The data they collect, which they feed into a computer software program, is part of what later becomes the official jobs report released by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics every month. One of the most important economic indicators, especially in a crisis, it’s guarded securely and when released, its findings can move the stock market. Its data informs the White House, Congress and the Federal Reserve as they make policy. And it will be written into the history books for years to come. But in March and April, the data collectors couldn’t go into work. At a time when reliable economic statistics are of the utmost importance, the BLS closed the call centers to comply with stay-at-home orders during the coronavirus pandemic. The agency

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