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The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Longitudinal Establishment Database

Michael A. Searson, Kenneth W. Robertson, and Richard L. Clayton


In this paper we describe the key processes used in the construction of the Bureau's Longitudinal Database (LEDB). This database serves several functions: as a business register; to conduct longitudinal studies of businesses and employment decline and growth; and as a rich and comprehensive source of information on employment and wages. In addition to a review of the overall program, data sources and outputs, we describe the following topics: the Annual Refiling Survey; the processes required to implement an industrial classification change; recent improvements in the record linkage methodology utilized to identify and maintain the continuity of establishments over time; and, the implementation of Permanent Random Numbers for sampling.