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32. 1997 Economic Census

866. Employees and Payroll, by Employment-Size Class

[1,035 represents $1,035,000,000,000. Excludes government employees railroad employees, self-employed persons, etc. See "General Explanation" in source for definitions and statement on reliability of data. An establishment is a single physical location where business is conducted or where services or industrial operations are performed]

Employment-size class Unit 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997
Employees, total 1 1,000 74,844 74,848 74,287 72,974 78,021 81,111 83,379 85,484 87,882 91,631 93,476 92,302 92,801 94,789 96,733 100,335 102,199 105,299
  Under 20 employees 1,000 19,423 19,515 19,898 20,136 21,171 21,810 22,296 23,069 23,583 23,992 24,373 24,482 25,000 25,233 25,373 25,785 26,115 26,883
  20 to 99 employees 1,000 21,168 21,231 21,143 20,806 22,449 23,539 24,311 25,221 25,930 26,829 27,414 26,906 27,030 27,443 28,138 29,202 29,697 30,631
  100 to 499 employees 1,000 17,840 17,977 17,444 16,794 18,348 19,410 20,260 20,615 21,307 22,387 22,926 22,369 22,227 23,195 24,048 25,364 26,086 26,993
  500 to 999 employees 1,000 5,689 5,497 5,436 5,186 5,614 5,716 5,780 5,922 6,078 6,442 6,551 6,325 6,270 6,449 6,663 7,021 7,274 7,422
  1,000 or more employees 1,000 10,716 10,630 10,376 10,050 10,413 10,645 10,734 10,657 10,984 11,981 12,212 12,220 12,275 12,470 12,513 12,962 13,026 13,370
Annual payroll, total 1 Bil. dol 1,035 1,076 1,198 1,269 1,339 1,514 1,608 1,724 1,860 1,990 2,104 2,145 2,272 2,363 2,488 2,666 2,849 3,048
  Under 20 employees Bil. dol 231 254 272 298 326 352 375 414 440 461 485 502 536 554 579 608 647 688
  20 to 99 employees Bil. dol 261 288 303 319 358 388 414 449 485 514 547 555 586 611 650 696 747 796
  100 to 499 employees Bil. dol 249 279 286 297 334 362 391 417 452 488 518 523 550 582 621 675 730 786
  500 to 999 employees Bil. dol 91 99 104 107 120 126 132 140 152 163 174 175 186 191 202 219 240 254
  1,000 or more employees Bil. dol 208 229 234 248 269 286 298 305 331 364 381 390 413 424 436 467 485 524

1 Prior to 1987, totals for employees and annual payroll have been revised. Detail may not add to totals because revisions for size class are not available.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, County Business Patterns, annual.



County Business Patterns is an annual series that provides subnational economic data by industry. The series is useful for studying the economic activity of small areas; analyzing economic changes over time; and as a benchmark for statistical series, surveys, and databases between economic censuses. The series serves various business uses such as analyzing market potential, measuring the effectiveness of sales and advertising programs, setting sales quotas, and developing budgets. The data are also used by government agencies for administration and planning.

Most of the Nation's economic activity is covered in this series. Data are excluded for self-employed persons, domestic service workers, railroad employees, agricultural production workers, most government employees, and employees on ocean-borne vessels or in foreign countries. Data are provided by industry in the following economic divisions: agricultural services, forestry, and fishing; mining; construction; manufacturing; transportation and public utilities; wholesale trade; retail trade; finance, insurance, and real estate; and services. Data are tabulated by industry as defined in the Standard Industrial Classification Manual: 1987.

This series has been published annually since 1964 and at irregular intervals dating back to 1946. The comparability of data over time may be affected by definitional changes in establishments, activity status, and industrial classifications. For more details on these changes, see the section "Comparability With Other Data."


County Business Patterns basic data items are extracted from the Business Register, a file of all known single and multiestablishment companies maintained and updated by the Bureau of the Census. The annual Company Organization Survey provides individual establishment data for multiestablishment companies. Data for single-establishment companies are obtained from various Census Bureau programs, such as the Annual Survey of Manufactures and Current Business Surveys, as well as from administrative records of the Internal Revenue Service and the Social Security Administration. * DEFINITIONS OF BASIC DATA ITEMS


An establishment is a single physical location at which business is conducted or services or industrial operations are performed. It is not necessarily identical with a company or enterprise, which may consist of one or more establishments. When two or more activities are carried on at a single location under a single ownership, all activities generally are grouped together as a single establishment. The entire establishment is classified on the basis of its major activity and all data are included in that classification.

Administrative and auxiliary establishments primarily manage, administer, service, or support the activities of other establishments of the same company rather than the establishments of other companies or the general public. Data for these establishments are shown separately by industry division.

Establishment-size designations are determined by paid employment in the mid-March pay period. The size group "1 to 4" includes establishments that did not report any paid employees in the mid-March pay period but paid wages to at least one employee at some time during the year.

Establishment counts represent the number of locations with paid employees any time during the year. This series excludes governmental establishments except for liquor stores (SIC 592), wholesale liquor establishments (SIC 518), depository institutions (SIC 60), federal and federally-sponsored credit agencies (SIC 611), and hospitals (SIC 806).


Total payroll includes all forms of compensation, such as salaries, wages, reported tips, commissions, bonuses, vacation allowances, sick-leave pay, employee contributions to qualified pension plans, and the value of taxable fringe benefits. For corporations, it includes amounts paid to officers and executives; for unincorporated businesses, it does not include profit or other compensation of proprietors or partners. Payroll is reported before deductions for Social Security, income tax, insurance, union dues, etc. First-quarter payroll consists of payroll during the January-to-March quarter.

Mid-March Employment

Paid employment consists of full- and part-time employees, including salaried officers and executives of corporations, who are on the payroll in the pay period including March 12. Included are employees on paid sick leave, holidays, and vacations; not included are proprietors and partners of unincorporated businesses.


The quinquennial economic censuses are the primary source for industry and geography classifications. The annual Company Organization Survey, Annual Survey of Manufactures, Current Business Surveys, and other Census Bureau programs provide regular updates.

Industry Classification

Additional sources for assigning industry classifications are the Social Security Administration, the Internal Revenue Service, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics. These sources provide industry classification information for new businesses and businesses not canvassed in the Census Bureau programs. Establishments without sufficient industry information are tabulated in the "unclassified establishments" group.

In a few instances, the most detailed industry classifications for which data are shown represent a combination of more detailed SIC industries. The data for these establishments are included in the tabulations at a broader industry level. For this reason, the sum of industry components published in this series may not equal the total shown.

The industry titles used throughout this series are the short SIC titles; complete descriptions are contained in the Standard Industrial Classification Manual: 1987.

Geography Classification

Most geography codes are derived from the physical location address reported in Census Bureau programs. The Internal Revenue Service provides supplemental address information. Those employers without a fixed location within a state (or of unknown county location) are included under a "statewide" classification at the end of the county tables. This incomplete detail causes only slight understatement of county employment. The independent cities in Virginia, and the cities of Baltimore, MD; Carson City, NV; and St. Louis, MO, are treated as separate counties.


Earlier County Business Patterns

The comparability of data with previous County Business Patterns series may be affected by the following definitional changes:

* the change from a "reporting unit" concept to establishment based data in 1974 * the change in definition of "active" establishments in 1983 * the change in industrial classification definitions, the most recent occurring in 1988

1992 Economic Census

In comparing the employment and payroll shown in this series with economic censuses data, the user should bear in mind that definitional and coverage differences may affect the direct comparison of data items. The definitions are detailed in the introductory texts of the appropriate publications.

The economic census present data reported for individual establishments; whereas, County Business Patterns are based primarily on administrative records and data reported from current surveys. While every effort is made to resolve significant differences for the same establishment, differences are known to exist.


In accordance with U.S. Code, Title 13, Section 9, no data are published that would disclose the operations of an individual employer. However, the number of establishments in an industry classification and the distribution of these establishments by employment-size class are not considered to be disclosures, and so this information may be released even though other information is withheld from publications.


All data are tabulated from universe files and are not subject to sampling errors. However, the data are subject to nonsampling errors. Nonsampling errors can be attributed to many sources: inability to identify all cases in the universe; definition and classification difficulties; differences in interpretation of questions; errors in recording or coding the data obtained; and estimation of employers who reported too late to be included in the tabulations and for records with missing or misreported data.

The accuracy of the data is determined by the joint effects of the various nonsampling errors. No direct measurement of these effects has been obtained; however, precautionary steps were taken in all phases of collection, processing, and tabulation to minimize the effects of nonsampling errors.


These tables are based on figures supplied by the United States Census Bureau, U.S. Department of Commerce and are subject to revision by the Census Bureau.

Copyright © 2006 Photius Coutsoukis and Information Technology Associates, all rights reserved.