Monday, December 15, 2008

Census Bureau: New Database for Tracking Business Activity

We get lots of requests that try & show the growth, or decline, of certain industries (or of small business in general) over a given time period, or in a given place. Our responses have always required getting a bit of data here, and a bit of data there, and involving way too much formatting of spreadsheets.

I've just learned of the Census Bureau's new "Business Dynamics Statistics" website. (A lot of people just learned of the site - it just rolled out on December 1st.) However, after reading what it's all about, I'm tempted to say that we'll now be able to answer these questions a whole lot more easily.

Here's a press release from Census, telling us just what to expect:

"The U.S. Census Bureau announces the release of the Business Dynamics Statistics (BDS), a data series that allows users to track annual changes in employment for growing and shrinking businesses at the establishment level.

There are more than 6 million establishments with paid employees in the United States. These businesses are dynamic: opening and closing, adding and losing employees.

The BDS monitors this activity, tracking annual job creation and destruction at the establishment level using elements not found in similar databases, such as firm age and size. Tracking by firm age, for example, allows users to distinguish between new establishments of new firms and new establishments of mature firms. These statistics are crucial to understanding current and historical entrepreneurial activity in the U.S."

I'm writing this post to let you know of its existence, but, honestly, it's more for my future reference. Some of the data available on this site, once accessed, is a bit confusing to understand. It'll take us some time to decipher just what we're looking at. Stay tuned.

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And have a wonderful holiday season, everyone!

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