- The Bureau of Economic Analysis uses these data for the nation's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) estimates and in developing the national accounts' input-output tables.
- The Bureau of Labor Statistics uses these data as input to its Producer Price Indices and in developing productivity measurements.
- Trade and professional organizations use these data to analyze industry trends and benchmark their own statistical programs, develop forecasts, and evaluate regulatory requirements.
- The media use these data for news reports and background information.
- Private businesses use these data to measure market share, analyze business potential, and plan investments.
The North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) is the standard used by Federal statistical agencies in classifying
business establishments for the purpose of collecting, analyzing, and publishing statistical data related to the U.S. business
economy. For additional information, please see NAICS
ARTS covers firms classified in the Retail Trade and Accommodation and Food Services sectors as defined by the
North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). Retail Trade, as defined by NAICS sectors 44-45,
includes establishments engaged in selling merchandise in small quantities to the general public, without
transformation, and rendering services incidental to the sale of merchandise. Two principal types of establishments
classified in retail trade can be distinguished-
1. Store retailers operate fixed point-of-sale locations, located and designed to attract a high volume of
walk-in customers. They have extensive displays of merchandise, use mass-media advertising to attract customers and
typically sell merchandise to the general public for personal or household use. Some store retailers also provide
after-sales services, such as repair and installation; for example, new automobile dealers.
2. Nonstore retailers also serve the general public, but their retailing methods differ. Such methods
include paper and electronic catalogs, door-to-door solicitation, in-home demonstration, "infomercials,"
selling from portable stalls or through vending machines.
Industries in the accommodation subsector, as defined by NAICS subsector 721, provide lodging or short-term
accommodations for travelers, vacationers, and others. The subsector is organized into three groups:
(1) traveler accommodation, (2) recreational accommodation, and (3) rooming and boarding houses.
Establishments that manage short-stay accommodations (e.g., hotels and motels) on a contractual basis
are classified in this subsector if they both manage the operation and provide the operating staff.
Food services, as defined by NAICS subsector 722, include establishments that prepare meals, snacks, and beverages
to customer order for immediate on-premises and off-premises consumption.
ARTS estimates are published approximately 15 months after the reference year. For example, estimates for the 2010 reference
year were released in March 2012.
No. ARTS is designed to produce statistics at the national level only. Statistics at the state level and other more detailed geographic
levels for selected data items are produced every 5 years as part of the Economic Census. For more information, please
see the 2007 Economic Census
. Additionally, statistics on number of establishments, employment, and
payroll at detailed geographic levels are released annually in the Census Bureau's County Business Patterns.
For more information, please see the County Business Patterns
Because estimates are based on a sample rather than the entire population, the published estimates
may differ from the actual, but unknown, population values. In principle, many random samples could be
drawn and each would give a different result. This is because each sample would be made up of different
businesses who would give different answers to the questions asked.
Common measures of the variability among these estimates are the sampling variance, the standard error,
and the coefficient of variation (CV). The sampling variance is defined as the squared difference, averaged
over all possible samples of the same size and design, between the estimator and its average value. The
standard error is the square root of the sampling variance. The CV expresses the standard error as a percentage
of the estimate to which it refers. For example, an estimate of 200 units that has an estimated standard error
of 10 units has an estimated CV of 5 percent. The CV has the advantage of being a relative, rather than an
absolute, measure and can be used to compare the reliability of one estimate to another.
The Census Bureau takes its commitment to confidentiality very seriously. It constantly pursues new
procedures, technologies, and methodologies to safeguard individual data. Every person with access to person
or business data - from the Director on down - is sworn by Title 13
to protect confidentiality and is subject to criminal penalties if they do not. Tight computer security and
strict access and handling procedures are followed.
E-commerce sales are sales of goods and services where the buyer places an order, or the price and terms
of the sale are negotiated, over an Internet, mobile device (M-Commerce), extranet, Electronic Data
Interchange (EDI) network, electronic mail, or other comparable online system. Payment may or may not be
Generally, e-commerce divisions of brick-and-mortar companies would be included in electronic shopping
and mail-order houses as long as they do not fulfill e-commerce orders from their stores (companies would
provide separate information to us for their brick-and-mortar stores vs. their e-commerce division).
This is similar to how companies would split reporting between two distinct brick-and-mortar divisions
(a company that owns grocery stores and department stores for example).