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Categories: Big Data; business creation and development; labor markets; longitudinal databases; regional industries & economies

Overview: Business Dynamics Statistics (BDS) provides for measures of net and gross job flows associated with entering,
exiting, expanding, and contracting establishments including measures of job creation and destruction. Aggregate statistics are available for the nation and states, by firm characteristics and industry classification.

Unit of Analysis: Establishment

Coverage: Matches County Business Patterns coverage

Sectors Covered:

  • Agricultural services, forestry, and fishing
  • Mining
  • Construction
  • Manufacturing
  • Transportation and public utilities
  • Wholesale trade
  • Retail trade
  • Finance, insurance, and real estate
  • Services


  • Self-employed
  • Domestic service workers
  • Railroad employees
  • Agricultural production workers
  • Most government employees
  • Employees on ocean-borne vessels
  • Employees

Size: Over 8 million establishment records per year

Form: Longitudinal database, aggregate data tables

Key Data Elements: Establishment openings and closings; firm startups; job creation and destruction by firm size, age, industrial sector

Geographic Areas: Nation, state, and metro/nonmetro (planned)

Industry Detail: Sector (e.g., Construction, Manufacturing)

Timeframe: 1976-2010

Frequency: Annual

Timeliness: Available 16 months after reference year

Methodology: Compiled from the Census Bureau’s Longitudinal Business Database, which is constructed by linking annual snapshot files from the Census Bureau’s Business Register

Access: Aggregate data tables for public and microdata records for qualified researchers through the network of secure Census Bureau Research Data Centers.

Potential Uses for Regional Analysis: Ascertaining patterns of entrepreneurship, structural change, the gross job flows that underlie net employment change, and employment contributions by firm size and age

For Additional Information:

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