Exploring Two First-Look Economic Datasets

Exploring Two First-Look Economic Datasets 834 539 Morris County Economic Development Corporation (MCEDC)

Exploring Two First-Look Economic Datasets


The U.S. Census Bureau recently unveiled “First Look” findings from two significant economic surveys — the 2022 Economic Census and the 2023 Annual Business Survey (ABS).

The preliminary findings show a variety of aggregate statistics from the number of businesses in 19 sectors to the profitability of employer firms by the race of owners. Both the 2022 Economic Census and the 2023 ABS report 2022 data.

Final data from the Annual Business Survey are scheduled to be released later this year and the next data release from the Economic Census will be in early 2025.

2022 Economic Census “First Look”

The 2022 Economic Census — the most recent economic census — includes approximately 8 million employer business locations, covering most industries and geographic areas of the United States and Island Areas.

Table 1 shows the 19 North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) sectors included in the 2022 Economic Census.

Some “First Look” insight into businesses located in the United States gleaned from the 2022 Economic Census:

  • Number of firms (at the company level): 6.2 million.
  • Number of establishments (a single physical location of a business): 8.0 million.
  • Annual payroll: $8.6 trillion.
  • Number of employees: 140.0 million.

A new interactive visualization was recently released to help users explore the data. The Economic Census provides the foundation for other key measures of economic performance. This information is also used by businesses, policymakers, local governments and communities for the purposes of economic development, business decisions and strategic planning.

What’s next? Check out the 2022 Economic Census planned release schedule (Table 2).


2023 Annual Business Survey “First Look”

The 2023 ABS “First Look” tables provide preliminary estimates on the financing activities, impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on sales and reshoring activities of U.S. employer businesses in 2022.

The Annual Business Survey uses the collection year in the survey name rather than a single reference year. Therefore, the 2023 ABS covers reference year 2022 to cover all of the business activity during that calendar year.

Reshoring is the practice of bringing businesses back to the United States from overseas; the ABS shows estimates for such activities by sector.

Financing module and COVID-19 pandemic impact on business sales data are shown for the percentage of firms by sex, race, ethnicity, minority status and veteran status of the business owner. The data were collected on firms rather than on establishments (or business locations). The survey asks business owners about their business activities, including:

  • Percent ownership, sex, ethnicity, race and veteran status.
  • Other owner characteristics like age, education, disability and reason for owning the business.

A business is categorized by these characteristics when 51% or more of the ownership stock or equity in the business falls in that category.

The data are categorized as “unclassifiable” in cases in which no owner has at least 10% stock or equity in a business.

The infographic below provides the first look at the profitability of employer firms by race of owners in reference year 2022. The data shown are, again, preliminary and any perceived differences in the percent estimates may not be statistically significant.

Note: Select the image to go to the interactive data visualization.

The ABS incorporates new content each year to reflect changes in the economy and the increasing need for timely and relevant business owner data.

Among topics added to the 2023 ABS:

  • Technology.
  • Financing.
  • Sustainability and Climate.
  • Impact of COVID-19.

The tentative release date for the final 2023 ABS data is November 2024, including detailed race and ethnicity data at the 2- to 6-digit NAICS at the national, state, Metropolitan Statistical Area, county and economic place levels.

Supplemental data on U.S. Exporting Firms by Demographics are tentatively planned for release in December 2024. The 2024 ABS will be collected from July to December 2024.

Article courtesy of the US Census Bureau.