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To provide estimates of revenue and expenses for the communication services industries. The United States Code, Title 13, authorizes this survey and provides for mandatory responses.


All firms with payroll that provide telephone communication, radio and television broadcasting, cable television and other communication services (SIC 48). Coverage reflects 1987 SIC classifications definitions beginning in 1991. In 1994, domestic communication industries had some 40,000 employer establishments and estimated revenue of more than $264 billion.


Data collected include: total revenue and revenue by source; total expenses and expenses by type; number of locations by kind of business; and industry specific inquiries such as telephone communication revenue by type of user and number of cable subscribers. In the first year of a new sample, participants report data for both the current and preceding year. In subsequent years, only current year data are requested.


Annually since 1990; reported data are for activity taking place during the calendar year. Data collection begins about 4 months after the close of the reporting year, and continues for about 4 months. Samples are reselected every 5 years and updated annually; use of latest sample began in 1991.


A mail-out/mail-back survey of about 2,000 selected employer firms. The sample was constructed from communications firms listed in the Standard Statistical Establishment List (SSEL). The SSEL contains Federal Identification Numbers (EINs) for establishments with payroll, and locations for listed businesses. EINs may represent one or more establishments and companies with payroll may have one or more EIN.

Firms are first stratified by payroll and kind of business group. All companies with total revenue (estimated from payroll) above applicable size cutoffs are included in the survey and report for all their industry EINs. In a second stage, unselected EINs are stratified by kind of business group and revenue, and a simple random sample is taken from each stratum.

The sample is updated for employer business "births" and "deaths" in an annual procedure. Companies and EINs that are not active in a survey year are dropped from the sample. New EINs are identified in a birth selection procedure and included in the survey.


Annual Survey of Communication Services reports are released 11 months after the reporting period. Summary statistics are provided on revenue, revenue by source, and expenses by kind of business at the 4-digit SIC level.


The Bureau of Economic Analysis uses the data as an input to national income and product accounts and input-output tables. The Bureau of Labor Statistics uses these data in developing producer price indices and productivity measures.

Trade and professional organizations use the estimates to analyze industry trends and benchmark their own statistical programs, develop forecasts, and evaluate regulatory requirements. The media use estimates for news reports and background information. Private businesses use the estimates to measure market share; analyze business potential; and plan investment decisions.


Provides the only annual source of the communication sector measures (in lieu of former regulatory agency data collections) including measures of new industry technologies; a sample size increase of 50 percent and new SIC classifications permit publication of additional 4-digit industries for 1991.


o Business and Professional Classification Survey

o Census of Transportation, Communications, and Utilities

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o U.S. Economy o Economy Overview

revised 07/31/96