Census Bureau

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To provide periodic and comprehensive data about transportation, communications, and utilities establishments and their activities. The United States Code, Title 13, authorizes this census and provides for mandatory responses.


Domestic establishments that provide passenger and freight transportation; communication services; and electricity, gas, steam, water, and sanitary services to the general public or other businesses. These include all establishments classified in SIC Division E except railroads (SIC 40), the U.S. Postal Service (SIC 43), and large certificated passenger air carriers (part of SIC 4512). In 1987, only selected transportation industries (SIC 42, 44, and 47) were covered. In 1992, the industries covered included some 900,000 employer and nonemployer establishments with revenues of $892 billion.


Basic data obtained for all reporting units include kind of business; geographic location; total operating revenue; annual and first quarter payroll; and number of employees for pay period including March 12. Establishments receiving a census form provide additional data on revenue by source and other industry-specific measures such as purchased transportation expenses and revenue by class of customer. Multi-unit firms in certain industries report revenue and related output measures consolidated to the state level. These industries include pipelines, telephone and telegraph communications, and electric and gas services.


This expanded census began for 1992, and will continue every 5 years for years ending in "2" and "7." From 1962 through 1987, transportation statistics were published in a census of transportation. Data collection begins at the end of December of the census year and responses are due in about 8 weeks. Data are requested for activities taking place during the census calendar year.


A mail-out/mail-back data collection for all multi-unit firms and most single- establishment employers; administrative records data for small employers in SIC 421 and all nonemployers. Most multi-unit firms received a census report for each establishment. Multi-unit firms in some industries received a census report for each state in which the firm operated. Single establishment employer firms received a census form if they were not classified in SIC 421 (trucking and courier services) or if they were in SIC 421 and had annualized payroll above a size cutoff. SIC 421 firms with payroll below the cutoff were sampled using a stratified sample with strata based on kind of business and geography. Basic data for small employers not selected in the SIC 421 sample and all nonemployers were obtained from Federal administrative records. Sources of revenue and other industry-specific data for unsampled SIC 421 firms were based partly on the small employer sample results.


The Geographic Area Series consists of one printed report and data files on CD-ROMs, with data by kind of business for the U.S., each state, and the District of Columbia and selected metropolitan areas. Tabulations present statistics for establishments with payroll, including number of establishments, revenue, annual and first quarter payroll, and employment.

The Nonemployer Statistics Series consists of one printed report and data files on CD-ROMs, Tabulations for the U.S. and states show number of establishments and revenue by kind of business for all establishments, establishments with payroll, and establishments without payroll.

The Subject Series consists of 2 printed reports and selected data on CD-ROMs, with data on employers for the U.S. and additional geographic detail for some topics. The report titles are Establishment and Firm Size and Miscellaneous Subjects. The Miscellaneous Subjects report includes data on sources of revenue.


The Bureau of Economic Analysis uses the data to benchmark national income and product accounts and input-output tables. The Bureau of Labor Statistics uses the data for statistical research and benchmarking employment by industry. The Census Bureau uses the data in sampling and benchmarking activities in annual surveys on communications and trucking. The Department of Transportation uses the data for statistical research. Trucking associations use the data for economic research.


The only source of detailed data for specific industries (such as passenger transportation, water transportation, broadcast and cable services, and sanitary services) in states and selected metropolitan areas.


o Transportation Annual Survey

o Annual Survey of Communication Services

o Commodity Flow Survey

o Vehicle Inventory and Use Survey

o Census Nonemployer Statistics

o Enterprise Statistics

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o U.S. Economy o Economy Overview

revised 07/31/96