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Weekly Business Formation Statistics


In addition to releasing the quarterly Business Formation Statistics (BFS), the Census Bureau will now release weekly business application data at the national  regional, and state levels. The BFS, which was first released in February 2018, tracks trends in business applications and formations at the state, regional and national levels.

The weekly data provide timely and granular information on the state of the economy but appropriate caution is required in interpreting fluctuations since high-frequency weekly data are subject to fluctuations from seasonal factors including holidays and beginning and end of calendar year effects.  

After its initial publication on April 8, 2020, the weekly BFS series will be published each Thursday by 12 pm EDT. The weekly data will be available for a limited time and we will assess the demand for these data on an ongoing basis.

The weekly BFS consists of four business application series derived from administrative data from the IRS, specifically the data on applications for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) via IRS Form SS-4, to determine the number of business applications submitted in a quarter. The quarterly BFS also includes projections for business formations in the near future.

Benefits of BFS include:

  • Analysis indicates that these EIN applications provide forward-looking and timely information on business formation in the United States and local economic activity.
  • Timely and comprehensive information on recent business startups in BFS can enhance the ability of researchers, policymakers, analysts, and the business community to assess recent national and local trends in business formation, better monitor the state of entrepreneurial activity in the United States, anticipate shifts in economic conditions, and develop responses to them.
  • The high propensity business application series and business applications with planned wages series are strong predictors of business startups that create jobs. New and young businesses are shown to be a primary source of job creation in the United States.

Initial Release Date

April 2020

Please provide your feedback: Census.Experimental.Data@census.gov

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