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Improvements in Record Linkage Processes for the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Business Establishment List

Kenneth W. Robertson, Larry Huff, Gordon Mikkelson, Timothy Pivetz, and Alice Winkler


In preparation for the building of a new longitudinally-linked establishment database, the Bureau of Labor Statistics decided to review its current system for linking business establishments across time. Because the new database will be used to produce statistics on business births and deaths and job creation and destruction, we had to ensure that the linkage procedures used in building the database would yield the most accurate results possible.  Since the current linkage system was built for different purposes than the new system, there were areas where we could potentially improve the process.  This paper provides an explanation of the current linkage procedures, details of the work completed to date, and areas of research that need to be explored in the future.