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Longitudinal Employer–Household Dynamics (LEHD) data are the result of a partnership between the Census Bureau and U.S. states to provide high quality local labor market information and to improve the Census Bureau's economic and demographic data programs. LEHD data are based on different administrative sources, primarily Unemployment Insurance (UI) earnings data and the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW), and censuses and surveys. Firm and worker information are combined to create job level quarterly earnings history data, data on where workers live and work, and data on firm characteristics, such as industry. Access to these data will only be granted to qualified researchers on approved projects with authorization to use specific data sets. All researcher access to restricted–use data occurs at one of the secure Federal Statistical Research Data Centers (RDCs). The table below lists person, job and establishment based data available at the RDCs.

All LEHD data files except the Business Register Bridge are by state. A subset of states have data available at the RDCs. The list of states can be found on page 16 of LEHD Infrastructure Files in the Census RDC - Overview PDF (2.5 MB). This document provides detailed information about the LEHD data. In general, LEHD data are available from 2000 onwards. The availability of historical data prior to 2000 varies by state and data set. In the Years column of the table below, the start year is the year in which the state(s) with the earliest data has (have) data available for that data set. The latest year of data available at the RDCs is 2011. Some LEHD data contain Federal Tax Information (FTI). Use of LEHD data containing FTI requires approval by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

In addition to the restricted-use data available at the RDCs, LEHD creates public-use data sets and online tools. Quarterly Workforce Indicators (QWI) data and the online tools QWI Explorer and the LED Extraction Tool contain workforce statistics by demography, geography, and industry for each state. LEHD Origin-Destination Employment Statistics (LODES) and the OnTheMap web application have partially synthetic data on where workers live and work. These data and online tools have statistics for quarters up to about one year ago and include data for all states that have joined the LED Partnership.


LEHD Restricted–Use Microdata

Data Set Unit of Observation Years
Business Register Bridge (BRB)
Employer Characteristics Files (ECF)
Establishment – Quarter
Employment History Files (EHF)
Job (Person–Firm)
Geocoded Address List (GAL)
Individual Characteristics Files (ICF)
Quarterly Workforce Indicators (QWI)*
Establishment – Quarter
Unit–to–Worker (U2W)
Job (Person–Establishment)
* Establishment–level QWI data is restricted-use and is only available at the RDCs. Aggregated QWI data are public-use and can be accessed via the LEHD applications or downloaded as flat files.

 What are Microdata?

Microdata are data at the level of the establishment, firm, individual, or household that are collected through census and survey programs.

 What are Federal
 Statistical Research
 Data Centers?

Federal Statistical Research Data Centers (RDCs) are U.S. Census Bureau facilities, staffed by a Census Bureau employee, which meet all physical and computer security requirements for access to restricted–use data. At RDCs, qualified researchers with approved projects receive restricted access to select non–public statistical system data.

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Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Center for Economic Studies | (301) 763-6460 | E-mail CES |  Last Revised: March 02, 2015