Posted Dec. 6, 2012
The U.S. Census Bureau is sending veterinary practices across the country the 2012 Economic Census form. Selected practices received forms in November, but most will receive them in December.
Forms are sent to all but the smallest businesses in this census, which is conducted every five years. According to the agency, businesses that receive a form are required by law (Title 13, U.S. Code) to respond.
Linda Jaramillo of the Census Bureau said the agency conducts and publishes information from the census by industry. Veterinary practices, pet groomers, and animal trainers are some of the businesses that fall under the Pet Care Industry. Other sectors of the veterinary industry, such as pet food production, fall under Manufacturing. Veterinary education is not covered by the Economic Census.
Jaramillo is on a team that is trying to promote the census to the Pet Care Industry to raise its response rate, particularly among veterinarians.
She said, “This census has been going on a very long time, but most people don’t know much about it. The Census Bureau does tons of surveys—some mandatory, some not—for businesses. It will help you forecast, and know how many businesses are around you. All that can be found on our website.
“Information is published for more than a thousand industries as well as for states, counties, cities, and metropolitan areas at census.gov.” At this website, one can select “Data” and then “American FactFinder” to search by industry or zip code.
Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke has called the Economic Census “indispensable to understanding America’s economy.”
Businesses, communities, and governments use Economic Census statistics for planning and market development. Economic indicators such as the gross domestic product, monthly retail sales, and producer price index depend on this census.
The census form requests basic information such as the business location, number of employees, payroll, and sales by type of product or service. Information provided by survey respondents is treated as highly confidential. Under penalty of law, the bureau cannot share data from individual businesses even with other government agencies.
Completed forms are due back by Feb. 12, 2013, but the bureau works with businesses that need more time or help. Businesses can file on paper or electronically, and sometimes, Jaramillo said, other accommodations are made to make it easier for the businesses.
More information or help completing the form is available on the Census Bureau’s business help site at econhelp.census.gov or by calling (800) 233-6136.
An advance report on the Pet Care Industry is due to be published in December 2013.