Skip Main Navigation Skip To Navigation Content

Synthetic Longitudinal Business Database (SynLBD)

Skip top of page navigation


  • Beta Data Product – Experimental data product made available to the researchers before all features are fully tested so they can provide feedback to aid the developers in creating the final product.
  • Business Register (BR) – A comprehensive database of all U.S. business establishments developed and maintained by the U.S. Census Bureau, with data beginning in 1975 and continuing to the present.  This is restricted data and is the source data for the Longitudinal Business Database (LBD).
  • Employment (EMP) – Paid employment consists of full and part-time employees, including salaried officers and executives of corporations, who were on the payroll in the pay period including March 12. Included are employees on sick leave, holidays, and vacations; not included are proprietors and partners of unincorporated businesses. Employment refers to paid employment at the establishment where business is conducted. Note, this will correspond to firm employment only for single-unit establishment firms.
  • Establishment – A single physical location where business is conducted or where services or industrial operations are performed.
  • Firm – A firm is a business organization consisting of one or more domestic establishments that were specified under common ownership or control. The firm and the establishment are the same for single-establishment firms. Note, there is no firm level information for multi-unit establishments in the current version of the SynLBD.
  • First Year (FIRSTYEAR) – Indicator for the first year the establishment is observed in the data (birth year). This variable is left censored at 1976.
  • Last Year (LASTYEAR) – Indicator for the last year the establishment is observed (death year). This variable is right censored at the last year of the data.
  • LBDNUM – Longitudinal establishment identifier. Can be used to track establishment units over time.
  • Longitudinal Business Database (LBD) / LBD Gold Standard File – A confidential research data product developed at the Census Bureau's Center for Economic Studies (CES).  Based on the Business Register, it is comprised only of employer establishments and features longitudinal linking of establishments from one year to the next.
  • Longitudinal Linking – Use of a database primary key (a linking variable) to facilitate identification of an individual establishment across multiple datasets.
  • Multi–Unit (MU) Status – Indicator for whether the establishment belongs to a firm composed of two or more establishments.
  • Payroll (PAY) – Total annual payroll includes all forms of compensation, such as salaries, wages, commissions, bonuses, vacation allowances, sick-leave pay, and the value of payments in kind (e.g., free meals and lodgings) paid during the year to all employees.
  • SIC3 – Three digit Standard Industrial Classification code.
  • Synthetic Longitudinal Business Database (SynLBD) – A research dataset based on the LBD that incorporates noise infusion techniques to perturb the data at the establishment level while maintaining integrity of macro level distributions.  The primary purpose of the SynLBD is to create a version of the LBD that may be freely released to the public. 

 SynLBD Codebook

SynLBD Codebook

  Download the
  SynLBD Codebook PDF 
 (58 KB)

[PDF] or PDF denotes a file in Adobe’s Portable Document Format. To view the file, you will need the Adobe® Reader® Off Site available free from Adobe. This symbol Off Site indicates a link to a non-government web site. Our linking to these sites does not constitute an endorsement of any products, services or the information found on them. Once you link to another site you are subject to the policies of the new site.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Center for Economic Studies | (301) 763-6460 | E-mail CES |  Last Revised: September 12, 2013