Home Based Data Sources

Sadly, there’s no single source of good statistics on the home-based job and home business populations. Here are some of the better studies.

• Statistics of US Business (SUSB)

An annual series that provides national and subnational data on the distribution of economic data by enterprise size and industry. SUSB covers most of the country’s economic activity. Excludes data on nonemployer businesses, private households, railroads, agricultural production, and most government entities. Tabulations providing data by employment size of enterprise have been assembled as far back as 1989.

Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP)

Info on the source and amount of income, labor force information, program participation and eligibility data, and general demographic characteristics used to measure the effectiveness of existing federal, state, and local programs; to estimate future costs and coverage for government programs, such as food stamps; and to provide improved statistics on the distribution of income and measures of economic well-being in the country.

Current Population Survey (CPS)

A monthly survey of about 50,000 households conducted by the Bureau of the Census for the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The survey has been conducted for more than 50 years.

The CPS is the primary source of information on the labor force characteristics of the U.S. population. The sample is scientifically selected to represent the civilian noninstitutional population. Respondents are interviewed to obtain information about the employment status of each member of the household 15 years of age and older. However, published data focus on those ages 16 and over. The sample provides estimates for the nation as a whole and serves as part of model-based estimates for individual states and other geographic areas.

Estimates obtained from the CPS include employment, unemployment, earnings, hours of work, and other indicators. They are available by a variety of demographic characteristics including age, sex, race, marital status, and educational attainment. They are also available by occupation, industry, and class of worker. Supplemental questions to produce estimates on a variety of topics including school enrollment, income, previous work experience, health, employee benefits, and work schedules are also often added to the regular CPS questionnaire.

Survey of Business Owners (SBO)

The only comprehensive, regularly collected source of information on selected economic and demographic characteristics for businesses and business owners by gender, ethnicity, and race. Title 13 of the United States Code authorizes this survey and provides for mandatory responses.

Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics (LEHD)

An innovative program within the U.S. Census Bureau that uses modern statistical and computing techniques to combine federal and state administrative data on employers and employees with core Census Bureau censuses and surveys while protecting the confidentiality of people and firms that provide the data.

County Business Patterns (CBP) (also County Business Patterns (CBP), Metro Business Patterns (MBP), and ZIP Code Business Patterns (ZBP)

An annual series that provides subnational economic data by industry useful for studying the economic activity of small areas; analyzing economic changes over time; and as a benchmark for statistical series, surveys, and databases between economic censuses. You can use the data for analyzing market potential, measuring the effectiveness of sales and advertising programs, setting sales quotas, and developing budgets. Government agencies use the data for administration and planning.

County Business Patterns covers most of the country’s economic activity. The series excludes data on self-employed individuals, employees of private households, railroad employees, agricultural production employees, and most government employees.

This series has been published annually since 1964 and at irregular intervals dating back to 1946. The comparability of data over time may be affected by definitional changes in establishments, activity status, and industrial classifications. For more details on these changes, see the “Comparability With Other Data” section below.

ZIP Code Business Patterns data are available shortly after the release of County Business Patterns and include the number of establishments, number of employees, and payroll data by NAICS industry. ZIP Code Business Patterns data were first tabulated and released to the public in 1994.

Business Employment Dynamics (BED)

A set of statistics generated from the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages, or ES-202, program. These quarterly data series consist of gross job gains and gross job losses statistics from 1992 forward that can help you get a picture of the dynamic state of the labor market.

Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS)

Demand-side indicators of labor shortages at the national level. Prior to JOLTS, there was no economic indicator of the unmet demand for labor with which to assess the presence or extent of labor shortages in the United States. The availability of unfilled jobs—the job openings rate—is an important measure of the tightness of job markets, parallel to existing measures of unemployment. Data from a sample of approximately 16,000 U.S. business establishments are collected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics through the Atlanta JOLTS Data Collection Center. The JOLTS survey covers all nonagricultural industries in the public and private sectors for the 50 States and the District of Columbia. JOLTS collects data on Total Employment, Job Openings, Hires, Quits, Layoffs & Discharges, and Other Separations.

National Longitudinal Surveys (NLS)

National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997 (NLSY97)- Survey of young men and women born in the years 1980-84; respondents were ages 12-17 when first interviewed in 1997.

National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 (NLSY79)- Survey of men and women born in the years 1957-64; respondents were ages 14-22 when first interviewed in 1979.

NLSY79 Children and Young Adults- Survey of the biological children of women in the NLSY79.

National Longitudinal Surveys of Young Women and Mature Women (NLSW)- The Young Women’s survey includes women who were ages 14-24 when first interviewed in 1968. The Mature Women’s survey includes women who were ages 30-44 when first interviewed in 1967. These surveys were discontinued in 2003.

National Longitudinal Surveys of Young Men and Older Men- The Young Men’s survey, which was discontinued in 1981, includes men who were ages 14-24 when first interviewed in 1966. The Older Men’s survey, which was discontinued in 1990, includes men who were ages 45-59 when first interviewed in 1966.

International Trade Association Exporter Database (and lots more.) Database itself is at http://ita.doc.gov/td/industry/otea/edb/index.html

This site provides a statistical overview and tables outlining the export activities of U.S. small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in 2006 with revised data. All statistics are generated from the Commerce Department’s Exporter Database (EDB), which provides an annual statistical snapshot of U.S. exporters: their number, characteristics, and geographic distribution.

Additional information on the EDB is available in the Census Bureau’s Profile of U.S. Exporting Companies, 2005-2006.

Consumer Finance Survey (CFS)

A triennial survey of the balance sheet, pension, income, and other demographic characteristics of U.S. families. The survey also gathers information on the use of financial institutions. The links to the surveys provide summary results, codebooks and other documentation, and the publicly available data.

Survey of Small Business Finances (SSBF)

Information on small businesses (fewer than 500 employees) in the United States. Owner characteristics, firm size, use of financial services, and the income and balance sheets of the firm are just some examples of the types of information collected. Working papers and methodology reports, codebooks and other related documentation, and the full public data sets are available here for the 2003, 1998, 1993, and 1987 SSBFs. Lists of recent changes, bibliography and selected abstracts of research using the SSBF, and a list of frequently asked questions (FAQ) is also available.

Statistics of Income (SOI)

IRS tax data are a rich, and sometimes the only, source of information on the financial activities of the study populations. Ther IRS makes the agregate information publicly available through both printed publications and electronic media (no, nobody can see personal data). A complete listing of their many products and services—many available on our Web site and others on CD-ROM, diskette, tape, or via email.

Kauffman Firm Survey (KFS)

A study of 4,928 businesses that were in 2004 and tracked over their early years of operation. The survey focuses on the nature of new business formation activity; characteristics of the strategy, offerings, and employment patterns of new businesses; the nature of the financial and organizational arrangements of these businesses; and the characteristics of their founders.

Currently, data from the baseline survey, first, second, and third follow-up surveys are available for analysis. The fourth follow-up survey will begin in the summer of 2009 with data released in spring 2010.

National Household Travel Survey (NHTS)

The 2009 National Household Travel Survey (NHTS) provides information to assist transportation planners and policy makers who need comprehensive data on travel and transportation patterns in the United States. The 2009 NHTS updates information gathered in the 2001 NHTS and in prior Nationwide Personal Transportation Surveys (NPTS) conducted in 1969, 1977, 1983, 1990, and 1995.

Data includes trip purpose, means of transportation, travel time, and more.

• Addditional Resources

For an additional list of data sources for small businesses, see the SBA’s Office of Advocacy’s research resources or the Kauffman Foundation’s Entrepreneurship Research Portal - click on “Data Sets”.