Data Scientist

at U.S. Department of Labor
Published September 28, 2023
Location Washington, United States of America
Category Data Science  
Job Type 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.

This position is located in the Department of Labor (DOL), Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Office of Prices and Living Conditions (OPLC).

This position is inside the bargaining unit.


Duties include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Uses large data tools to process very large datasets into structured format that can be easily analyzed and used to produce estimates.
  • Utilizes scientific methodologies, processes, algorithms, and systems to extract insights from structured and unstructured data and to provide guidance for data informed decision-making in support of BLS goals and objectives.
  • Develops and maintains appropriate methods to track and document data, analysis, and tools used in professional work, including but not limited to documentation describing the development, operation and maintenance of data transfer, manipulation, analytical modeling, data quality assessment, and actions taken to ensure appropriate data security and disclosure avoidance.
  • Participates in designing, implementing, and evaluating analytical applications, projects, and studies, ranging from simple to very complex, applying a combination of analytical skills including but not limited to descriptive analysis, computational methods, natural language processing (NLP), and machine learning (ML) methods.
  • Analyzes, extracts and compiles data into a useful format using web scraping, API, and/or machine learning.
  • Supports the development of and adheres to guidelines for data science activities and applications while ensuring implementation of, and compliance with, data ethics and data science-related regulations, policies, and other guidelines issued by Federal, Departmental, and standard-setting bodies.
  • Conducts comprehensive evaluations and assessments of statistical programs/applications, the proposed methodology, suitability of data, and anticipated effectiveness of data science proposals and solutions.
  • Creates and refines analytical models, writes algorithms, and transforms data into knowledge (e.g. dashboards) that guide data-informed decision making and insights.
  • Uses R, Python, SQL, Java, or other programming languages to extract and load data from and to relational databases and to create web applications with API.
  • Utilizes open-source languages, such as R or Python, to manage data, assess fitness for analysis, and prepare for and apply quantitative techniques (e.g., descriptive analysis, sampling, correlation, regression, and prediction) using both traditional inferential statistics and their machine learning analogs.
  • Coordinates and participates in meetings and other activities with stakeholders within BLS as well as with others in the government community determining and communicating effective and efficient methods to acquire and ingest external data to incorporate to further support BLS's mission.
  • Provides advice and guidance for leadership and program officials to define data requirements for structured and unstructured data sources to better deliver integrated data to use in a variety of analytical software tools, including but not limited to statistical analysis, geospatial software, visualization software, and natural language processing software.




Conditions of Employment

  • Must be a U.S. Citizen.
  • Must be at least 16 years old.
  • Requires a probationary period if the requirement has not been met.
  • Candidate required to obtain the necessary security/investigation level.


A) Degree: Mathematics, statistics, computer science, data science, or field directly related to the position. The degree must be in a major field of study (at least at the baccalaureate level) that is appropriate for the position.


B) Combination of education and experience: Courses equivalent to a major field of study (30 semester hours) as shown in paragraph A above, plus additional education or appropriate experience.

In addition to the above basic requirements, applicants must have 52 weeks of specialized experience equivalent to at least the next lower grade level, GS-12, in the Federal Service. Specialized Experience is the experience that equipped the applicant with the particular knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSA's) to perform the duties of the position successfully, and that is typically in or related to the position to be filled.

Qualifying specialized experience for GS-13 includes:

  1. Using big data tools to process very large datasets into structured formats for matching, analysis, or estimation.
  2. Developing, maintaining and implementing machine learning and natural language processing systems.
  3. Creating and maintaining computer applications, scripts, and models using the Python and R programming languages.



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 coursework requirements for this position. Click Evaluation of Foreign Education for more information.


Additional information


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

This position is inside the bargaining unit. As the duty location will be within the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, the position will be included in the Local 12, AFGE bargaining unit.

Full Promotion Potential: This position is at the Full-Performance Level (FPL).

Persons who are deaf, hard of hearing, blind, or have speech disabilities, please dial 711 to access telecommunications relay services.

The mission of the Department of Labor (DOL) is to protect the welfare of workers and job seekers, improve working conditions, expand high-quality employment opportunities, and assure work-related benefits and rights for all workers. As such, the Department is committed to fostering a workplace and workforce that promote equal employment opportunity, reflects the diversity of the people we seek to serve, and models a culture of respect, equity, inclusion, and accessibility where every employee feels heard, supported, and empowered.


As a condition of employment, all personnel must undergo a background investigation for access to DOL facilities, systems, information and/or classified materials before they can enter on duty: BACKGROUND INVESTIGATION

Telework Positions: 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.

The BLS headquarters is currently located in Washington, D.C. but is in the process of relocating within the National Capital Area to Suitland, Maryland. If selected for this position, with an assigned duty station of the Washington, D.C. area, you will have the option to temporarily telework to the maximum extent, subject to applicable pay regulations, while the current headquarters is decommissioned and the future headquarters is being built. Upon completion of the new headquarters offices in Suitland, MD, you will be expected to report to the Suitland Federal Center after receiving notification to do so.

Based on agency needs, additional positions may be filled using this vacancy.


Read more

How You Will Be Evaluated

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


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 qualification 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:

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Computer Languages
  • Customer Service
  • Database Management Systems
  • Software Development

Click here for Evaluation details.

You may preview questions for this vacancy here:

The information you provide may be verified by a review of your paid, unpaid, volunteer, and other lived experience, as it demonstrates the competencies or skills required for the position to be filled. Your evaluation may include an interview, reference checks, or other assessment conducted by HR specialists, subject matter experts, or panel members and may include other assessment tools (ex. interview, structured interview, written test, work sample, etc.). The examining Office of Human Resources (OHR) makes the final determination concerning applicant ratings. Your resume MUST provide sufficient information to substantiate your vacancy question responses. If not, the OHR may amend your responses to more accurately reflect the level of competency indicated by the content of your resume.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 B or higher will be considered "well-qualified." Be sure to review the eligibility questions to reflect that you are applying as an ICTAP or CTAP eligible and submit supporting documentation.