Operations Research Analyst

Washington, D.C
Jun 10, 2021
Jun 11, 2021
Full Time


The Bureau of Labor Statistics measures labor market activity, working conditions, price changes, and productivity in the U.S. economy to support public and private decision making.

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The position is located in the Office of Productivity and Technology, Division of Major Sector Productivity. The mission of this Division is to provide timely, reliable, and useful measures of productivity for major sectors of the U.S. economy to assess economic performance, to incorporate new methodologies for productivity measurement, and to analyze sources of productivity growth.
  • Contributes to a continued research and evaluation program in these topics. Applies computing, scientific and/or statistical techniques and methods to enhance the efficiency or quality of BLS products or procedures. Research will include scientific, statistical and predictive techniques (e.g., regression analysis, statistical analysis, modeling, mathematical programming, machine learning, computational linguistics, auto coding, and data visualization). The findings and results of research projects are well-documented and disseminated to appropriate audiences.
  • Serves as a technical consultant to staff within the assigned office and across the BLS in these topics, providing input on methodologies, technical assistance, and concrete recommendations for applications of data science techniques.
  • Provides support to staff from the assigned office and the Office of Technology and Survey Processing (OTSP) to ensure that data science approaches are feasible given IT constraints.
  • Discusses with program office staff the advantages and disadvantages of various data science approaches, as well as potential applicability of new techniques, including applications of analytic tools, computer languages, and methodologies.
  • Assists with providing training to internal or external audiences on these topics, including through informal and formal training, presentations and technical seminars.
  • Keeps abreast of developments and advancements in these topics, identifying opportunities to incorporate the latest technology or techniques and to minimize potential negative impact on current projects.
  • Supports program office staff serving as liaisons with representatives of other agencies and research organizations by staying abreast of developments in the field of data science.
  • Collaborates and communicates with representatives of other agencies and research organizations to keep abreast of developments in the field of data science.
  • Assists with hardware and software installation and maintenance consistent with guidelines provided by the Office of Technology and Survey Processing, including providing input and/or feedback on requirements based on knowledge of the technology.

Travel Required

25% or less - Travel for Conferences

Supervisory status

Promotion Potential
14 - GS14 - There is no obligation to provide future promotions to you if you are selected. Promotions are dependent on your ability to perform the duties at a higher level, the need for an employee promoted to the higher level, and supervisory approval.


Conditions of Employment

  • Must be at least 16 years old and a U.S. Citizen.
  • Appointment to this position may require a background investigation.
  • Requires a probationary period if the requirement has not been met.
  • Males must be registered for Selective Service, see www.sss.gov.
  • This position is covered by Bargaining Union.

Applicants must meet all legal and regulatory requirements. Reference the "Required Documents" section for additional requirements.


Basic Requirements:

Degree: in operations research; or at least 24 semester hours in a combination of operations research, mathematics, probability, statistics, mathematical logic, science, or subject-matter courses requiring substantial competence in college-level mathematics or statistics. At least 3 of the 24 semester hours must have been in calculus.


In addition to the Basic Requirement, applicants must Specialized Experience.

Specialized experience:

In addition to the basic requirements above, applicants must have 52 weeks of specialized experience equivalent to at least the next lower grade level, GS-11, in the Private Sector or Federal Service.

GS-12 One year of specialized experience equivalent in scope and responsibility to the next lower grade level (GS-11) in the Federal Service. Specialized experience is defined as experience performing highly creative or outstanding research that has led or can lead to major advances in economics and/or statistics through one (or more) of the following: development of a basic principle, product, concept, method, approach, or technique; providing a body of basic information that opened the way for a major advance in the discipline; OR the submission of one or more articles to peer-reviewed journals and / or a demonstrated proficiency of data manipulation and management of large data ensuring data integrity and security.


In addition to the basic requirements above, applicants must have 52 weeks of specialized experience equivalent to at least the next lower grade level, GS-12, in the Private Sector or Federal Service.

GS13 One year of specialized experience equivalent in scope and responsibility to the next lower grade level (GS-12) in the Federal Service. Specialized experience is defined as the experience required at the GS-12 level described above as well as experience that included research in one of the following areas: small area estimation, point estimation, variance estimation, time series analysis, statistical computing, statistical graphics, and/or disclosure limitation.


Any applicant falsely claiming an academic degree from an accredited school will be subject to actions ranging from disqualification from federal employment to removal from federal service.

If your education was completed at a foreign college or university, you must show comparability to education received in accredited educational institutions in the United States and comparability to applicable minimum course work requirements for this position. Click Evaluation of Foreign Education for more information.

Additional information

DOL seeks to attract and retain a high performing and diverse workforce in which employees' differences are respected and valued to better meet the varying needs of the diverse customers we serve. DOL fosters a diverse and inclusive work environment that promotes collaboration, flexibility and fairness so that all individuals are able to participate and contribute to their full potential.


Position Telework eligibility is determined by management based on position duties during the recruitment process. Employee participation in telework on a routine or situational basis is determined by management primarily based on business needs. Employees participating in telework are subject to the terms and conditions of the Department of Labor's Telework Program.

If you meet the minimum qualifications, you will be evaluated against the evaluation factors below and will be placed into a category based on your vacancy question responses.


Category A - Meets the basic qualification requirements for the vacancy and has successful experience in the same or similar job that has demonstrated superior proficiency in applying critical competencies required by this position to work of increased levels of difficulty and complexity.

Category B - Meets the basic qualification requirements for the vacancy and demonstrates satisfactory proficiency in the critical competencies required by this position.

Category C - Meets the specialized experience described in the minimum qualifications requirements section of this announcement and demonstrates proficiency in the basic competencies.

Evaluation Factors (Competencies) - All qualified applicants will be evaluated on the following key competencies:

Economic Data Management and Analysis - Knowledge of the principles, procedures, tools, and activities of economic data management and analysis in conducting systematic and objective inquiries, such as study design, collection, analysis, and interpretation of data, and the reporting of results; knowledge of strengths and weaknesses of related data sources and the ability to know when to utilize specific data sources to analyze a particular economic phenomena; knowledge of various systems used to classify economic data; gleaning pertinent information from a body of data; employing efficient and accurate data review methods, including applying a knowledge of market issues to verify BLS estimates; keeping current with developments in the field of data management; includes micro (individuals & establishments or outlets) as well as macro (estimates) analysis.

How You Will Be Evaluated

You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.

Technology Application and Management - Uses machines, tools, or equipment effectively; uses computers and computer applications to analyze and communicate information in the appropriate format. Maintains software at current levels via authorized software downloads and other appropriate means. Seeking opportunities to create and utilize tools to share stored information between programs and across organizations.

Interpersonal Skills - Treats others with courtesy, sensitivity, and respect. Considers and responds appropriately to the needs and feelings of different people in different situations.

Oral Communication - Expresses information (for example, ideas or facts) to individuals or groups effectively, taking into account the audience and nature of the information (for example, technical, sensitive, controversial); makes clear and convincing oral presentations; listens to others, attends to nonverbal cues, and responds appropriately.

Planning and Evaluating - Organizes work, sets priorities, and determines resource requirements; determines short- or long-term goals and strategies to achieve them; coordinates with other organizations or parts of the organization to accomplish goals; monitors progress and evaluates outcomes.

Self-Management - Sets well-defined and realistic personal goals; displays a high level of initiative, effort, and commitment towards completing assignments in a timely manner; works with minimal supervision; is motivated to achieve; demonstrates responsible behavior.

Writing - Recognizes or uses correct English grammar, punctuation, and spelling; communicates information (for example, facts, ideas, or messages) in a succinct and organized manner; produces written information, which may include technical material that is appropriate for the intended audience.

The information you provide on your resume may be verified by a review of your work experience, employment start/end dates/hours worked and/or education, by checking references and through other means (ex. interview). The examining Office of Human Resources (OHR) makes the final determination concerning applicant ratings. Your resume MUST provide sufficient information to substantiate your responses to the vacancy questions. If not, the OHR may amend your responses to more accurately reflect the level of competency indicated by the content of your resume. Your evaluation may also include a review by a Human Resources Specialist or panel and may include other assessments (ex. interview, panel review, written test, writing sample, etc.)

INFORMATION FOR ICTAP/CTAP ELIGIBLE(S) ONLY: If you are eligible for special priority selection under ICTAP/CTAP, you must be well-qualified for the position to receive consideration. ICTAP/CTAP eligible(s) who are placed into Category 85 or higher will be considered "well-qualified." Be sure to review DOL Account Eligibility Questions #24 to reflect that you are applying as an ICTAP or CTAP eligible and submit supporting documentation. Click Application of Veterans Preference for Category Rating Jobs for more information.

To preview questions please click here .

Background checks and security clearance

Security clearance

Drug test required

Position sensitivity and risk
Non-sensitive (NS)/Low Risk

Trust determination process
Credentialing , Suitability/Fitness

Required Documents

The following documents must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on the vacancy closing date. You are not required to submit a document if it does not apply to you. Warning: If you submit a document using the same document title, the 2nd submission will OVERWRITE the 1st submission. Also, do not upload password-protected documents.

- Resumes are required - provide a resume either by creating one in USAJOBS or uploading one from your profile. To receive full consideration for relevant and specialized experience, please list the month, year, and the number of work hours worked for the experience listed on your resume. We also suggest that you preview the vacancy questions, and confirm that your resume supports your question responses.

- Veterans Documents (if applicable): To be considered as a 5-point preference eligible, you must submit a copy of your Certificate of Release or Discharge From Active Duty, DD214. Your DD-214 must show the type of discharge and dates of active duty. To claim 10-point preference, you must submit a copy of your DD214; an Application for 10-point Veteran's Preference, SF15; and the proof of entitlement of this preference which is normally an official statement, dated 1991 or later, from the Department of Veterans Affairs certifying to the present existence of the service-connected disability and indicating the percentage of your disability. (For active duty service members expecting honorable or general discharge or release within 120 days, click Active Duty ). Without this documentation, you will not receive veteran's preference. For more information, go to http://www.fedshirevets.gov/hire/hrp/vetguide/index.aspx

- Displaced Employee Placement Documents - Only required if requesting priority consideration under CTAP or ICTAP eligibility.

- Cover Letters are not mandatory and will not be used to verify experience, but may be submitted. Applicants selected for employment who are not current DOL employees will be required to provide proof of citizenship , and the E-Verify system will be used to confirm the employment eligibility of all new hires.

If you are relying on your education to meet qualification requirements:

Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications. Therefore, provide only the attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education .

Failure to provide all of the required information as stated in this vacancy announcement may result in an ineligible rating or may affect the overall rating.

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