Frequently Asked Questions

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Why don't the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) categories within a sector add up to sector totals in 2002 Economic Census data for my area?

  • First, you need to understand what is supposed to add up. Theoretically, any sector (2-digit NAICS) total should equal the sum of component subsectors (3-digit NAICS), each 3-digit figure should correspond to the sum of component 4-digits, and so forth. If you add together NAICS codes at more than one level (such as both 3-digit codes and 4-digit codes), you could get a sum greater than the true total.
  • In Economic Census data published for states and smaller areas, particular NAICS categories are shown only when they meet certain criteria that vary from industry to industry. For example, county or city figures are shown only for those manufacturing industry categories that have at least 500 employees. Detailed figures may not add to higher level totals because some categories simply aren't shown. (For missing industries, you may check County Business Patterns (CBP), which does not use publication cutoffs.)
  • Some figures are withheld (replaced with D) to avoid disclosure of confidential information. Data withheld at one level are still included in higher level figures. The number of establishments is never suppressed, so you may be able to confirm additive relationships with establishment counts that you can't with other figures. In most places where sales or payroll figures are suppressed, employment is shown in ranges (e.g., 20-49 employees).


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