This article celebrates three-quarters of a century of work by the ILO Bureau of Statistics in the field of labour statistics. During that time, the world's population has almost tripled and its labour force has to support an ever-increasing proportion of that population. The world of work has changed considerably: new industries and occupations have emerged while others have become less important or even disappeared. Technological developments unimaginable 75 years ago have not just created new types of activity, but have changed the face of production and trade, with a consequent impact on the worldwide distribution of employment. Conditions of work have evolved, with better social security coverage and increased leisure time, at least for some workers. Others have had to turn away from the search for increasingly rare paid employment jobs to create their own income-generating activities. The challenge for the Bureau of Statistics has been to collect and publish relevant information about employment and conditions of work and life in the face of all these changes, and to assist ILO constituents in their efforts in this regard. This article outlines the ways in which the Bureau of Statistics has endeavoured to meet this challenge.