What is YTS?

YTS stands for “Your-economy Time Series”, a database compiled by the Business Dynamics Research Consortium (BDRC), which is housed University of Wisconsin System Institute for Business and Entrepreneurship Madison, Wisconsin. YTS contains annual, establishment-level, time series data on companies that are considered to be “in-business” in a given year. In order to be considered as an “in-business” company, an establishment must have intent on conducting commercial activities in that year, or have a DBA (doing business as) physical location. Businesses included in YTS are for-profit (both private and public), nonprofit, and government establishments. The YTS database provides access to information regarding employment trends, establishment level affiliations, relocation, and industrial sectors in any geographical area.

YTS is assembled from annual Infogroup Business Data historical files. This “snapshot” reflects the first half of a calendar year for all years except 2018, after which the snapshot includes the full calendar year to ensure the most accurate account of active establishments. Infogroup business records are culled from public and government sources (secretaries of state, city clerks, county courthouses, and business journals). Infogroup then works to verify this information through internet “crawling” of URLs and website scripts, telephone calls, U.S. Yellow Pages, industry directories, business registrations, and press releases. Teams also work to identify new businesses each year, and also corporate linkages between companies that may have experienced mergers or acquisitions. Infogroup contacts 55,000 businesses daily to verify company information. Over a typical month, 15% of the dataset is re-verified. For employment data specifically 49% of establishments have their jobs data verified via telephone interview. For the remaining 51%, a model using already-verified employment numbers estimates employment size at individual locations.

The Business Dynamics Research Consortium (BDRC) compiles all yearly snapshots and links businesses using the unique ABI (American Business Identifier) number for each listing. This creates a time-series database of active companies for the years after 1997. BDRC then adds more time-series variables to the data, derived from the original Infogroup variables. BDRC also removes “gaps” in missing years of data for an individual firm by “rolling” values for existing years into the next or previous year until a company’s record is complete. Algorithms are occasionally used to identify and remove major outliers, although BDRC states this occurs with less than 1 percent of the data. This process occurs with each annual snapshot release and the entire YTS database (1997-last year) is assembled and released.

For more information, see:

Infogroup’s Key Sources and Methods Overview.

BDRC’s Your-economy Time Series (YTS) 2018 Database Description (1997-2018).

Gary Kunkle (BDRC) analysis of YTS data versus existing databases, including CPS and CES data.  “Business Employment Data: YTS versus CES and CPS”. May 2018. Business Dynamics Research Consortium.

Your-economy Time Series online, containing some national employment data: www.youreconomy.org