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The Economic Census – Vital Data for Business

Nov 15, 2012

During November and December over 4 million US business and around 11 thousand Wyoming businesses will receive 2012 Economic Census forms from the U.S. Census Bureau. This means that while many businesses will take part in the Census, not all will be asked to participate.


If your business receives a form, you will be asked for basic operating data for your business, data that is tailored to your specific industry and company size. Information includes number of employees, payroll and value of goods or services produced in 2012.  You will be able to respond either in paper or online.  Responses are due no later than February 12, 2013.  It is important to note that all information is confidential and your compliance is required by law.


The Census is the basis for the economic indicators that are used every day in the US, like the Gross Domestic Product, monthly retail sales and producer price index.  The statistics from the Economic Census are used by businesses, local governments and investors to make smart decisions.


Without the Economic Census and the data it provides about our US economy, businesses and governments of all sizes would be working in the dark in trying to solve the numerous challenges that our country and economy faces in the years to come. Filling out the Economic Census form is not only a legal requirement, it’s a smart investment in growing our local, state and national economy.


If you'd like to see the type of information that the Census provides, you can go online to This site gives more in-depth information about what the Census is and why it is so important for all Americans.  It also gives you a look at the type of economic statistics that come out of the Census, with ideas on how you can use them in your business or community.


The Economic Census isn't new, in fact the concept dates back to the 1810 Census, when questions were asked about manufacturing along with questions about population. The Economic Census provides detailed statistics that are important for industries and communities. Trade associations, chambers of commerce, and businesses rely on this information for economic development, business decisions, and strategic planning.


As the manager of the Wyoming Market Research Center, every single day I use information that is based on the Economic Census to help Wyoming businesses find out about their industry, their community and their markets. Accurate and believable data from the Census is vital to creating sensible business plans, loan applications and for simply running day-to-day business.


Mike Lambert

Mike Lambert is the manager of the Wyoming Market Research Center in Laramie, WY.

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