and EIN accounts within a state that may affect multiestablishment measurement. QCEW has tried to identify across-state expansions in two ways. First, the state staff may notice a significant change in employment and wages reported by a firm. Upon follow-up, the staff may determine that a firm should file the MWR. If the change in employment and wages is small enough that the state staff does not observe the differences, the need for the MWR filing is captured after the employer completes the Annual Refiling Survey (ARS) and reports a new location.10 About 2 million businesses are contacted annually to update such information as business name, address, and industry codes through the ARS.

As with the BR, numerous data products and statistics are derived from the QCEW, most prominently the quarterly wage and employment statistics, aggregated at various industry and geographic levels. Microdata underlying the QCEW are not publicly accessible; however, BLS does offer limited opportunities for researchers to access confidential data for the purpose of conducting statistical analyses. Data access is restricted to onsite use at the BLS national office in Washington (a list of the restricted access data sets available to researchers can be found on the BLS web site,

Dun’s Market Identifiers

Business data are also collected by private-sector firms. These efforts are typically geared more toward marketing or informing business decisions and less toward research and public policy. The most prominent private-sector collection (and one that has been used for both purposes) is the Dun & Bradstreet (D&B) DMI. Because the BLS and Census business lists are not typically available as sampling frames outside those agencies, D&B data—and its Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS)—have been widely used in a variety of applications elsewhere in government. For example, it serves as the sampling frame for the Federal Reserve’s Survey of Small Business Finances. The DUNS numbers are also used by the federal government to identify entities receiving federal contracts. Data have been broadly used by private-sector firms to estimate numbers of businesses, establishments, and employees, as well as sales and to perform cost-benefit analyses and risk assessment exercises. D&B data products can be purchased and used subject to the company’s terms and conditions, which differ for end users (individuals, businesses, and information professionals).11


Based on correspondence from Jim Spletzer, BLS.


A full description of these terms and conditions can be found at

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