CENSUS BUREAU: American Businesses Enter Major Phase of Economic Census
The 2012 Economic Census covers more than 1,000 industries in all sectors of the private, nonfarm economy. To create a snapshot of the American economy, the census asks businesses to provide basic information onrevenue, employment andpayroll, and industry-specific topics such as the products and services they provide.
Every five years — in years ending in “2” and “7” — the economic census collects reliable business statistics that are essential to understanding the American economy. The economic census is the only source providing information on industry revenues and other measures of American business performance that are consistent, comparable and comprehensive across industries and geographic areas.
The 2012 Economic Census results will be the earliest ever. Major innovations, such as enhanced electronic reporting software and a Web-based reporting option for smaller businesses, will make reporting easier. These innovations also will shorten the processing time, which in turn will allow the Census Bureau to release statistics in a timelier manner.
“For the first time, we intend to release preliminary results from the economic census within a year of the collection,” said William Bostic, associate director for economic programs at the Census Bureau. “Along with our monthly and quarterly economic indicators, the economic census will provide timely and relevant statistics that will give a good picture of American businesses.”
The Census Bureau will continue publishing the economic census results, with more detailed industry and geographic-level reports, through 2016. Complete information on the operational schedule of the economic census can be found at business.census.gov/schedule.
The Census Bureau has set up a help site to answer respondents’ questions about the economic census.
For More Information
Earlier this year, the Census Bureau launched a new website, business.census.gov, dedicated to informing the public about the economic census. The website features testimonials from business owners, government officials and other key individuals. The website also provides examples on how economic census statistics are used, including products such as business snapshots that provide quick overviews of numerous business statistics by industry and state.
Want to know more about the U.S. economy? America's Economy is the first mobile app from the Census Bureau that provides smartphone and tablet users with the real-time government statistics that drive business hiring, sales and production decisions and assist economists, researchers, planners and policymakers. The economic indicators track monthly and quarterly trends in industries, such as employment, housing construction, international trade, personal income, retail sales and manufacturing.