United States Department of Labor

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The Department of Labor was created to promote the welfare of the job seekers, wage earners, and retirees of the United States by improving their working conditions, advancing their opportunities for profitable employment, protecting their retirement and health care benefits, helping employers find workers, strengthening free collective bargaining, and tracking changes in employment, prices, and other national economic measurements. In carrying out this mission, the Department administers a variety of Federal labor laws including those that guarantee workers’ rights to safe and healthful working conditions; a minimum hourly wage and overtime pay; freedom from employment discrimination; unemployment insurance; and other income support.

It was founded in 1884 as part of the Department of the Interior. Its purpose was to "foster, promote and develop the welfare of working people, to improve their working conditions, and to enhance their opportunities for profitable employment." It was part of the Interior for a while, and then in 1903 became part of the Department of Commerce. It was made its own department in 1913.

The current head of the Department of Labor is the Secretary of Labor, which is Hilda Solis.

The Department of Labor is organized into major program areas, and these are headed by an Assistant Secretary or other official.

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