To provide estimates of revenue and other measures for most traditional service industries. The United States Code, Title 13, authorizes this survey and provides for mandatory responses.
The survey collects data from companies whose primary business or operation is to provide services to individuals, businesses, and governments (NAICS sectors 22, 48-49, 51, 52, 53, 54, 56, 61, 62, 71, and 81). Industry coverage and detail have been expanded since 1982, and include most personal, business, automotive, amusement and recreation, social welfare, health care, and other professional services. The use of expanded 1987 SIC classifications began in 1991, and the industries covered accounted for about 20% of the Nation's 1994 Gross Domestic Product.
The 2009 SAS survey was expanded to cover 55% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The industries added in the expansion include NAICS 22, 481, 483, 485, 486, 487, 488, 521, 522, 5232, 524, 531, 533,and 61.
The North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) was used for the first time with the 1999 survey to collect data for the Service Annual Survey (SAS). The scope of the Service Annual Survey has been broadened to encompass the old Annual Survey of Communication Services and the old Transportation Annual Survey. With the implementation of NAICS, approximately 150 additional service industries are being covered. The North American Product Classification System (NAPCS) was introduced for the first time with the 2001 survey year to include the Information Sector (NAICS 51), and Computer System Design and Related Services (Industry Group 5415).
Collected data include operating revenue for both taxable and tax-exempt firms and organizations; sources of revenue and expenses by type for selected industries; operating expenses for tax-exempt firms; and selected industry-specific items. In addition, starting with the 1999 survey, e-commerce data were collected for all industries, and export and inventory data were collected for selected industries.
Data collection begins in January following the survey year and continues for about 28 weeks. Reported data are for activities which take place during the calendar year. Prior to 1982, the survey was conducted monthly and since that time it has been conducted annually. A new sample is introduced roughly every 5 to 7 years.
This is a mail-out/mail-back and electronic reporting survey of approximately 72,000 selected service businesses with paid employees; supplemented by administrative records data or imputed values to account for non-employer and certain other businesses. To be eligible for the list sample, service businesses must be in the Business Register List (BR), 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 quarterly 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 non-employer and other businesses are represented by administrative records data or imputed values.
Service Annual Survey reports are normally published no later than 13 months after the end of the survey year. Summary data (total revenue and total expenses) are provided at the sector, sub-sector and industry group level for the survey year and past years. Detailed expense data are published for select sectors and subsectors. Industry specific data, such as product line and detailed revenue (source of funding), 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 Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) uses the data to estimate expenditures for the National Health Accounts. The Coalition of Service Industries uses data for general research and planning.
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.
The Service Annual Survey provides the only source of annual receipts estimates for the service industries.