The Census Bureau has launched a new site to create public awareness for the upcoming 2007 Economic Census. The site houses industry snapshots for featured industries, encouragements for businesses to fill out the census forms when they get them, and other things.
The “other thing” that sparked our interest was in the “Industry Ratios” reports, which link over to the NAICS definitions for the all of the industry codes—a nice resource and available here. At the two-digit NAICS super-sector level, the description is pretty lengthy and give some insight into the thought behind the classifications, as we see here for Manufacturing:
The boundaries of manufacturing and the other sectors of the classification system can be somewhat blurry. The establishments in the manufacturing sector are engaged in the transformation of materials into new products. Their output is a new product. However, the definition of what constitutes a new product can be somewhat subjective. As clarification, the following activities are considered manufacturing in NAICS: Milk bottling and pasteurizing . . .
The site allows you to drill down for higher digit detail and gives progressively shorter industry descriptions down to the six-digit level. It’s a great resource for research into some of the methodology behind the codes and finding your way through some of the trickier industry distinctions.