For the first time the Economic Census – done every five years by the U.S. Census Bureau – will use web-based collection instruments. That means all single-establishment businesses will have the option to report online. The last Economic Census was completed in 2007.
There will be other updated revisions this year, including:
- The 2012 revisions to the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) will add new industries for solar, wind, and geothermal electricity generation.
- There will be roughly 500 versions of the basic census form, each tailored to a particular industry or group of industries. But most 2012 forms will be similar to the forms and instructions used in the 2007 Economic Census.
- Businesses with more than one location will continue to have the option to download software with a spreadsheet interface as an option to help prepare responses.
- Data on manufactured products will be collected in a way so that the North American Product Classification System (NAPCS) categories can be evaluated. But published data will continue to use a traditional presentation where product categories are nested within industries.
- New statistics will be collected to profile key characteristics of U.S. enterprises and the report will include measures of innovation and globalization, as well as size and diversity.