Tuesday, November 13, 2007

2007 Economic Census is Coming

The Economic Census forms will be sent out in December 2007 and are due back on February 12, 2008. Virtually all large and medium-sized businesses are surveyed. A large sampling of small businesses, covering all industries, will receive a form. This tally is done once every five years.

The forms ask for basic information like business location, employment, payroll, and sales by type of product or service. Businesses that receive a form are required by law (Title 13, U.S. Code) to respond. The individual information is confidential, and Census will suppress any information that would identify a particular business, e.g., the sales information for the only jewelry store in town will not be published.

Businesses, communities, and governments use Economic Census data for planning and market development. Statistics are published for more than a thousand industries as well as for states, counties, cities and metropolitan areas at business.census.gov.

Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke has called this census "indispensable to understanding America's economy."

When the form comes, please enccourage your clients to fill it out. If the forms aren't returned by the February 12 deadline, the Census will commission people call or visit to follow up, an additional cost to taxpayers.

In summary, the Economic Survey is:
* mandatory to answer
* confidential
* important for data users

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