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Business Dynamics Statistics for Single-Unit Firms

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Working Paper Number CES-22-57

Abstract

The Business Dynamics Statistics of Single Unit Firms (BDS-SU) is an experimental data product that provides information on employment and payroll dynamics for each quarter of the year at businesses that operate in one physical location. This paper describes the creation of the data tables and the value they add to the existing Business Dynamics Statistics (BDS) product. We then present some analysis of the published statistics to provide context for the numbers and demonstrate how they can be used to understand both national and local business conditions, with a particular focus on 2020 and the recession induced by the COVID-19 pandemic. We next examine how firms fared in this recession compared to the Great Recession that began in the fourth quarter of 2007. We also consider the heterogenous impact of the pandemic on various industries and areas of the country, showing which types of businesses in which locations were particularly hard hit. We examine business exit rates in some detail and consider why different metro areas experienced the pandemic in different ways. We also consider entry rates and look for evidence of a surge in new businesses as seen in other data sources. We finish by providing a preview of on-going research to match the BDS to worker demographics and show statistics on the relationship between the characteristics of the firm’s workers and outcomes such as firm exit and net job creation.

Page Last Revised - December 14, 2022
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