2015 Estimates Released and New Open Access Data

ONS released 2015 provisional Business Register and Employment Survey (BRES) estimates as well as 2014 revised estimates at 09:30 on Wednesday 28 Sep 2016. This release consists of a Statistical Bulletin as well as high level 2015 provisional and 2014 estimates published on the ONS website.

As well as the release of the above information, more detailed 2015 provisional and 2014 revised BRES estimates have been made available on Nomis. Data can be accessed through three datasets:

  1. Open access. A new open access dataset allows everyone, including non-UK based individuals and organisations, to access rounded estimates without restriction. This dataset contains the same breakdowns as the End User Licence dataset but outputs are rounded for disclosure control purposes.
  2. End User Licence (EUL) access. The existing BRES dataset is now referred to as the EUL dataset. Users still require special authorisation, known as a Notice, to access the restricted Notice level and Safeguarded level estimates available in this dataset. To apply for a Notice see the section on Accessing BRES EUL Data below.
    Applications are processed by the Access to Data team at ONS who you should contact with any queries about the process - tel: 01633 456903 or email:notice.applications@ons.gov.uk. Users will not necessarily get access to the restricted dataset immediately at 9.30 on Wednesday 28 Sep 2016, but applications will be reviewed and, where appropriate, access granted as soon as possible.
  3. Public / private sector data. A separate dataset gives counts split by public and private sector employees. It is available to everyone without restriction.

These datasets are available under the Business Register and Employment Survey/Annual Business Inquiry section in the query data tool.

Amended BRES Data access levels on Nomis

For the release of the 2015 provisional BRES estimates, as well as 2014 revised estimates, there has been a change to the way the data can be accessed.

As described in the BRES consultation document published on 24 February 2016, The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has undertaken a review of how disclosive data are disseminated across the organisation, as well as the statistical disclosure control methods applied to business survey outputs. As a result the method of accessing BRES data on NOMIS has changed.

ONS were keen to take on board user feedback provided in response to this consultation before publishing the 2015 provisional and 2014 revised BRES estimates. As a result, when applying for a Notice to view End User Licence BRES Data through Nomis, more than one access level will be made available.

These access levels are: Notice controlled access, Safeguarded access, and Open access. Users who only need open access data can access the new open access dataset without the need to obtain a Notice.

Breakdowns Available in the EUL and Open Access Datasets

  • Date: The current release includes new estimates for 2015 and revised estimates for 2014. BRES data are available back to 2009. Estimates for earlier years are available in separate datasets reflecting the various surveys used to collect similar information previously, for example, the Annual Business Inquiry from 1998 to 2008. These earlier datasets are only available to users who have obtained a Notice.
  • Amended Data access levels: When applying for a Chancellor's Notice to access restricted BRES Data through Nomis, more than one access level will be made available. These access levels include; 'Notice controlled access'; 'Safeguarded access'; and 'Open Access'. Note 'Open access' is also available to users without the need to obtain a Notice.
  • Geography: Estimates are available for detailed geographies down to lower layer super output areas / Scottish data zones.
  • Gender: No male/female split is available in BRES since this information is not collected in the survey.
  • Employment status: Figures are available for full-time, part-time and total employees. Employment figures are also available which are employees plus working owners.
  • Industry: The 2007 Standard Industrial Classification is used for industry breakdowns. Figures are available down to the 5-digit subclass level. Farm agriculture (subclass 01000) is available at region and country level only.
  • Public/private: A separate dataset gives estimates for public and private sector employment.
  • Confidentiality rules: Open access and safeguarded level data are rounded to prevent disclosure. ONS primary disclosure rules are applied to the Notice level access BRES data output from Nomis. Notice level data are unrounded but disclosive figures are flagged with an exclamation mark (!) and must be removed before passing onto anyone not named on your Notice. You must also manually apply secondary suppression and rounding as detailed in the BRES User Guide and accompanying training document. Safeguarded level data cannot be passed to anyone not named on your Notice.
  • Data quality: BRES is based on a sample survey so estimates are subject to sampling errors which need to be taken into account when interpreting the data. A separate article provides information about BRES quality measures.

Accessing BRES End User Licence (EUL) Data

Only the Open access and public/private sector datasets are open access. To obtain the Notice and safeguarded access levels, you must first obtain a Chancellor of the Exchequer's Notice from ONS.

If you have a Nomis account, you can check whether you already have access from the BRES access option in my account. If you do not have your own account, you must first register for an account. Accounts are free and should only take a few minutes to setup.

There is no charge for Notices. To apply complete the online application:

Contact the ONS Notice Applications team (01633 456903 or Notice.applications@ons.gov.uk) if you have any queries about the application process.