You are here: Census.govBusiness & Industry ISP

2012 NAICS: 491 - Postal service

Enter a NAICS code or Title

Related Industries   

Guide to All Census Bureau Data Sources for This Industry

Source & Description   Frequency Latest Data Geography Industry
Quarterly Workforce Indicators (QWI)Quarterly4Q 2014States, counties, metro areasSelected 2- thru 4-digits
American Community Survey (ACS)Annual2013U.S, states, counties, places, metros, tractsSelected 2- thru 6-digits

Links to Economic Data for Programs Published on AFF

Program Series Table Title Data Years Available

NAICS search results


The Postal Service subsector includes the activities of the National Post Office and its subcontractors operating under a universal service obligation to provide mail services, and using the infrastructure required to fulfill that obligation. These services include delivering letters and small parcels. These articles can be described as those that can be handled by one person without using special equipment. This allows the collection, pick-up, and delivery operations to be done with limited labor costs and minimal equipment. Sorting and transportation activities, where necessary, are generally mechanized. The restriction to small parcels distinguishes these establishments from those in the transportation industries. These establishments may also provide express delivery services using the infrastructure established for provision of basic mail services.

The traditional activity of the National Postal Service is described in this subsector. Subcontractors include rural post offices on contract to the Postal Service.

Bulk transportation of mail on contract to the Postal Service is not included here, because it is usually done by transportation establishments that carry other customers' cargo as well. Establishments that provide courier and express delivery services without operating under a universal service obligation are classified in subsector 492, Couriers and Messengers.


This 2012 NAICS code is comparable to the 2007, 2002 and 1997 NAICS codes and 1997 NAICS codes.