The Economic Census profiles American businesses and industries. It is conducted every five years in years ending with a 2 or a 7. The data from the 2007 Economic Census will be released during 2009 and 2010, so the most recent data are from 2002. Businesses included in the Economic Census typically have employees and a payroll. Business that have no employees - in other words, people who are self-employed - are covered in the Nonemployer Statistics and the Survey of Business Owners.
Understanding NAICS, or North American Industrial Classification System codes, will be very helpful in navigating the Economic Census. NAICS codes are a method of classifying businesses into industries. NAICS codes replaced the Standard Industrial Classification codes which were last updated in 1987. There were substantial changes between the two systems, and the NAICS has been updated since it was first implemented in 1997. The sites listed below will help you to learn about NAICS and SIC codes.
Economic Census web pages:
- Economic Census - Economic Census Main Page
- Overview of Economic Statistical Programs - Census Bureau programs that provide statistics about U.S. businesses and governments.
- Zip Code and County Business Patterns - Data by zip code and county.
- Survey of Business Owners- SBO statistics describe the characteristics of U.S. businesses by ownership category, i.e., by gender, Hispanic or Latino origin, and race of principal owners; by geographic area at the national, state, and sub-state regional levels; by 2-digit industry sector based on the 2002 North American Industry Classification System (NAICS); and by size of firm (employment and receipts).
- Non-Employer Statistics- Nonemployer Statistics summarizes the number of establishments and sales or receipts of businesses without paid employees that are subject to federal income tax. Most nonemployers are self-employed individuals operating very small unincorporated businesses, which may or may not be the owner's principal source of income.
- E-Commerce- The Census Bureau’s e-commerce measures report the value of goods and services sold online whether over open networks such as the Internet, or over proprietary networks running systems such as Electronic Data Interchange (EDI). Although E-Stats does not cover the entire U.S. economy, this report covers North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) industries that accounted for approximately 77 percent of economic activity measured in the 2002 Economic Census. The report does not cover agriculture, mining, utilities, construction, agents, brokers, electronic markets in wholesale trade, and approximately one-third of service-related industries.