The Manufacturing sector (sector 31-33) comprises establishments engaged in the mechanical, physical, or chemical transformation of materials, substances, or components into new products. The assembling of component parts of manufactured products is considered manufacturing, except in cases where the activity is appropriately classified in Sector 23, Construction.

Establishments in the manufacturing sector are often described as plants, factories, or mills and characteristically use power-driven machines and materials-handling equipment. However, establishments that transform materials or substances into new products by hand or in the worker's home and those engaged in selling to the general public products made on the same premises from which they are sold, such as bakeries, candy stores, and custom tailors, may also be included in this sector. Manufacturing establishments may process materials or may contract with other establishments to process their materials for them. Both types of establishments are included in manufacturing.

The materials, substances, or components transformed by manufacturing establishments are raw materials that are products of agriculture, forestry, fishing, mining, or quarrying, as well as products of other manufacturing establishments. The materials used may be purchased directly from producers, obtained through customary trade channels, or secured without recourse to the market by transferring the product from one establishment to another, under the same ownership. The new product of a manufacturing establishment may be finished in the sense that it is ready for utilization or consumption, or it may be semifinished to become an input for an establishment engaged in further manufacturing. For example, the product of the alumina refinery is the input used in the primary production of aluminum; primary aluminum is the input to an aluminum wire drawing plant; and aluminum wire is the input for a fabricated wire product manufacturing establishment.

The subsectors in the manufacturing sector generally reflect distinct production processes related to material inputs, production equipment, and employee skills. In the machinery area, where assembling is a key activity, parts and accessories for manufactured products are classified in the industry of the finished manufactured item when they are made for separate sale. For example, a replacement refrigerator door would be classified with refrigerators and an attachment for a piece of metal working machinery would be classified with metal working machinery. However, components, input from other manufacturing establishments, are classified based on the production function of the component manufacturer. For example, electronic components are classified in Subsector 334, Computer and Electronic Product Manufacturing; and stampings are classified in Subsector 332, Fabricated Metal Product Manufacturing.

Manufacturing establishments often perform one or more activities that are classified outside the manufacturing sector of NAICS. For instance, almost all manufacturing has some captive research and development or administrative operations, such as accounting, payroll, or management. These captive services are treated the same as captive manufacturing activities. When the services are provided by separate establishments, they are classified to the NAICS sector where such services are primary, not in manufacturing.

The boundaries of manufacturing and the other sectors of the classification system can be somewhat blurry. The establishments in the manufacturing sector are engaged in the transformation of materials into new products. Their output is a new product. However, the definition of what constitutes a new product can be somewhat subjective. As clarification, the following activities are considered manufacturing in NAICS: milk bottling and pasteurizing; water bottling and processing; fresh fish packaging (oyster shucking, fish filleting); apparel jobbing (assigning of materials to contract factories or shops for fabrication or other contract operations); as well as contracting on materials owned by others; printing and related activities; ready-mixed concrete production; leather converting; grinding of lenses to prescription; wood preserving; electroplating, plating, metal heat treating, and polishing for the trade; lapidary work for the trade; fabricating signs and advertising displays; rebuilding or remanufacturing machinery (i.e., automotive parts); ship repair and renovation; machine shops; and tire retreading.

Exclusions. There are activities that are sometimes considered manufacturing, but for NAICS are classified in another sector. These activities include logging, classified in Sector 11, Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting is considered a harvesting operation; the beneficiating of ores and other minerals, classified in Sector 21, Mining, is considered part of the activity of mining; the construction of structures and fabricating operations performed at the site of construction by contractors, is classified in Sector 23, Construction; establishments engaged in breaking of bulk and redistribution in smaller lots, including packaging, repackaging, or bottling products, such as liquors or chemicals; the customized assembly of computers; sorting of scrap; mixing paints to customer order; and cutting metals to customer order, classified in Sector 42, Wholesale Trade or Sector 44-45, Retail Trade, produce a modified version of the same product, not a new product; and publishing and the combined activity of publishing and printing, classified in Sector 51, Information, perform the transformation of information into a product where as the value of the product to the consumer lies in the information content, not in the format in which it is distributed (i.e., the book or software diskette).

The tabulations for this sector do not include central administrative offices, warehouses, or other establishments that serve manufacturing establishments within the same organization. Data for such establishments are classified according to the nature of the service they provide. For example, separate headquarters establishments are reported in NAICS Sector 55, Management of Companies and Enterprises.

The reports described below exclude establishments of firms with no paid employees. These “nonemployers,” typically self-employed individuals or partnerships operating businesses that they have not chosen to incorporate, are reported separately in Nonemployer Statistics. The contribution of nonemployers, relatively small for this sector, may be examined at

The reports described below cover all manufacturing establishments with one or more paid employees.

Definitions. Industry categories are defined in Appendix B, NAICS Codes, Titles, and Descriptions. Other terms are defined in Appendix A, Explanation of Terms.


The following reports provide statistics on this sector:

Industry Series. There are 473 reports, each covering a single NAICS industry (six-digit code). These reports include such statistics as number of establishments, employment, payroll, value added by manufacture, cost of materials consumed, value of shipments, capital expenditures, etc. The industry reports also include data for states with 100 employees or more in the industry. The data in industry reports are preliminary and subject to change in the following reports.

Geographic Area Series. There are 51 separate reports, one for each state and the District of Columbia. Each state report presents similar statistics at the “all manufacturing” level for each state and its metropolitan and micropolitan areas with 250 employees or more, and for counties, consolidated cities, and places with 500 employees or more. The state reports also include six-digit NAICS level data for industries with 100 employees or more in the state.

Subject Series:

ZIP Code Statistics. This report contain statistics on the number of establishments for the three-and six-digit NAICS industry by employment-size of the establishment by ZIP Code.

Other reports. Data for this sector are also included in reports with multisector coverage, including Nonemployer Statistics, Comparative Statistics, Bridge Between 2002 NAICS and 1997 NAICS, Business Expenses, and the Survey of Business Owners reports.


The level of geographic detail varies by report. Maps are available at Notes specific to areas in the state are included in Appendix D, Geographic Notes.

  1. The United States as a whole.
  2. States and the District of Columbia.
  3. Metropolitan and micropolitan statistical areas with 250 employees or more. A core based statistical areas (CBSA) contains a core area with a substantial population nucleus, together with adjacent communities having a high degree of social and economic integration with that core. CBSAs are differentiated into metropolitan and micropolitan statistical areas based on size criteria. Both metropolitan and micropolitan areas are defined in terms of entire counties, and are listed in Appendix E, Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Areas
  4. .
    1. Metropolitan Statistical Areas (metro areas). Metro areas have at least one urbanized area of 50,000 or more population, plus adjacent territory that has a high degree of social and economic integration with the core as measured by commuting ties.
    2. Micropolitan Statistical Areas (micro areas). Micro areas have at least one urban cluster of at least 10,000 but less than 50,000 population, plus adjacent territory that has a high degree of social and economic integration with the core as measured by commuting ties.
    3. Metropolitan Divisions (metro divisions). If specified criteria are met, a metro area containing a single core with a population of 2.5 million or more may be subdivided to form smaller groupings of counties referred to as Metropolitan Divisions.
    4. Combined Statistical Areas (combined areas). If specified criteria are met, adjacent metro and micro areas, in various combinations, may become the components of a new set of areas called Combined Statistical Areas. The areas that combine retain their own designations as metro or micro areas within the larger combined area.
  5. Counties and county equivalents defined as of January 1, 2002, with 500 employees or more. Counties are the primary divisions of states, except in Louisiana where they are called parishes and in Alaska where they are called boroughs, census areas, and city and boroughs. Maryland, Missouri, Nevada, and Virginia have one place or more that is independent of any county organization and constitutes primary divisions of their states. These places are treated as counties and as places.
  6. Economic places with 500 employees or more.
    1. Municipalities of 2,500 inhabitants or more defined as of January 1, 2002. These are areas of significant population incorporated as cities, boroughs, villages, or towns according to the 2000 Census of Population. For the economic census, boroughs and census areas in Alaska and boroughs in New York are not included in this category.
    2. Consolidated cities defined as of January 1, 2002. Consolidated cities are consolidated governments that consist of separately incorporated municipalities.
    3. Townships in Michigan, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, and towns in New York, Wisconsin, and the six New England states with 10,000 inhabitants or more (according to the 2000 Census of Population).
    4. Balance of county. Areas outside the entities listed above, including incorporated municipalities with populations of fewer than 2,500, town and townships not qualifying as noted above, and the remainders of counties outside places are categorized as “Balance of county.”


All dollar values presented are expressed in current dollars; i.e., 2002 data are expressed in 2002 dollars, and 1997 data, in 1997 dollars. Consequently, when making comparisons with prior years, users of the data should consider the changes in prices that have occurred.

All dollar values are shown in thousands of dollars.


Both the 2002 Economic Census and the 1997 Economic Census present data based on the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). While there were revisions to selected industries for 2002, this sector is not affected by those revisions.

For 2002, there have been several additional data tables added, which did not exist in 1997. These tables for 2002 include products primary to more than one industry, industry-product analysis, e-commerce value of shipments, and leased and nonleased detail employment statistics by subsectors.


All data compiled for this sector are subject to nonsampling errors. Nonsampling errors can be attributed to many sources: inability to identify all cases in the actual universe; definition and classification difficulties; differences in the interpretation of questions; errors in recording or coding the data obtained; and other errors of collection, response, coverage, processing, and estimation for missing or misreported data. Selected data in tables titled “Detailed Statistics” are based on the Annual Survey of Manufactures and are subject to sampling errors as well as nonsampling errors.

No direct measurement of these effects has been obtained except for estimation for missing or misreported data, as by the percentages shown in the tables. Precautionary steps were taken in all phases of the collection, processing, and tabulation of the data in an effort to minimize the effects of nonsampling errors. More information on the reliability of the data is included in Appendix C, Methodology.


In accordance with federal law governing census reports (Title 13 of the United States Code), no data are published that would disclose the operations of an individual establishment or company. However, the number of establishments in a specific industry or geographic area is not considered a disclosure; therefore, this information may be released even though other information is withheld. Techniques employed to limit disclosure are discussed at

The disclosure analysis for “industry statistics” files is based on the total value of shipments. When the total value of shipments cannot be shown without disclosing information for individual companies, the complete line is suppressed except for capital expenditures. Nonetheless, the suppressed data are included in higher-level totals. A separate disclosure analysis is performed for capital expenditures, which can be suppressed even though value of shipments data are published.


The Census Bureau conducts the Annual Survey of Manufactures (ASM) in each of the 4 years between the economic censuses. The ASM is a probability-based sample of approximately 55,000 establishments and collects many of the same industry statistics (including employment, payroll, value of shipments, etc.) as the economic census. However, there are selected statistics not included in the ASM. Among these are the number of companies and establishments, detailed product and materials data, and substate geographic data. In addition to the ASM, the Census Bureau conducts the Current Industrial Reports (CIR) program. The CIR program publishes selected detailed product statistics for selected manufacturing industries at the U.S. level annually and, in some cases, monthly and/or quarterly. The Census Bureau also conducts the monthly Manufacturers’ Shipments, Inventories, and Orders (M3) Program, which publishes detailed statistics for manufacturing industries at the U.S. level.

In addition, the County Business Patterns program offers annual statistics on the number of establishments, employment, and payroll classified by industry within each county, and Statistics of U.S. Businesses provides annual statistics classified by the employment size of the enterprise, further classified by industry for the United States, and by broader categories for states and metropolitan areas.


Questions about these data may be directed to the U.S. Census Bureau, Manufacturing & Construction Division, Information Services Center, 301-763-4673 or


The following abbreviations and symbols are used with these data:

AStandard error of 100 percent or more
DWithheld to avoid disclosing data of individual companies; data are included in higher level totals
FExceeds 100 percent because data include establishments with payroll exceeding revenue
NNot available or not comparable
SWithheld because estimates did not meet publication standards
XNot applicable
ZLess than half the unit shown
a0 to 19 employees
b20 to 99 employees
c100 to 249 employees
e250 to 499 employees
f500 to 999 employees
g1,000 to 2,499 employees
h2,500 to 4,999 employees
i5,000 to 9,999 employees
j10,000 to 24,999 employees
k25,000 to 49,999 employees
l50,000 to 99,999 employees
m100,000 employees or more
p10 to 19 percent estimated
q20 to 29 percent estimated
sSampling error exceeds 40 percent
nskNot specified by kind
Represents zero (page image/print only)
(CC)Consolidated city
(IC)Independent city