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

Overview: Business Employment Dynamics (BED) provides quarterly data on establishment openings, closings, expansions, and contractions by industry and size of firm, as well as establishment births, deaths, and survival by age, for the nation and states. BED data are generated from longitudinally linked microdata collected by the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW, formerly the ES-202) program.

Unit of Analysis: Establishment


  • QCEW data covers all employers subject to state and federal unemployment insurance (UI) laws—approximately 97% of all U.S. reported employment data
  • BED data covers the private sector (excludes government and private households)

Size: 6.8 million establishments; 105 million employees

Form: Longitudinal database, aggregate data tables

Key Data Elements: Gross job gains (expansions, openings); gross job losses (contractions, closings); job losses/gains available by industry sector, firm size, births, and deaths

Geographic Areas: National and state—future expansions may include MSA and county levelIndustry Detail: 2- and 3-digit NAICS industry (national), 2-digit NAICS industry (state)

Timeframe: 1992 – Present

Frequency: Quarterly

Timeliness: Available 8 months after reference quarter Data Collection

Method: QCEW collects employment and wage data from quarterly establishment reports submitted to State Workforce Agencies in compliance with unemployment insurance laws. BED assigns a unique identifier to track each business in the
longitudinal database.

Access: Multi-screen data search, pre-formatted top picks, FTP site flat file

Potential Uses for Regional Analysis:

  • Identify patterns of gross job creation and destruction by industry sector
  • Track survival and identify contributions of young and old business establishments to employment growth

For Additional Information:

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