Changes Coming to Economic Census

In December, more than four million businesses across America will receive a form for the 2007 Economic Census, including 56,000 businesses in Oklahoma. Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke has called this census, “indispensable to understanding America’s economy.”
For the first time, 2007 Economic Census tabulations will include Census Designated Places with 5,000 or more inhabitants or 5,000 or more workers. Data differentiating costs for particular fringe benefits like health insurance, defined-benefit pensions and defined-contribution plans will be published at the national level for manufacturing in the Industry and Summary Series, and for retail trade, wholesale trade, and service industries in related surveys.
The Survey of Business Owners will reinstate totals for minority business owners, which was omitted from the 2002 report, while also providing data on languages used for business transactions, outsourcing to businesses outside the U.S. and Internet and E-commerce use.
Over 600 variants of the census form are sent to businesses so they can respond in terms most meaningful to them. The Economic Census asks businesses to respond to questions about physical location; months of operation; gross sales, shipments and revenue; value of exported shipments; e-shipments; inventories; franchising; and employment and payroll.
Census forms are due in February 2008, and the first census results will be available in early 2009. Information will be released primarily via the Census Bureau’s American Fact Finder Web site at ?

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