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Business Dynamics Statistics: An Overview


John Haltiwanger


University of Maryland - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

Ron S. Jarmin


U.S. Census Bureau

Javier Miranda


U.S. Census Bureau - Center for Economic Studies

January 1, 2009

Kauffman Foundation Other Research

Abstract:     
The Business Dynamics Statistics (BDS) includes measures of establishment openings and closings, firm startups, job creation and destruction by firm size, age, and industrial sector, and several other statistics on business dynamics. The U.S. economy is comprised of more than 6 million establishments with paid employees. The population of these businesses is constantly churning - some businesses grow, others decline, and yet others close. New businesses constantly replenish this pool. The BDS series provides annual statistics on gross job gains and losses for the entire economy, and by industrial sector and state. These data track changes in employment at the establishment level, and thus provide a picture of the dynamics underlying aggregate net employment growth.

The Business Dynamics Statistics is a product of the U.S. Census Bureau and was developed by the Center for Economic Studies. The BDS data are compiled from the Longitudinal Business Database (LBD) (Jarmin and Miranda, 2002). The LBD is a longitudinal database of business establishments and firms covering the years between 1976 and 2005 (as additional years of the LBD are available, the BDS will be updated).

The LBD is constructed by linking annual snapshot files from the Census Bureau’s Business Register (BR)1 to provide a longitudinal history for each establishment. The linkage process makes use of numeric establishment identifiers as well as probabilistic name and address matching. The linkage process allows the tracking of net employment changes at the establishment level, which, in turn, allows the estimation of jobs gained at opening and expanding establishments, and jobs lost at closing and contracting establishments.

The LBD originally was conceived and constructed to be a research dataset. It has been used in numerous studies published in leading scholarly journals. It also has seen increased use as a source of special tabulations. The growing demand for tabulations from the LBD is why the Census Bureau has developed the BDS.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 12

Keywords: business dynamics statistics, bds, lbd, census, data, firm

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Date posted: August 17, 2009  

Suggested Citation

Haltiwanger, John and Jarmin, Ron S. and Miranda, Javier, Business Dynamics Statistics: An Overview (January 1, 2009). Kauffman Foundation Other Research. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1456465 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1456465

Contact Information

John C. Haltiwanger (Contact Author)
University of Maryland - Department of Economics ( email )
College Park, MD 20742
United States
301-405-3504 (Phone)
301-405-3542 (Fax)
National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )
1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) ( email )
P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany
Ron S. Jarmin
U.S. Census Bureau ( email )
4700 Silver Hill Road
Washington, DC 20233
United States
Javier Miranda
U.S. Census Bureau - Center for Economic Studies ( email )
4700 Silver Hill Road
Washington, DC 20233
United States
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