For those who wish to investigate the state of the U.S. economy

For those who wish to investigate the state of the U.S. economy, the federal government provides several indispensable resources. The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Web site (www.bls.gov) displays several boxes that provide a window on the world of work. Click on Economy at a Glance to view statistics on current employment trends. More sophisticated data are available, as are links to other statistical sites. Research papers, many in downloadable form, are accessible through Publications and Research Papers. The Department of Labour’s Web page (www.dol.gov) supplies other labor-related data, including reports on occupational injury and illness rates. The Economics and Statistics Administration, at www.esa.doc.gov, is the source of much of the statistical, economic, and demographic information collected by the federal government. Information on how the nation’s banking system works is available from the Federal Reserve’s home page at www.federalreserve.gov. The page provides an informative and easy-to-understand guide to the Federal Reserve, along with congressional testimony, press releases, statistics, research papers, and the all-important minutes of the Federal Open Market Committee. International financial data are featured on the Web pages of the International Monetary Fund (www.imf.org) and the World Bank (www.worldbank .org). The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) at www .oecd.org has extensive data on social indicators such as health and education. It also provides downloadable reports on various aspects of economic development. Virtually the entire gamut of subjects covered by the academic discipline of economics is just a click away at the WWW Virtual Library on Economics (www.helsinki.fi/ WebEc/EconVLib.html). Besides sections on the nuts and bolts of the discipline, such as micro- and macroeconomics, there are online courses and a Reference Shelf. One of the best resources for demystifying the “dismal science” can be found at the home page of the Left Business Observer (www.leftbusinessobserver.com). There, current debates and news stories are explained in plain and often witty prose. The site also offers numerous links to resources from the business, financial, academic, and political worlds. The American Enterprise Institute (http://www.aei.org) advocates restricting government involvement in business affairs.