winter 2019: “ Labor History in Global Perspective, 19th and 20th Centuries ” , instructor Susan Zimmermann.
  • The one-year postdoctoral fellowship in labor history (Academic year 2017/2018), funded by the project “Laboring Lives: The Experience of Work in Eastern Europe” in the CEU Humanities Initiative, was awarded to Dr. Goran Musić.

In the winter term 2017 we organized the public lecture series , European Labor History in Global Context which was connected to the MA course, ”European Labor History in Global Context form the 18th Century to the Present”, taught by professor Marsha Siefert, and which is financially supported by a grant from the CEU Humanities Initiative, “Laboring Lives: The Experience of Work in Eastern Europe.”

Our project “Laboring Lives: The Experience of Work in Eastern Europe” has been awarded a grant from the CEU Humanities Initiative. Funding includes support for a one-year post-doctoral position at CEU’s History Department, for two lecture series in Winter 2016 and Winter 2017, and for work associated with the co-edited volume, Labor in State Socialist Europe after 1945: Contributions to Global Labor History.

Understanding the Department of Labor

The DOL works to improve working conditions and the overall health of the labor market. It aims to create employment opportunities, to protect retirement and healthcare benefits, to help employers find workers, to encourage collective bargaining, and to track changes in a range of relevant economic metrics. It is also the parent agency of the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which collects and publishes labor market and economic data, including the unemployment rate and the Consumer Price Index.


When the U.S. Social Security Act was first adopted in 1935, state and local government (public) employees were excluded because of concerns related to the federal government’s authority to tax sovereign governments such as the states. The United States first permitted states to enter into voluntary Social Security coverage agreements with the Social Security Administration for their state and local governments in 1950. The voluntary coverage agreements are commonly referred to as Section 218 Agreements because that is the section number of the Social Security Act that permitted states to enter into such agreements on behalf of their state and local governmental (i.e., public) employers and their employees. Each state adopted its own legislation to implement those amendments to the Social Security Act, including naming a state agency or department to serve as the State Social Security Administrator. The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment has statutory responsibility for administering the applicable federal laws on behalf of the entire State of Colorado and its political subdivisions. Federal regulations (20 Code of Federal Regulations §404.1204) require the State to designate officials to act on behalf of the State as the State Social Security Administrator.

Due to the U.S. Constitution and various federal laws that have been adopted since the nation’s founding, the federal tax requirements that apply to state and local government (public) employers and employees associated with Social Security, Medicare, and public pension plans are different from those that apply to the private sector. This website provides information about those differences and who can assist with questions related to public employers’ and employees’ as well as public pension systems’ compliance requirements related to the U.S. Internal Revenue Code (including the Federal Insurance Contributions Act “FICA”) and the U.S. Social Security Act. For significant federal events and dates that apply to state and local governments in this area, see the “Key Dates” document.

Unemployment Rate - May 2021
Colorado: 6.2%
National: 5.8%

2021 Minimum Wage
$12.32 / Hour
$9.30 / Hour for tipped employees

2020 Minimum Wage
$12.00 / Hour
$8.98 / Hour for tipped employees

Colorado Department of Labor and Employment

633 17th Street, Suite 201
Denver, CO 80202-3660
Phone: 303-318-8000


The Department of Commerce was originally created as the US Department of Commerce and Labor on February 14, 1903. It was subsequently renamed the Department of Commerce on March 4, 1913, as the bureaus and agencies specializing in labor were transferred to the new Department of Labor. As the Federal government grew and evolved, other bureaus were transferred to and from the Commerce Department, giving it a rich history and unique role in the Cabinet.

What do we expect to accomplish by creating a Department of Commerce? The name of the new Department answers the question. We hope to develop new fields of profitable trade and foster old ones. We hope to facilitate industrial development and promote commerce at home and abroad. We will look to this Department to give direction to the energetic campaign that has for its object the conquest of the markets of the world by American merchants and manufacturers."

-- Congressman Charles F. Cochiran, Congressional Record, January 15,1903

Enjoy the photographic history of the 100th Anniversary of the Department of Commerce

History of the Department Of Labor

The Department of Labor was established March 4, 1913 “to foster, promote and develop the welfare of working people, to improve their working conditions, and to enhance their opportunities for profitable employment.” Ultimately, the DOL was created because of the lack of standards for occupational safety at the time. Now, all workers in the United States are ensured of fair working standards and compensations.

The DOL has made laws to ensure that former nuclear workers can receive the compensation they deserve. Nuclear Workers sacrificed so much for our country, so it is important that they can now get the help they need. Any condition that is linked to work-related exposure to radiation and chemicals are covered by the EEOICPA (Energy Employees Occupational Illness Program), which you can read more about under our Resources tab.

If you have already received benefits, but have not received compensation, contact us for assistance. If you are interested in filing a claim on behalf of your self or a loved one, we have several professional advocates that we can recommend. Advocates have the ability to provide a free analysis of your claim, represent you in your claim, and help you collect medical, employment, and other information required for your claim.

Eligibility for medical benefits under the EEOICPA is based on the medical necessity created by your accepted conditions and is subject to approval by the Department of Labor.

General Records of the Department of Labor

Established: By an act of March 4, 1913 (37 Stat. 736).

Predecessor Agencies:

Of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Department of Labor:

  • Bureau of Labor, Department of the Interior (1884-88)
  • Department of Labor (1888-1903)
  • Bureau of Labor, Department of Commerce and Labor (1903-13)
  • Department of Commerce and Labor (1903-13)

Functions: Administers programs intended to monitor the economic and physical welfare of American wage earners, improve their working conditions, and advance profitable employment opportunities.

Finding Aids: Leo Pascal, comp., "Preliminary Checklist of the General Records of the Department of Labor, 1907-1942," PC 28 (Nov. 1945) Forrest R. Holdcamper, comp., "Preliminary Inventory of the General Records of the Department of Labor," NC 58 (May 1964).

Security-Classified Records: This record group may include material that is security-classified.

Related Records: Record copies of publications of the Department of Labor and its predecessors in RG 287, Publications of the U.S. Government.
Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, RG 85.
Records of the Women's Bureau, RG 86.
Records of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, RG 100.
Records of the Children's Bureau, RG 102.
Records of the Wage and Hour Division, RG 155.
Records of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, RG 257.
Records of the Labor-Management Services Administration, RG 317.
Records of the Employment and Training Administration, RG 369.
Records of the Mine Safety and Health Administration, RG 433.
General Records of the Employment Standards Administration, RG 448.

174.2 General Records of the Department of Commerce and Labor and
the Department of Labor

History: Department of Commerce and Labor established by act of February 14, 1903 (32 Stat. 825), consolidating functions previously scattered through several government departments and agencies. By act of March 4, 1913 (37 Stat. 736), the Department of Commerce and Labor was divided into the Department of Commerce and the Department of Labor. To the latter were assigned the Bureau of Labor Statistics, formerly the Bureau of Labor the Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization and the Children's Bureau. Subsequent additions to the department included the Conciliation Service (1918), U.S. Employment Service (dating to 1907 as the Division of Information in the Bureau of Immigration, but achieving bureau-level status in 1918), and the Women's Bureau (1920, from the Women in Industry Service of the War Labor Administration).

Textual Records: General files, 1907-42 (bulk 1913-33), including minutes of departmental and other committees fragmentary files of the Conciliation Service, 1918-19 files of the Speakers' Bureau, 1918-19 and records of the President's Mediation Commission, 1917-18, with a subject index and list of file numbers. Subject files, 1953-58. Miscellaneous correspondence, 1953-60. Speeches, 1953-60. Collection of Texas and Illinois "left-wing" labor newspapers, 1907-58.

174.3 Records of Officials of the Department of Labor

174.3.1 Records of Secretaries

Textual Records: Office and subject files, correspondence, speeches, and other records of Secretaries of Labor William B. Wilson, 1913-21 Frances Perkins, 1933-45 Lewis B. Schwellenbach, 1945-48 Maurice J. Tobin, 1948-53 Martin P. Durkin, 1953 James P. Mitchell, 1953-60 Arthur J. Goldberg, 1961-62 W. Willard Wirtz, 1962-69 George P. Shultz, 1969-70 James D. Hodgson, 1970-73 Peter J. Brennan, 1973-75 John T. Dunlop, 1975-76 W.J. Usery, 1976-77 Ray Marshall, 1977-80 Raymond J. Donovan, 1981-84 and Robert B. Reich, 1993-96. Records of Secretaries of Labor relating to their memberships on the Trade Policy Committee, 1958-63.

Sound Recordings: "Working Women and the New Deal," radio speech by Secretary Frances Perkins, June 24, 1936 (1 item). Interviews, press conferences, addresses, speeches, statements, and radio programs, usually by or involving Secretaries Mitchell, Goldberg, and Wirtz, concerning the department and government-labor relationships, 1934-71 (143 items). See Also 174.8.

Photographic Prints: Secretaries of Labor Maurice J. Tobin, 1948-53, and Martin P. Durkin, 1953 and 40th anniversary celebration of the Department of Labor, 1953 (M, 19 images). See Also 174.9.

174.3.2 Records of Under Secretaries

Textual Records: General subject files, correspondence, and other records of Under Secretaries of Labor Michael J. Galvin, 1941-50 David A. Morse, 1946-48 Lloyd A. Mashburn, 1953 Arthur Larson, 1942-57 James T. O'Connell, 1957-60 James D. Hodgson, 1969 Laurence H. Silberman, 1970-72 Richard F. Schubert, 1973-75 Michael H. Moskow, 1976-77 Robert O. Aders, 1975-76 John Gentry, 1979-80 Malcolm B. Lovell, Jr., 1981-83 and Ford B. Ford, 1983-84.

174.3.3 Records of Deputy Under Secretaries

Textual Records: Records of Deputy Under Secretary Millard Cass, 1947-71. Subject files, 1970-72, and a sample of 1972-73 Congressional correspondence of the Deputy Under Secretary for Legislative Affairs.

174.3.4 Records of Assistant Secretaries

Textual Records: General correspondence, subject files, and other records of Assistant Secretaries of Labor Charles V. McLaughlin, 1938-41 Marshall E. Dimock, 1939 Daniel Tracy, 1940-46 Edward C. Moran, Jr., 1945 John W. Gibson, 1945-51 Philip M. Kaiser, 1948-53 Ralph Wright, 1949 Robert T. Creasey, 1949-52 Spencer Miller, Jr., 1953-54 and John J. Gilhooley, 1957-60. Records of Assistant Secretaries for Administration and Management Leo R. Werts, 1942-70 and Frank G. Zarb, 1971-72. Records of Budget Officer and Administrative Assistant Secretary James E.Dodson, 1942-68. Records of the Assistant Secretary for Manpower, concerning alien labor policy for Guam, ca. 1947-71. Records of Assistant Secretary for Manpower Jerry R. Holleman, 1961-62 and Arnold R. Weber, 1969-70. Records of Assistant Secretary for Employment and Training William H. Kolberg, 1973-77. Records of Assistant Secretary for Occupational Safety and Health Morton Korn, 1975-77. Records of Assistant Secretaries for Policy, Evaluation, and Research Michael H. Moskow, 1972-74 Abraham Weiss, 1974-77 and Arnold H. Packer, 1977-80. Records of Assistant Secretaries for Labor- Management Relations James J. Reynolds, 1961-65 Paul T. Fasser, 1973-76 and Bernard E. DeLury, 1976. Records of the Assistant Secretaries for Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration Dennis M. Kass, 1985-87 and David M. Walker, 1987-90.

Related Records: Records of the Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health, in RG 100, Records of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Records of Assistant Secretary for Employment and Training Ernest G. Green, 1977-81, in RG 369, Records of the Employment and Training Administration.

174.3.5 Records of the chief clerk

Textual Records: Numerical correspondence files, 1907-42, with partial index.

Finding Aids: Master index to numerical correspondence maintained in Historian's Office, Department of Labor. Select list of the chief clerk's files in Leo Pascal, comp., "Preliminary Checklist of the General Records of the Department of Labor," PC 28 (1945).

Subject Access Terms: Gompers, Samuel A., Jr., Chief Clerk, Department of Labor, 1918-41.

174.3.6 Records of deputies, assistants, and special assistants

Textual Records: Records of Robert K. Salyers as Deputy to the Assistant Secretary for Labor-Management Relations, 1957-59, and as Assistant to the Under Secretary, 1959-66. Records of Special Assistant to the Under Secretary and Executive Assistant to the Secretary John C. Donovan, 1961-64. Records of Executive Assistants to the Secretary of Labor Jack Howard, 1967-68 and David B. Taylor, 1969-70. Records of Special Assistants to the Secretary of Labor Hugh L. Kerwin, 1913-20 Richardson Saunders, 1933-39 Louis Sherman, 1945-47 Charles W. Straub, 1948-52 Thacher Winslow, 1948-52 Charles O'Dell, 1954-56 Albert L. McDermott, 1954-60 Stephen N. Shulman, 1961-62 Samuel V. Merrick, 1961-63 Seymour Wolfbein, 1962-67 Roger Lewis, 1965-68 and John P. Gould, Jr., 1969-70.

174.3.7 Records of other officials

Textual Records: Records of L.C. Marshall, Executive Secretary to the Advisory Council, 1918. Chronological correspondence files, 1971 (in Nixon Presidential Materials) and alphabetical correspondence files and subject files, 1971, of Millard Cass, consultant to the Secretary during Phase I of the President's Economic Stabilization Program. Records of Special Consultant to the Secretary on Youth Employment, India Edwards, 1961-64, chiefly 1964. Records, 1943-67, of Aryness Joy Wickens, who occupied a series of posts in the Department of Labor beginning in 1932.

174.4 Records of Organizational Units

174.4.1 Records of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Administration and Management

Textual Records: Subject files, 1942-57.

174.4.2 Records of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Employment and Manpower

Textual Records: Subject files, 1950-58.

174.4.3 Records of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Labor-Management Relations

Textual Records: Records of the Advisory Council on Employee Pension and Welfare Benefit Plans, 1962-85, including correspondence and reports, meeting minutes, transcripts of proceedings.

174.4.4 Records of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Policy, Evaluation, and Research

Textual Records: Records of the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Research and Development, 1959-65.

174.4.5 Records of the Office of the Solicitor

Textual Records: General subject files, 1945-63. Subject files relating to foreign agricultural laborers and migratory workers, 1930-70 immigration and naturalization, 1933-40 labor disputes, 1933-40 EO 9240, interpreting provisions limiting payment of overtime during World War II, 1942-45 shipbuilding, 1948-62 and civil rights, 1957-71. Administrative files of the Wage Determination Branch, relating to the enforcement of the Davis-Bacon Act of 1931, 1941-43. Records relating to hours, wages, and public contracts including the Federal-Aid Highway Act, 1953-61 and industry committee files for Puerto Rico, 1960-63. Records relating to the establishment of unemployment compensation offices, 1936-52. Litigation case files relating to anti-discrimination legislation, 1965-76. Records of the Regional Solicitor, Region 9 (San Francisco, CA), relating to the Mexican Labor ("Bracero") Program, 1950-64 (in San Francisco).

174.4.6 Records of the Conciliation Service

Textual Records: Complaints, correspondence, and case files, 1919.

174.4.7 Records of the Division of Negro Economics

Textual Records: Fragmentary correspondence and reports on division activities, conditions of black workers and their relationship to white workers and employers, and developments in black participation in business and agriculture, 1919-21.

174.4.8 Records of the Office of Administrative Law Judges

Textual Records: Case files of the Office of Federal Contract Compliance, 1977.

174.4.9 Records of the Office of Federal Contract Compliance

History: Established by EO 11246, September 24, 1965, to administer nondiscrimination and equal employment opportunity programs directed at contractors and subcontractors doing business with the Federal Government and in federally assisted construction projects. In 1969, the ofCC was transferred from the Office of the Secretary of Labor to the Wage and Labor Standards Administration.

Textual Records: Subject files of the Assistant Director for Construction, 1961-70. Equal opportunity compliance review files, 1965-85.

174.4.10 Records of the Office of Information and Public Affairs

Textual Records: Correspondence and subject files, 1933-62. Texts of speeches and other public statements, including scripts for radio broadcasts, of Secretaries Perkins, 1933-45, and Schwellenbach, 1945-48, and of Assistant Secretaries D.A. Morse, Philip Hannah, and John T. Kmetz, 1946-48. Informational issuances, such as press releases and statements, 1948-60. Records of the departmental World War II historical program, consisting of reports, correspondence, memorandums, and drafts of histories, 1942-47. Annual reports of the Department, 1952-93. Employee newsletters, 1969-95.

174.4.11 Records of the Office of the Legislative Liaison

Textual Records: Subject files, 1967-71.

174.4.12 Records of the Office of Program Analysis and Evaluation

Textual Records: Reports and correspondence, 1964-65.

174.4.13 Records of the Departmental Committee on Economic Policy
and Programs

Textual Records: General file of the chairman, 1949-50.

174.4.14 Records of the Management-Labor Policy Committee on
Defense Manpower

Textual Records: General files, 1950-51.

174.4.15 Records of the departmental Defense Manpower

History: Established by General Order 48, Secretary of Labor, pursuant to EO 10161 of September 9, 1950, to utilize the functions and services of the Department of Labor to meet the labor needs of defense industries and essential civilian employment. General Order 48 revoked by General Order 63 of August 25, 1953, which established the Office of Manpower Administration under the Assistant Secretary for Employment and Manpower.

Textual Records: Records of William Batt, Special Assistant to the Executive Director, 1949-53. Case files on its advisory reports to the Wage Stabilization Board, regarding the latter's "rare and unusual" wage adjustment cases, 1951-53.

174.4.16 Records of the Program Planning and Review Committee

Textual Records: Correspondence, minutes, reports, and other records, 1955-62.

174.4.17 Records of the departmental Commission on Workforce Quality and Labor Market Efficiency

History: Established by order of the Secretary of Labor, July 11, 1988, to provide the Department with specific recommendations for increasing the excellence of the American workforce. Terminated upon submission of final report, September 30, 1989, published as "Investing in People: A Strategy to Address America's Workforce Crisis."

Textual Records: General file, 1988-89, including background documents, newspaper clippings files, and transcripts of meetings.

174.5 Records of the Bureau of International Labor Affairs (ILAB)

Textual Records: Correspondence and subject files, 1953-58.

174.5.1 Records of the Office of International Organizations Affairs

Textual Records: Correspondence and subject files, 1945-67. Geographic files, 1966-68. Subject files of the Foreign Economic Policy Committee, 1956-63 Correspondence and minutes of meetings of the Trade Agreements Committee, 1959-63. Records of the Division of International Labor Organizations including committee and conference files, 1945-64. Records of the Technical Cooperation Division including subject files, 1947-54 and correspondence relating to the training of foreign visitors, 1952-58.

174.5.2 Records of the Office of Country Program Affairs

Textual Records: Reports of the Foreign Worker Organizations Committee to the Council of Foreign Economic Policy, 1958-60.

174.5.3 Records of the Office of International Personnel and Management

Textual Records: Records relating to country assignments, 1958-61. Records of the Foreign Service Division including Comprehensive Economic Reporting Program (CERP) reports, 1952-58 and personnel performance and backstopping files, 1958.

174.6 Records of Commissions and Committees
1912-18, 1951-52, 1962-95

174.6.1 Records of the U.S. Commission on Industrial Relations

History: Established by an act of August 23, 1912 (37 Stat. 415), to inquire into the general condition of labor in the principal industries of the United States and to determine and report upon the underlying causes of labor unrest.

Textual Records: Reports, studies, and administrative files of the Division of Research and Investigation, 1912-15.

Microfilm Publications: T4.

174.6.2 Records of the President's Mediation Commission

History: Established by order of the President, September 19, 1917, under the chairmanship of the Secretary of Labor, to deal with certain labor disputes in the Arizona copper mines, the California oil fields, and the Pacific Northwest lumber industry. Terminated upon submission of its final report, January 9, 1918.

Textual Records: Transcripts of hearings at Globe, Clifton, and Bisbee, AZ, 1917. Reports, correspondence, and memorandums relating to commission activities, 1917-18.

174.6.3 Records of the President's Committee on Government Contract Compliance

History: Established by EO 10308, December 3, 1951, to promote compliance with legislation that required non-discrimination clauses in government contracts. Abolished by EO 10479, August 13, 1953, which established successor Government Contract Committee.

Textual Records: Transcripts of meeting minutes, 1952.

174.6.4 Records of the National Manpower Advisory Committee

History: Appointed by the Secretary of Labor pursuant to the Manpower Development and Training Act of 1962 (76 Stat. 28), March 15, 1962, to provide advice on departmental responsibilities under the act.

Textual Records: Correspondence of the executive secretary, 1962- 74. Transcripts of national and regional committee meetings, 1962-74. Records of conferences, seminars, panels, task forces, and subcommittees, 1962-74.

174.6.5 Records of the National Commission for Employment Policy

Photographic Prints: Portraits of members and chairmen of the Commission, 1974-95 (EP, 18 items). See Also 174.9.

174.7 Motion Pictures (General)

Documentaries, television interviews and debates, and television spots showing the history of American labor ("Challenge of Change"), the living and working conditions of migrant workers (CBS's "Harvest of Shame"), Secretaries Goldberg and Wirtz discussing the policies and programs of the Kennedy-Johnson administrations, and other subjects that relate to the work of the department and employment within the United States (102 reels).

174.8 Sound Recordings (General)

President Harry Truman's address to the President's Conference on Industrial Safety, March 23, 1949 (1 item).

174.9 Still Pictures (General)
1919, 1935-82

Photographic Prints: Panorama of Department of Labor, Washington, DC, 1919 (P, 1 image). Photographic prints of occupations, labor activities, and personalities, 1940-70, collected by the Historian's Office (G, 1,300 images). Photographic prints of occupations and labor activities in the United States, 1935-82, collected by the Employment and Training Administration for the departmental publications "Manpower" and "Worklife" (MP, 2,000 images).

See Photographic Prints Under 174.3.1 and 174.6.5.

Bibliographic note: Web version based on Guide to Federal Records in the National Archives of the United States. Compiled by Robert B. Matchette et al. Washington, DC: National Archives and Records Administration, 1995.
3 volumes, 2428 pages.

This Web version is updated from time to time to include records processed since 1995.

Department of Labor - History

The Department of Labor and Employment is the primary government agency mandated to promote gainful employment opportunities, develop human resources, protect workers and promote their welfare, and maintain industrial peace.

Name of agency Deparment of Labor and Employment Region I - Ilocos Region
Mandate Promote gainful employment opportunities, develop human resources, protect workers and promote their welfare and maintain industrial peace.
Organizational chart View national organizational chart
Personnel complement 97 as of CY 2021 plantilla positions
Number of Field Offices 6

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) started as a small bureau in 1908. It became a department on December 8, 1933 with the passage of Act 4121. The Department of Labor and Employment stands as the national government agency mandated to formulate policies, implement programs and services, and serve as the policy-coordinating arm of the Executive Branch in the field of labor and employment.

The organization and functions of the Department of Labor and Employment are in accordance with the provisions of Executive Order No. 126, as amended, the Labor Code of the Philippines , and other relevant and pertinent legislations.






Regional Director

Assistant Regional Director


Head, Technical Services and Support Division (TSSD)

OIC-Head, Internal Management Services Division (IMSD)


Head, La Union Field Office (LUFO)

Head, Eastern Pangasinan (Rosales) Field Office (EPFO)

Head, Central Pangasinan (Dagupan) Field Office (CPFO)

Head, Ilocos Sur Field Office (ISFO)

OIC-Head, Western Pangasinan (Alaminos) Field Office (WPFO)

OIC-Head, Ilocos Norte Field Office (INFO)

Whereas: Stories from the People’s House

“In the ranks of the wage earners are found young girls, middle-aged and even elderly women married, single, widowed, separated, and divorced women. There are women who support not only themselves but dependents as well, those who are home-makers in addition to being wage earners. In short the crux of the matter lies in the fact that working women, regardless of their status in other respects, are generally speaking not only producers of economic goods but of future citizens, actually or potentially.”
—Records of the Women’s Bureau

Public Law 66-259, which created the new bureau, authorized it to “formulate standards and policies which shall promote the welfare of wage-earning women, improve their working conditions, increase their efficiency, and advance their opportunities for profitable employment.” Notably, the law stipulated the director of the bureau be a woman. The Women’s Bureau remains the only federal agency with a congressional mandate to promote the well-being of women in the workforce.

The road to the creation of the Women’s Bureau was neither smooth nor straight. Although the executive branch attempted to create a similar department, it took the intervention and support of Congress to secure permanent status for a Women’s Bureau. In 1886, trailblazer Charlotte Smith, president of the Woman’s National Industrial League, a union she founded, petitioned Representative John J. O’Neill, who chaired the Committee on Labor. Smith asked O’Neill to offer a bill establishing a Bureau of Labor for Women “to gather statistics and data respecting the female industrians of the U.S.” The petition was referred to O’Neill’s committee, but it took no action.

The House Labor Committee and the Senate Committee on Education and Labor held joint hearings on three related bills for a Women’s Bureau on March 4 and 5, 1920. The witnesses included female leaders in their fields who had long advocated for women in the workforce. Among them were the former director of the WIS, Mary Van Kleeck, and Mary Anderson, Van Kleeck’s assistant at the WIS. Anderson would later be appointed as the first director of the Women’s Bureau, where she remained until 1944.

Van Kleeck testified that, given the influx of women into the workforce, it was necessary to gather facts about the women themselves, as well as the conditions in which they were working. “In asking for a women’s bureau in the Department of Labor, we are not concerned merely with the thought of having women to look after the interests of women, but in having women taking part in the work of the Department of Labor on an equal basis with men in relation to the labor problems as actually affecting both men and women, because the interests should not be separated in either particular.”

Representative Raker, who submitted his second bill for a Women’s Bureau in 1919, retorted, “They must go out in the field of actual activity and earn their living. . . . Anyone who has given this subject any thought or consideration realizes that while you may speak of the father and the son representing the wife, mother, or sister that day has passed. They want and are entitled to represent themselves.” Representative Ira Hersey of Maine made a final plea for passage of the bill, stating that all other arguments aside, a permanent appropriation would allow a bureau that proved its efficacy and efficiency during the war to continue its work in the most economical way. The bill passed, 256 to 9, and became law on June 5, 1920.

The work of the Women’s Bureau contributed to national achievements, such as the passage of the Fair Labor Standards Act in 1938, documenting wage inequality between Black and white female workers, and the opening of the Civil Service exam to women. The Women’s Bureau also effected change on a state and local level through its studies of various industries, from cotton mills and candy making to sewing trades and department store work. One hundred years later, the Women’s Bureau of the Department of Labor continues to advocate for policies and laws that support working women.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you are in need of additional financial assistance, the Office of the Commissioner of Financial Regulation has created a Financial Relief Guide for Marylanders. The guide summarizes some of the many COVID-19 financial relief programs and consumer protections that are available for Maryland residents and their families.

You may be eligible for additional supportive benefits and services through the Maryland Department of Human Services (DHS). In addition to cash and food purchasing support, you may qualify for counseling and other services. Find out what services may be available for you by completing an initial application online or you may contact DHS' 24-hour helpline at 1-800-332-6347.

For additional state resources from the state departments of Labor, Human Resources, and Housing and Community Development, please visit the State of Maryland Financial Resources & Services.

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