The Census Bureau views collection of data on advanced technologies including robotics as part of its mission to measure the nation’s economy. Recent dramatic increases in the technical capabilities of robotics as well as falling costs have led to potentially increasing diffusion across the economy. Thus, starting with the 2018 Annual Survey of Manufactures (ASM) three questions were added as a Special Inquiry to collect the total number of industrial robots in operation at the plant, the number of robots purchased during the reference year, and the capital expenditures for new and used industrial robotic equipment to measure how and when robotics contribute to productivity, the conditions under which they complement or substitute for labor, and how they shape regional economies.
These data items were collected from employer businesses at the establishment level and tabulated using the 2017 North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code assigned to the establishment based on primary business activity. This experimental data release is comprised of only establishments included in the mailed portion of the ASM.
This experimental product provides data from the 2018 and 2019 ASM on the presence of robots and capital expenditures for industrial robotic equipment. The presence of robots is defined as establishments that have active robots at the plant, robot purchases, or capital expenditures on robotic equipment.
The ASM tables and figures provide national and state level estimates of percent of plants with robots, percent of workers exposed to robots, and capital expenditures for industrial robotic equipment by 2-digit NAICS sector and 3-digit NAICS sub-sector as well as plant size distributional statistics.
This experimental data product is subject to disclosure avoidance thresholds and may not meet some of the Census Bureau’s statistical quality standards.
Unit Response Rate: 53%
Total Quantity Response Rate: 58% for value of shipments and 69% for total payroll
Unit Response Rate: 56%
Total Quantity Response Rate: 60% for value of shipments and 69% for total payroll
July 15, 2022
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