The economy of the United States is divided into economic sectors. The North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) was developed in 1997 and is used by the United States Census Bureau and U.S. Securities Exchange Commission (SEC).
The United States Census Bureau currently conducts a comprehensive Economic Census every five years. The results of this survey are tabulated according to the NAICS and provide statistics about the U.S. economy. The most recent data are from 2007. The 2012 Economic Census is underway with the initial results to be available in December 2013.
The Census Bureau releases sector-by-sector statistics on the number of establishments, total business activity, annual payroll, and number of paid employees. A standardized classification of the economy into sectors makes it possible to compare census results over time. However, to reflect the evolving nature of the economy, the NAICS is updated