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Annual Survey of Manufactures

The Annual Survey of Manufactures (ASM) provides key intercensal measures of manufacturing activity, products, and location for the public and private sectors. The ASM provides the best measure of current U.S. manufacturing industry outputs, inputs, operating status, and is the primary basis for updates of the Longitudinal Research Database (LRD). Census Bureau staff and academic researchers use the LRD for micro data analysis.

Statistics are available on a sample universe of manufacturing establishments with one or more paid employees at any time during the year for manufacturing classified in NAICS sectors 31–33. Employment, payroll, hours, cost of materials, receipts, value added, capital expenditures, and relative standard errors data are available for the U.S. and states at the 2- through 4-digit NAICS levels. Product shipments value data are available at the 6-digit North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) level and 7-digit NAICS product class levels based on NAICS.

The ASM is conducted annually, except for years ending in 2 and 7, at which time ASM data are included in the manufacturing sector of the Economic Census. [Source]


Combined Statistical Area [CSA]

Combined Statistical Areas are a combination of metropolitan areas that have significant economic interaction and dependency. PrintStats includes the top five CSAs in each report based on total population, without regard to the number of industry establishments. These CSAs are very large, and in fact, larger than many countries. These are the details of their composition:


  • New York CSA is the combination of these Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Areas: New York-Newark-Jersey City, Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, New Haven-Milford, Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton, Trenton, Torrington, Kingston, East Stroudsburg
  • Los Angeles CSA includes: Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura
  • Chicago CSA includes: Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, Ottawa-Peru, Kankakee, Michigan City-La Porte
  • Washington D.C. CSA includes: Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV, Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, Hagerstown-Martinsburg, Chambersburg-Waynesboro, Winchester, California-Lexington Park, Easton, Cambridge
  • San Francisco CSA includes: San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Stockton-Lodi, Santa Rosa, Vallejo-Fairfield, Santa Cruz-Watsonville, Napa


Content Creation

The contribution of information to any medium/media, especially to digital media for an end-user/audience in specific contexts. “Content” can be text, photographic images, illustrations, graphic design, video, or any other intellectual property. Typical forms of modern content creation include maintaining and updating web sites, blogging, photography, videography, online commentary, the maintenance of social media accounts, and editing and distribution of digital media. [Source]


County Business Patterns [CBP]

CBP is an annual series that provides subnational economic data by industry. This series includes the number of establishments, employment during the week of March 12, first quarter payroll, and annual payroll. [Source]



The statistical characteristics of human populations (such as age or income) used especially to identify markets. In business, a particular market or segment of the population. [Source]


Economic Census

The Economic Census is the U.S. Government's official five-year measure of American business and the economy. It is conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, and response is required by law. [Source]



An individual hired by another individual or business usually for wages or salary and in a position below the executive level. [Source]



An establishment is a single physical location at which business is conducted or where services or industrial operations are performed. It is not necessarily identical with a company or enterprise, which may consist of one or more establishments.



A value that is usable for some purpose even if input data may be incomplete, uncertain, or unstable. The value is nonetheless usable because it is derived from the best information available. Typically, deriving an estimate involves using the value of a statistic derived from a sample to estimate the value of a corresponding population parameter. The sample provides information that can be projected, through various formal or informal processes, to determine a range most likely to describe the missing information. [Source]



Forecasting is the use of historic data to determine the direction of future trends. Businesses use forecasting to determine how to allocate their budgets or plan for anticipated expenses for an upcoming period of time. This is typically based on the projected demand for the goods and services they offer.

In terms of PrintStats, the forecasts are limited to statistical trends based on past statistical data. They are not forecasts based on industry surveys or assessment of economic, social, or technological changes. The PrintStats forecast data should be viewed only as a starting point for a formal forecast process. [Source]


M3 Manufacturing Survey

The Manufacturers' Shipments, Inventories, and Orders (M3) survey provides broad-based, monthly statistical data on economic conditions in the domestic manufacturing sector. The survey measures current industrial activity and provides an indication of future business trends. [Source]


Metropolitan Area

A metropolitan area, sometimes referred to as a metro area or commuter belt, is a region consisting of a densely populated urban core and its less-populated surrounding territories, sharing industry, infrastructure, and housing. A metro area usually comprises multiple jurisdictions and municipalities: neighborhoods, townships, boroughs, cities, towns, exurbs, suburbs, counties, districts, states, and even nations like the eurodistricts. As social, economic, and political institutions have changed, metropolitan areas have become key economic and political regions. Metropolitan areas include one or more urban areas, as well as satellite cities, towns, and intervening rural areas that are socio-economically tied to the urban core, typically measured by commuting patterns. [Source]


Metropolitan Statistical Area [MSA]

In the United States, a metropolitan statistical area (MSA) is a geographical region with a relatively high population density at its core and close economic ties throughout the area. Such regions are neither legally incorporated as a city or town would be, nor are they legal administrative divisions like counties or separate entities such as states. As such, the precise definition of any given metropolitan area can vary with the source. A typical metropolitan area is centered on a single large city that wields substantial influence over the region (e.g., Chicago or Atlanta). However, some metropolitan areas contain more than one large city with no single municipality holding a substantially dominant position (e.g., Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex, Norfolk-Virginia Beach [Hampton Roads], Riverside–San Bernardino [Inland Empire], or Minneapolis–Saint Paul).

MSAs are defined by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and used by the Census Bureau and other Federal government agencies for statistical purposes. [Source]


(See also Combined Statistical Area)



The North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) is the standard used by Federal statistical agencies in classifying business establishments for the purpose of collecting, analyzing, and publishing statistical data related to the U.S. business economy. [Source]


For descriptions of each NAICS code included with PrintStats, please see our Category Descriptions page.


Nonemployer Statistics [NES]

Nonemployer Statistics is an annual series that provides subnational economic data for businesses that have no paid employees and are subject to Federal income tax. The data consist of the number of businesses and total receipts by industry. Most nonemployers are self-employed individuals operating unincorporated businesses (known as sole proprietorships), which may or may not be the owner's principal source of income.

The majority of all business establishments in the United States are nonemployers, yet these firms average less than 4 percent of all sales and receipts nationally. Due to their small economic impact, these firms are excluded from most other Census Bureau business statistics (the primary exception being the Survey of Business Owners). The Nonemployers Statistics series is the primary resource available to study the scope and activities of nonemployers at a detailed geographic level. For complementary statistics on the firms that do have paid employees, refer to the County Business Patterns. Additional sources of data on small businesses include the Economic Census, and the Statistics of U.S. Businesses. [Source]



Packaging is the technology of enclosing or protecting products for distribution, storage, sale, and use. Packaging also refers to the process of designing, evaluating, and producing packages. Packaging can be described as a coordinated system of preparing goods for transport, warehousing, logistics, sale, and end use. In the graphic arts, packaging refers to the design, manufacturing, and decoration (usually via printing and related technologies) of corrugated paperboard containers, folding cardboard cartons and containers, paper bags, flexible plastic packaging, and other paper, paperboard, and plastic materials. [Source]



Payroll is the sum total of all compensation a business must pay to its employees for a set period of time or on a given date. Payroll is reported before deductions for social security, income tax, insurance, union dues, etc. This definition of payroll is the same as that used by the Internal Revenue Service. [Source]


Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages [QCEW]

The Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) program publishes a quarterly count of employment and wages reported by employers covering more than 95 percent of U.S. jobs, available at the county, MSA, state, and national levels by industry. [Source]


Quarterly Services Survey [QSS]

The Quarterly Services Survey (QSS) is the only source of service industry indicator performance providing timely estimates of revenue and expenses for selected service industries. The QSS is a principal economic indicator series that produces, for selected service industries, quarterly estimates of total operating revenue and the percentage of revenue by class of customer (government, business, consumers, and individuals). The survey also produces estimates of total operating expenses from tax-exempt firms in industries that have a large not-for-profit component. In addition, for hospital services, the survey estimates the number of inpatient days and discharges. [Source]



Census Regions are groupings of states and the District of Columbia that subdivide the United States for the presentation of Census data. There are four Census regions—Northeast, Midwest, South, and West. Each of the four Census regions is divided into two or more Census divisions. Each Census region is identified by a single-digit Census code. Puerto Rico and the Island Areas are not part of any Census region or Census division.

PrintStats uses eight regions based on industrial economic activity rather than the Census regions. The 50 U.S. states and District of Columbia are allocated as follows:


  • New England: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont
  • Mid-Eastern: Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, West Virginia
  • South Eastern: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia
  • Great Lakes: Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Wisconsin
  • North Central: Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming
  • South Central: Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Texas
  • South Western: Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah
  • Western: Alaska, California, Hawaii, Oregon, Washington