Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Firm-level Data

A graduate student here needs firm-level business data at a level of detail not found in CANSIM.  The specifics of this request are:

“I am trying to put together a dataset that contains locations (postal codes would be ideal, but something more aggregated could also work) as well as dates of births and deaths of businesses by NAICS code.  I would need the geographic area to include BC and Alberta at least, and the time span to cover 2005-2016.  Also, if the exact dates of births and deaths are not available, then quarterly counts could also work. (I noticed that there are some similar CANSIM tables (552-0005, 553-0005, and 529-0002), but none of these cover the years that I am looking for.)”

Any advice on how to obtain these data – custom tab? RDC?

Thank you for your question, we are looking into it with subject matter to confirm what options would be available. Here are some things to consider –

Statistics Canada is prohibited by law from releasing any data that would divulge information obtained under the Statistics Act that relates to any identifiable person, business or organization.  Specific locations by postal codes would never be available, custom tab or otherwise.

Much of the CANSIM tables are referencing Canadian business counts.  The CBC product provides counts of active business locations on the basis of several variables, such as geography, business activity and employment size. However, it is not advised to use this product for time-series analysis involving comparisons across reference periods.

With respect to RDC access, this is considered business data and thus would only be accessible through the Canadian Centre for Data Development and Economic Research (CDER). CDER provides researchers with direct access to a wide range business and economic microdata files for analytical research. The Centre is located at Statistics Canada's head office in Tunney's Pasture in Ottawa, and operates entirely on a cost-recovery basis.

Here is the response I’ve received from subject matter regarding your request for firm-level data.

“For the firm level data, we are able to construct files that combine postal codes with information on entry date, firm age and exit date.  However, it is not possible for us to send your student a firm level dataset as this is prohibited by law.  There are provisions in place through the Canadian Centre for Data Development and Economic Research for researchers to access the micro files for research purposes.  They require coming to Ottawa to use the data and typically require a cost recovery charge for the construction of the dataset and any vetting required to ensure respondent confidentiality is maintained.  If this is a preferred option, please see the application process guidelines on the link above.

For published data, please ask your student to look at these tables:  527-0007; 527-0008; 527-0009; 527-0010; 527-0011; 527-0012. They contain estimates for counts, entry, exit, employment growth, employment creation and employment destruction within the provinces and territories.  The data come from the Longitudinal Employment Analysis Program (LEAP),which is different from the tables listed in your question.  The LEAP data are annual, and focus on employer enterprises.  They cover the period 2001 to 2014, and will be updated for 2015 later this year.  If there was a special tabulation desired, that can be looked into as well.”