2007 Economic Census is in the Mail

In December, more than 4 million American businesses will receive 2007 economic census forms, including 130,000 construction businesses, underscoring the importance of their participation in the nation's most comprehensive measure of business and industry taken every five years. Recipients have until February 12, 2008 to complete the form and return it.

"Economic census forms that businesses receive in December will tell us how we are changing as a nation," said Thomas Mesenbourg Jr., the Census Bureau's associate director for economic programs. "Important economic indicators, such as gross domestic product, are directly related to the quality of the data we get from businesses in every industry and every locality."

The Census Bureau has launched a new Web site to help businesses understand the economic census and how it benefits them. The site includes economic snapshots of selected industries and significant facts about every industry. For the HVAC Industry, select 238220 Plumbing, Heating, A/C fromm the drop down menue to download a PDF that shows the Census Bureau snapshot of our industry from the last census.

As you can see, the economic census data provides hard figures that businesses need when they consider expanding into new regions or markets and for the most part, this is the only source of such information. Everyone has access to and can use this information. The Economic Census is valuable to America because it:

  • Updates the Gross Domestic Product (GDP)
  • Is the foundation for other data
  • Provides the data used for policy, planning, and economic development at all levels of government.

The census is valuable to business because it provides:

  • Facts about specific industries and communities
  • Measures of business marrkets
  • Data to determine new site locations and sales territories.

Businesses can look at benchmark values from the economic census to assess where they stand in the marketplace and to research market shares, salaries, product and sales trends, and site locations .

Firms in more than 1,000 industries will receive forms in December. They will be asked to report information such as employment, payroll and the value of goods and services sold. Forms must be returned to the U.S. Census Bureau by Feb. 12, 2008. Businesses that receive forms are required by federal law to respond. Information about individual forms is kept confidential, and only aggregate industry data are published.

For businesses that would like to get a head start on preparing for the census, the new web site (www.business.census.gov) provides links to sample forms, answers to frequently asked questions, and a secure way to communicate directly with the Census Bureau. The site also has tips to help businesses use the data.

"The economic census is much like the 1O-year population count most people are familiar with," said Harvey Monk, the Census Bureau's assistant director for economic programs. "Economic census forms that businesses are to receive at the end of the year will tell us how our economy is changing. We urge businesses to take advantage of the information available to them from the economic census and to watch for their census forms."

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke has called the economic census "indispensable to understanding the American economy." The economic census is the primary benchmark for the nation's gross domestic product estimates and other indicators of economic change.

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