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Over the last several of months, NCFREE has been compiling data sourced from the U.S. Census Bureau targeting a few key business metrics: annual payroll, total establishments, and average employee count. The dashboard visualizes data taken from the combined County Business Patterns (CBP) and Nonemployer Statistics (NES). In 2012, the U.S. Census Bureau began combining the information, and by using uniform datasets, NCFREE can better show trendlines.

By taking advantage of the combined CBP and NES reports and targeting the areas of annual payroll, total establishments, and average employee count, NCFREE believes the datasets visualized on the dashboard provides a full picture of just how business and industry have evolved in the state. There is a delay in the reporting of the data, so the data represented in the dashboard does not reflect the impacts of COVID-19 on the state’s businesses and industries. That data will be realized in 2022 and 2023.

Now…the Definitions

  1. According to the U.S. Census Bureau website, the County Business Patterns (CBP) covers more than 6 million single-unit establishments and 1.8 million multi-unit establishments. The Business Register is the Census Bureau’s source of information on employer establishments included in the County Business Patterns and includes the following forms of organizations:
    • All Establishments
    • C-Corporations and other corporate legal forms of organization
    • S-Corporations
    • Sole Proprietorships
    • Partnerships
    • Non-profits
    • Government
    • Other
  1. The Nonemployer Statistics (NES) universe is created annually in conjunction with identifying the Census Bureau`s employer business universe. When the Census Bureau receives information through administrative records that a business has no paid employees, then the business becomes part of the potential nonemployer universe.
  2. Payroll includes all forms of compensation, such as salaries, wages, commissions, dismissal pay, bonuses, vacation allowances, sick-leave pay, and employee contributions to qualified pension plans paid during the year to all employees. For corporations, payroll 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. This definition of payroll is the same as that used by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) on Form 941 as taxable Medicare Wages and Tips (even if not subject to income or FICA tax
  3. 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.
  4. 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. This system is used by the United States, Canada and Mexico.




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