PRINCETON TOWNSHIP, N.J. (AP) _ Albert Rees, a labor economist who served as provost of Princeton University and was an adviser to President Ford, has died of cancer. He was 71.

Rees died Saturday at the Medical Center at Princeton, Princeton spokesman Justin Harmon said.

Rees teamed with George P. Schultz, former secretary of state, to write a landmark study of wages called the Chicago Labor Market Project. The 1970 project was one of the first to collect and analyze data on wages and employment conditions of individual workers.

''Al Rees was my close colleague and close friend,'' Schultz said in a statement. ''He was a marvelous partner in both research and writing; full of ideas, careful and professional, constructive in his suggestions and criticisms.''

Rees joined the faculty at Princeton in 1966, where he also became head of the economics department. He was appointed by Ford in 1974 to lead the Council on Wage and Price Stability, founded to monitor the nation's inflation.

After leaving the council in 1975, Rees returned to Princeton to serve as provost until 1977.

In 1979, he was named president of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, which focuses on research in sciences, education and management. Rees retired from the foundation in 1989 and returned to Princeton as a senior research economist.

Funeral arrangements were not announced. A memorial service will be held at Princeton on Oct. 17.