Skip Main Navigation Skip To Navigation Content

Manufacturers Shipments to Federal Agencies

Skip top of page navigation
You are here: About the SurveysManufacturing Programs › Manufacturers Shipments to Federal Agencies

Discontinued after 1992


To provide periodic data on manufacturers' shipments to Federal government agencies and employment related to Federal agency purchases. The United States Code, Title 13, authorizes this survey and provides for mandatory responses.


Establishments classified in manufacturing industries that are major suppliers to Federal agencies, contractors or suppliers, and have at least 5 employees.


Basic data for all establishments include average total employment, total cost of materials and total value of shipments, and the size range of shipments to Federal agencies. Additional data for establishments with Federal shipments of at least $1 million include the total value of all Federal shipments, the value of direct shipments (as a prime contractor) and the value of indirect shipments (as a subcontractor), by recipient agency.


Reported data are for activities taking place during the previous calendar year; data collection begins in March following the reference year and continues for about 5 months. The survey was conducted for 1987 and 1992 as part of the census of manufactures. A similar annual survey of shipments by defense-oriented industries was conducted from 1963 through 1983.


A mail-out/mail-back survey of some 7,800 selected manufacturing establishments, with those shipping $1 million or more to Federal agencies providing detailed shipment information. Industries that are "major" Federal suppliers are identified using past studies and information from agencies. Establishments in these industries are selected from the census of manufactures mailing file using a probability proportional to size procedure. All establishments that have at least 500 employees are selected with certainty, and other establishments are selected by industry in proportion to their size of total employment.

Establishments with Federal shipments of $1 million or more provide shipments detail by agency. Establishments with shipments of less than $1 million identify a range of total shipments value. Weighted estimates are made for the smaller shipments by type of shipment and agency, and ratio adjusted to assure consistency with census results for the same calendar year.


The Manufacturers' Shipments to Federal Government Agencies Report was included in the 1992 census of manufactures subject series reports. The report includes data on total employment, total cost of materials and total value of shipments by covered establishments; and estimates of total employment and shipments by prime contracts and subcontracts, and by recipient agency.


The Bureau of Economic Analysis uses the data to benchmark the national income and product accounts and prepare input-output tables of the economy. The Department of Defense uses the data to assess emergency preparedness and mobilization issues. The Census Bureau uses the data to benchmark the defense versus non-defense components of the monthly M3 Survey. Other government agencies, businesses, trade associations and research organizations use the data to monitor and analyze the level, nature, and effects of Federal spending in the manufacturing sector.


Provides the only data available on shipments to the Federal government by manufacturing industry, and on employees directly and indirectly related to Federal spending on manufactured products.


Economic Census

Annual Survey of Manufactures

Monthly M3 Survey

Current Industrial Reports (Industrial Products)

Business Register




Next Program

U.S. Economy

Economy Overview