2002 SBO Asian-Owned Businesses News Conference
May 16, 2006
Remarks of Ewen M. Wilson
Chief, Company Statistics Division
U.S. Census Bureau
The United States Census Bureau produces a wealth of information about the Nation’s economy from more than 120 surveys that we conduct every year. Every five years we also conduct the Economic Census, which provides comprehensive information about the Nation’s 23 million businesses. Since 2004, we have released almost 1,500 reports from the 2002 Economic Census.
Today, we release new statistics from the Census Bureau’s 2002 Survey of Business Owners that illustrate the growing diversity of our Nation’s business owners. Today’s report on Asian-owned businesses, combined with our recent releases on women-owned, Hispanic-owned and Black-owned businesses, and upcoming reports on Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander-owned and American Indian and Alaska Native-owned businesses, increase the richness, texture, and usefulness of our economic statistics mosaic.
This fall we will release the first information in more than a decade on the characteristics of businesses and business owners. Information will be provided on home-based, family-owned, and franchised businesses as well as information about the age, hours worked, educational attainment, and veteran status of business owners.
Before we hear from our panel, I want to provide you with a few facts about the Survey of Business Owners. The survey results we will be discussing cover calendar year 2002 activities, but data were collected from a sample of about 1.3 million businesses with paid employees during the second half of 2003, and from a sample of 1.2 million sole proprietor and “mom and pop” businesses with no paid employees during the second half of 2004. In an effort to produce more timely information from the 2002 SBO, we issued an Advance Report on Characteristics of Employer Business Owners in February 2005, followed in July 2005 by Preliminary Estimates of Business Ownership by Gender, Hispanic Origin, and Race. http://www.census.gov
There are four things that you need to know about the 2002 SBO. First, we changed the name from the previous Survey of Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises to the Survey of Business Owners since this better describes the survey. Second, the 2002 SBO uses the North American Industry Classification System rather than the old, antiquated Standard Industrial Classification System used in prior surveys. The 2002 reports show data on 19 NAICS sectors compared to only 8 under the old SIC. Third, the 2002 SBO uses the 1997 OMB standards for reporting race and ethnicity. This standard recognized Asians as a separate group from Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders and for the first time we are issuing separate reports for each of these groups. Another change to the race reporting standards was allowing respondents the option of selecting one or more racial designations. Since the 2002 SBO permitted business owners to identify themselves as belonging to more than one race, an individual business could be tabulated in more than one racial group. Because of multiple race reporting, we will not be issuing a 2002 report showing total minority ownership. The fourth point about the 2002 SBO is that it collected detailed information on the characteristics of both the businesses and the business owners. This marks the first time that this characteristics information was collected from all 2.5 million sampled businesses. For calendar year 1992, we collected more limited characteristics information in a separate survey but from a much smaller sample of only 125,000 businesses.
So now let’s turn to the specifics of the 2002 Report on Asian-Owned Businesses.
Valerie Strang, will present you with the results. Valerie has been employed at the Census Bureau since 1984. She has been responsible for the Survey of Business Owners for the past 13 years and her leadership has been instrumental in implementing the new, improved 2002 Survey of Business Owners Survey.