We use a novel firm-level dataset to measure employment dynamics of UK businesses from 1999 to 2019, building on microdata from the Inter-Departmental Business Register (IDBR) and administrative data on employment from PAYE records at HMRC. We construct a new quarterly dataset by using consecutive snapshots of the IDBR to deduce signs of activity of firms. We present detailed descriptive analysis showing the quarterly averages for job creation and destruction by size, sector, transition status and age. In addition, we compute the marginal effects of age and size on growth using the Davis, Halitwanger and Schuh (DHS) approach.
Our results show that business dynamism has slowed down since the 2008-2009 financial crisis on two levels: firstly, a decline in job destruction and secondly, a decline in job creation due to entry. Age has an important role in UK’s business dynamism – young firms are the most dynamic group of enterprises, independently of size.