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bls-matlab

A basic Matlab class to pull data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics using their Public API here.

Usage

Basic usage:

b = bls();
data = fetch(b, 'LNS11000000');

Or, register on the BLS website for a Public Data API account here. Then, take advantage of the increased daily query limit and other features:

b = bls([], MY_API_KEY);
data = fetch(b, 'PRS85006092', 'catalog', 'true');

For full documentation, see the inline help:

help bls
help bls.fetch

Setup

Navigate to a location where you store user-written Matlab code, such as:

C:\Users\username\Documents\MATLAB
/home/username/Documents/MATLAB

Run

git clone https://github.com/micahjsmith/bls-matlab.git

Add to MATLAB path (from command window):

addpath(genpath('/absolute/path/to/bls-matlab'))

That should do it. Check your matlabpath if you are having problems here. Add the above command to your startup.m file to have bls-matlab available every time you use MATLAB.

Notes

Alternatives

  • The BlsData.jl package (by the same author) provides expanded functionality for pulling from BLS in Julia.

  • The FredData.jl package (by the same author) provides functionality for pulling from Fred in Julia which provides access to almost all BLS series, albeit with different series IDs.

Limitations

  • the BLS API enforces limits on requests - see here for a summary
  • the BLS API exposes only 10 years of data at once; if you request more than this, your request will be truncated. At this point, bls-matlab does not automatically make multiple requests to handle this situation, you must batch your requests yourself.
  • I don't use MATLAB anymore and have limited capacity for maintenance - are you a motivated user of bls-matlab? Email me about helping with maintenance of this project.

Compatibility

  • tested on 2019a
  • requires >2015a for the webservices/restful functionality.
  • for pre-2015a usage, see the compatible-lt-15a branch which allows you to enjoy this functionality at the expense of downloading the urlread2 and JSONlab user-written packages from Mathworks File Exchange. This branch has not received any further development or bug fixes.

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Pull data from Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) directly into Matlab

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