The Information sector (sector 51) comprises establishments engaged in the following processes: (a) producing and distributing information and cultural products, (b) providing the means to transmit or distribute these products as well as data or communications, and (c) processing data.
The main components of this sector are the publishing industries, including software publishing, and both traditional publishing and publishing exclusively over the Internet; the telecommunications industries; the industries known as Internet service providers and Web search portals, data processing industries, and the information services industries.
The expressions “information age” and “global information economy” are used with considerable frequency today. The general idea of an “information economy” includes both the notion of industries primarily producing, processing, and distributing information, as well as the idea that every industry is using available information and information technology to reorganize and make themselves more productive.
For the purpose of developing NAICS, it is the transformation of information into a commodity that is produced and distributed by a number of growing industries that is at issue. The Information sector groups three types of establishments: (1) those engaged in producing and distributing information and cultural products; (2) those that provide the means to transmit or distribute these products as well as data or communications; and (3) those that process data. Cultural products are those that directly express attitudes, opinions, ideas, values, and artistic creativity; provide entertainment; or offer information and analysis concerning the past and present. Included in this definition are popular, mass-produced products, as well as cultural products that normally have a more limited audience, such as poetry books, literary magazines, or classical records.
The unique characteristics of information and cultural products, and of the processes involved in their production and distribution, distinguish the Information sector from the goods-producing and service-producing sectors. Some of these characteristics are:
The distribution modes for information commodities may either eliminate the necessity for traditional manufacture, or reverse the conventional order of manufacture-distribute: A newspaper distributed online, for example, can be printed locally or by the final consumer. Similarly, it is anticipated that packaged software, which today is mainly bought through the traditional retail channels, will soon be available mainly online. The NAICS Information sector is designed to make such economic changes transparent as they occur, or to facilitate designing surveys that will monitor the new phenomena and provide data to analyze the changes.
Many of the industries in the NAICS Information sector are engaged in producing products protected by copyright law, or in distributing them (other than distribution by traditional wholesale and retail methods). Examples are traditional publishing industries, software and directory and mailing list publishing industries, and film and sound industries. Broadcasting and telecommunications industries and information providers and processors are also included in the Information sector, because their technologies are so closely linked to other industries in the Information sector.
Many of the “kinds of business” included in this sector are not thought of as commercial businesses and the terms (such as “business,” “establishment,” and “firm”) used to describe them may not be descriptive of such services. However, these terms are applied to all “kinds of business” in order to maintain conformity in the measures of the production and delivery of goods and services and in the presentation of data.
Exclusions. The tabulations for this sector do not include central administrative offices, warehouses, or other establishments that serve information 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 large for this sector, may be examined at www.census.gov/nonemployerimpact.
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 13 reports, each covering a group of related industries. The reports present, by kind of business for the United States, general statistics for establishments of firms with payroll on number of establishments, receipts, payroll, and employment; comparative statistics for 2002 and 1997; product lines; and concentration of business activity in the largest firms. The data in industry reports are preliminary and subject to change in the following reports.
Geographic Area Series. There is a separate report for each state, the District of Columbia, and the United States. Each state report presents, for establishments of firms with payroll, general statistics on number of establishments, receipts, expenses of tax-exempt establishments, payroll, and employment by kind of business for the state, metropolitan and micropolitan statistical areas, counties, and places with 2,500 inhabitants or more. Greater kind-of-business detail is shown for larger areas. The United States report presents data for the United States as a whole for detailed kind-of-business classifications.
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 www.census.gov/econ2002maps. Notes specific to areas in the state are included in Appendix D, Geographic Notes. Data may be presented for –
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).
The 1997 Economic Census was the first census to present data based on NAICS, the successor to the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) system. NAICS was revised for 2002 and a number of revisions affect the Information Sector. New industries were created for Internet publishing and broadcasting and Web search portals. Revisions to the hierarchical structure were made and revised NAICS codes were assigned to selected industries. Most tables in the 2002 Economic Census reports present data based on 2002 NAICS. A comparative table in the Industry Series reports, and the multisector Comparative Statistics report, present data for both 2002 and 1997 based on 1997 NAICS.
These tables for 2002 include information establishments that primarily serve other establishments of the same enterprise. These “enterprise support” establishments were not included in data for the information sector in 1997, but were instead included in the “Other auxiliary establishments” kind-of-business category in the “Auxiliaries, Excluding Corporate, Subsidiary, and Regional Managing Offices” reports.
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. Data presented in the Miscellaneous Subjects and Product Lines reports for this sector are subject to sampling errors, as well as nonsampling errors.
The accuracy of these tabulated data is determined by the joint effects of the various nonsampling errors or by the joint effects of sampling and 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 business. However, the number of establishments in a kind-of-business classification 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 www.census.gov/epcd/ec02/disclosure.htm.
The Census Bureau conducts the Service Annual Survey (SAS) each year. This survey, while providing more frequent observations, yields less kind-of-business and geographic detail than the economic census. 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 program 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, Service Sector Statistics Division, Service Census Branch, 1-800-541-8345 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The following abbreviations and symbols are used with these data:
|D||Withheld to avoid disclosing data of individual companies; data are included in higher level totals|
|N||Not available or not comparable|
|Q||Receipts not collected at this level of detail for multiestablishment firms|
|S||Withheld because estimates did not meet publication standards|
|Z||Less than half the unit shown|
|a||0 to 19 employees|
|b||20 to 99 employees|
|c||100 to 249 employees|
|e||250 to 499 employees|
|f||500 to 999 employees|
|g||1,000 to 2,499 employees|
|h||2,500 to 4,999 employees|
|i||5,000 to 9,999 employees|
|j||10,000 to 24,999 employees|
|k||25,000 to 49,999 employees|
|l||50,000 to 99,999 employees|
|m||100,000 employees or more|
|–||Represents zero (page image/print only)|
|(IC)||Independent city||CDP||Census designated place|