I came across the labor tag for the first time, and I'm of the opinion that its wrong and needs editing. If the Department of Labor wants their own tag, then something more specific that is also relevant sounds great, the vague term labor applies to much more than DOL and their API.
So how do I go about editing this? I could simply change the definition, and create a new tag for DOL-API, but I want to make sure that's the correct route.
I also have to say this reoccurring theme of US government departments use of od se however they please is getting mundane. I've mentioned a few of them on here and those in the gov that are on here never seem to respond.
Its all good if they use it, please use it, but maybe think about more than your department as you do it. Seriously, as if every other country doesn't have labor statistics. If you want to keep it domestic, states and localities have labor levels too. This is getting to be a rant, so I'll stop, but if any of my previous thoughts were addressed (not corrected, but acknowledged), I wouldn't feel like this.

Months later, still see the need for this to change. I was just about to edit the tag wiki, but I want to discuss this before I do.
Should a DoL tag be created? Should we use Jan's idea of combining the United States tag with a generic Labor tag?
Again, I was just about to edit it, but don't want to cause more confusion for users; or rather, would like to minimize/lessen it as much as possible.

As for engaging other branches of the gov/mods here...no one will respond or answer....

  • 1
    I'm also not a fan of the wording of labor. But getting them to switch it, then editing all the questions, is somehow in my opinion not worth the trouble. I guess a workaround would be to use a tag like employment for non labor labor questions.
    – philshem
    Jul 3, 2016 at 8:00
  • getting who to switch? the bls or the tag here? thanks for your answer, its been so long, i was just going to edit it and see what comes.
    – albert
    Jul 4, 2016 at 14:19
  • yeah bls would have to update their site and then we could edit the existing questions to the new tag.
    – philshem
    Jul 4, 2016 at 17:22
  • so its on their site.......of course it is.
    – albert
    Jul 9, 2016 at 2:41
  • can you show me where it is? and seriously where are the rest of the mods here?
    – albert
    Jul 9, 2016 at 2:43
  • see link to "Ask Questions" tab on developer.dol.gov, goes direct to opendata.stackexchange.com/questions/ask?tags=labor
    – philshem
    Jul 9, 2016 at 8:18
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    i filed an issue here. github.com/USDepartmentofLabor/Quarry/issues/30 this is not the first time this has happened, either in using od se incorrectly, or not having the mods say anything. frustrating to say the least.
    – albert
    Jul 9, 2016 at 14:39
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    For the record, I don't mind that external sites use OD or SE for a public forum, but I wish the admins over there would post to meta, and request a tag specific to their site. Also, to introduce themselves.
    – philshem
    Jul 9, 2016 at 17:24
  • i don't mind either. i just wish this process was more transparent and thought through.
    – albert
    Jul 9, 2016 at 22:28
  • @albert there was some response to your inquiry at DoL's github issue. Mike Pulsifer, the other person who responded to you, is the right person to talk to about this. My recommendation would be to add a new tag (perhaps labor-dol ?) specific to DOL and to keep the labor tag but modify the definition. I think the API website could link to either the old or new tag on OD after that. Jul 11, 2016 at 14:24
  • i saw, will respond. i think i'm going about this all wrong. thinking about whipping up a odse playbook for depts/agencies. thoughts?
    – albert
    Jul 12, 2016 at 11:44
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    I would just ask that they post in Meta to get an assigned tag, and that there is some commitment to answer questions
    – philshem
    Jul 18, 2016 at 20:04
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    I agree with most of what has been said. 'labor' is too generic. Similar to the Pubmed and mimic-iii tags, which are site specific, it makes sense to have a specific dol (or similar) tag
    – Marcus D
    Aug 17, 2016 at 7:37
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    Also there are currently 29 labor tags. I'd be happy to change them into something else (if I have the permissions to). then it would just be a case of changing new ones as they come in, and getting dol to change their website.
    – Marcus D
    Aug 17, 2016 at 7:44

1 Answer 1


The idea of a specific tag very much appeals to me.
On 26 Aug 2016 I have sent the below email directly to [email protected]
Maybe it helps.

Dear Sir, Madam,

As a user of https://opendata.stackexchange.com/ I was confronted with this totally unintelligible question: How to access DOL's ETA data?

After some digging it turns out that your "Ask Questions" tab on developer.dol.gov, goes directly to opendata.stackexchange.com/questions/ask?tags=labor, thereby starting a question there with the (only) tag 'labor'.

There is nothing on Opendata.SE that has an issue (is in conflict) with you using the site for content questions, but the way you currently do it does not work: Opendata.SE is an international site. All other (specifically non-US) users of that site are now confronted with questions that have a very unspecific 'labor' tag and are often full of acronyms.

Since your site visitors/users are kicked over to Opendata.SE without notice, they have no idea where they are and what the 'rules' on OpenData are.

This has already led to several discussion on the OpenData meta site, e.g. this one: Editing a Tag's Name, Wondering About US Gov Involvement, Just the Usual

In the comments under that question it is suggested that you work together with the people on the meta site to develop a better tag then 'labor'.

I have two concrete requests from you to alleviate the confusion with both your users and the worldwide audience on OpenData:

  1. Follow the above suggestion to develop a proper tag (place a proposal on meta.opendata.se), and update your 'ask a question' link accordingly: it should contain the new tag as well as a 'united-states' tag.
  2. Do not just kick your users to OpenData. Create a small intermediate page telling them where you are sending them, asking them to keep in mind that it is an international site shared with many people involved in Open Data systems, and pointing to them to the help page at https://opendata.stackexchange.com/help

There are many other agencies and commercial companies that use StackExchange sites for their support questions, and generally this works pretty well, but it needs some considerations/work from both sides to make it work smoothly.

Thank you very much for your attention

Jan Doggen
The Netherlands

No reply one month later (26 Sep)
Obviously no reply will come (Feb 2017)

  • ha, thanks for taking the initiative. have been meaning to write up a quick post/plan for implementing across agencies, but clearly haven't gotten to it yet.
    – albert
    Aug 26, 2016 at 21:30
  • any response? i finally got back to that github issue, hopefully they'll respond.
    – albert
    Feb 24, 2017 at 7:25
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    When trying to get a government official to do something, you should take into account politics and timing. Your original (26 Aug 2016) email was sent during a presidential campaign and close to the end of a presidential term. The administration was a few months away from changing over, so the webmaster was likely preoccupied with the election and finding his/her next job. You should try again with the current DOL webmaster. The current administration is at least 2 years, possibly 6 years away from its end date, so senioritis shouldn't be a problem.
    – csk
    Dec 28, 2018 at 21:08

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