2018 Economic Census Coming in May

Every five years, the U.S. Census Bureau conducts the Economic Census, the official measure of the Nation’s businesses and economy.  Businesses, policymakers, governments and communities use Economic Census data for economic development, business decisions, and strategic planning.  The Economic Census serves as the statistical benchmark for current economic activity such as the Gross Domestic Product and the Producer Price Index.  It provides information on business locations, the workforce, and trillions of dollars of sales by product and service type.  Comprehensive information is generated for almost one thousand different industries and thousands of geographic areas.

The next Economic Census will gather 2017 year-end figures from approximately four million business locations.  The data collection for the 2017 Economic Census will occur in 2018.  Businesses included in the 2017 Economic Census, which includes U.S. territories, are required by law under Title 13, Section 224, to respond.  Starting with this Census, respondents will use an online, secure portal to respond, making filing easier while at the same time improving data quality and reducing costs.  The business community’s participation is essential to obtain reliable, comprehensive results that accurately represent our rapidly changing economy.

The 2017 Economic Census is a legitimate survey of the U.S. Census Bureau.  The Economic Census is conducted every five years collecting data for years ending in “2” and “7”.  Information about the 2017 Economic Census can be found at www.census.gov/EconomicCensus.

Below are a few common items you can use to verify the legitimacy of this survey:

  1. Ensure the Web address provided in the letter is a “census.gov” domain.
  2. Correspondence will contain reporting instructions and a toll-free number for survey assistance.
  3. On the log-in screen, a warning message should be present stating the respondent is accessing a U.S. Government computer.
  4. After clicking on the “Report Now” button in the Respondent Portal, the OMB Number and OMB Approval Expiration information will appear in the upper right of the first screen of the electronic reporting instrument.  The bottom of the screen should have a link for the “Burden Statement” which also contains the OMB eight-digit number.

Key Economic Census dates:

  • May 1, 2018 – Data Collection Begins
  • June 12, 2018 – Survey Response Deadline
  • September 2019 – Data Releases Begin