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Understanding Business Dynamics: An Integrated Data System for America’s Future
Business Information Tracking Series (BITS) (also known as Longitudinal Establishment and Enterprise Microdata (LEEM)) [constructed by the Census Bureau]
To identify firm births and deaths, expansions and contractions, and mergers and acquisitions and for examining job flows.
BITS is constructed by longitudinally linking archived SUSB data. The data set currently includes about 13 million establishments.
Yearly, panel (1989 to present)
Establishment and firm
Private-sector establishments (single physical locations) with positive payroll. Same industry coverage as CBP.
Establishment- and firm-level data on annual payroll, 4-digit SIC, location, start year, legal entity, total employment, firm affiliation, census geography, starting year, census file number, and constant firm identifiers (meaning there is no change in the ID even if legal or ownership status changes).
Limitations or lag time
No self-employed; long lag in production (about UI years); only tracks establishments (not firms), and has no farm coverage.
Accessibility of data
Not publicly available. Must become a sworn Census researcher and use data at Census RDCs.
STANDARD & POOR’S (S&P)
Tracks firm level activity for publicly traded, listed firms since 1950. Standardizes financial and accounting statement information on companies around the world for investors. Data used by hedge funds, money managers, analysts, researchers, corporations, and government (the IRS) and regulatory agencies.
Database produced by S&P. Reporting units are identified by firm and by 4-digit SIC code and are business or industry segments, defined as a component of an enterprise engaged in providing a product, service, or group of related products or services primarily to customers outside the enterprise for profit.
Quarterly (longitudinal since 1980).
Firm and industry segment
All publicly traded firms in U.S. stock markets (about 65,000 firms).
Data include quarterly and annual income statements, balance sheets, and cash flow statements. Source information includes annual and quarterly SEC filings, 8-K, 20-F and Proxy filings, EDGAR filings and media releases and original annual reports.
Limitations or lag time
By design, limited to publicly traded firms (generally means mature entities).