Census Bureau

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To provide estimates of receipts, revenue, and other measures for most traditional service industries. The United States Code, Title 13, authorizes this survey and provides for mandatory responses.


Companies that primarily provide services to individuals, businesses, and governments (SIC 472, SIC 653, and SIC Division I, except SICs 821, 822, 829, 863, 865, 866, and 88). Industry coverage and detail have been expanded since 1982, and include most personal, business, automotive, amusement and recreation, social, health, and other professional services. In 1991, use of expanded 1987 SIC classifications began. Covered industries accounted for about 20% of the Nation's 1994 Gross Domestic Product.


Collected data include tax and organizational status; operating receipts (revenue for tax-exempt firms and organizations); sources of receipts and expenses by type for selected industries; operating expenses for tax-exempt firms; and selected industry-specific items.


Annually since 1982; reported data are for activity taking place during the calendar year. Prior to 1982, the survey was conducted monthly. Data collection begins in January following the survey year and continues for about 14 weeks. A new sample is introduced about every 5 years, most recently for the 1996 survey.


A mail-out/mail-back survey of about 30,000 selected service businesses with paid employees; supplemented by administrative records data or imputed values to account for nonemployer and certain other businesses. To be eligible for the list sample, service businesses must be in the Standard Statistical Establishment List which contains all Employer Identification Numbers (EINs) for listed businesses and all locations of multi-establishment companies. EINs may represent one or more establishments and firms may have one or more EINs.

In the initial sampling, companies are stratified by major and minor kind of business, and by estimated receipts or revenue. All companies with total receipts above applicable size cutoffs are included in the survey and report for all their service industry locations. In a second stage, EINs of unselected companies are stratified by major kind of business and receipts or revenue. Within each stratum a simple random sample of EINs is selected.

The initial sample is updated annually to reflect "births" and "deaths"; adding new employer businesses identified in the business and professional classification survey and dropping firms and EINs that are no longer active. During interim periods, service nonemployer and other businesses are represented by administrative records data or imputed values.


Service Annual Survey reports are published 12 months after the end of the survey year. Summary data are provided at the industry group and industry level for the survey year and past years. Industry specific data are provided for selected industries. In addition, there are data for selected kinds of business by federal income-tax status (taxable and tax-exempt).


The Bureau of Economic Analysis uses these data in its preparation of national income and product accounts, and its benchmark and annual input-output tables. The Bureau of Labor Statistics uses the data as input to its producer price indexes and in developing productivity measurements. The Health Care Financing Administration uses the data to estimate expenditures for the National Health Accounts. The Coalition of Service Industries uses data for general research and planning.


Provides the only source of annual receipts estimates for the service industries; a 50 percent increase in sample size for 1991 permits the publication of additional 4-digit industry detail.


o Business and Professional Classification Survey

o Assets and Expenditures Survey

o Census of Service Industries

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o U.S. Economy o Economy Overview

revised 07/31/96