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Nov 17 -- The Census Bureau has asked OMB to approve its proposal for the 2020 Annual Survey of Manufactures (ASM) and research regarding the design of the ASM in future years. It invites ASM data users to submit comments to OMB by December 17, 2020.
 
The ASM furnishes up-to-date estimates of employment, payroll, hours, wages of production workers, value added by manufacture, cost of materials, value of shipments by NAPCS product code, inventories, cost of employer's fringe benefits, operating expenses, and expenditures for new and used plant and equipment. The survey provides data for most of these items at the two- through six-digit NAICS levels. The ASM also provides geographic data by state at a more aggregated industry level.
 
The Census Bureau is requesting revisions to the current OMB approval for removal of un-used content (for all years, 2020 to 2023), to include content related to the coronavirus pandemic and to revise the payroll and employment questions.

The ASM statistics are based on a survey that includes both mail and nonmail components.  The mail portion of the 2020 ASM consists of a probability sample that was designed from the 2017 Economic Census and contains the same industry strata and establishments from the 2019 ASM, updated with births.  The 2019 ASM sample was based the 2017 North American Industry Classification System (NAICS).

The 2020 ASM mailout is expected to be approximately 49,000 establishments.  This is the second year of the latest sample and is based within the same structure as 2019.  The 2019 ASM establishments were selected from the eligible mail frame of approximately 104,900 establishments.  The frame contained all manufacturing establishments of multiple-establishment firms (firms with operations at more than one location) and the largest single-establishment manufacturing firms within each industry.  The 2019 ASM nonmail component contains approximately 186,700, small and medium-sized single-establishment firms.  Births are added annually to the mail sample and the nonmail component, and no data are collected from firms in the nonmail component.  Data are imputed based on models that incorporate the administrative records of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the Social Security Administration (SSA), and the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) or are based on industry averages. Though the nonmail firms account for nearly two-thirds of the universe, they account for about 6 percent of the manufacturing output.
 
Proposed changes to the 2020 ASM, including added, revised, and eliminated questions, are summarized in the FR notice, which also contains directions on commenting: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/11/17/2020-25341/agency-information-collection-activities-submission-to-the-office-of-management-and-budget-omb-for
Detail on eliminated questions:  https://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/DownloadDocument?objectID=106214700

The ASM is currently doing research to add the M3UFO (unfilled orders) questions to the ASM for Survey Year 2021 (see Attachment F, Item 5C for the question that will be tested).  A combination of phone and in-person cognitive interviews with up to 40 respondents, over two rounds will begin in October 2020 and will likely conclude by March 2021.  If it is determined that respondents are able to provide unfilled orders data at the establishment level, Census plans to move the unfilled orders content to the ASM.  By collecting this content on the ASM, Census would eliminate the M3UFO survey.  Draft question: https://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/DownloadDocument?objectID=106215700

ASM webpage:  https://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/asm.html
ASM package submitted to OMB: https://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAViewICR?ref_nbr=202011-0607-003 Click on IC list for survey instruments, View Supporting Statement for details on proposed changes, methods, timeline, and planned research.  
 
Point of contact: Marlo N. Thornton, Assistant Division Chief for Manufacturing, Mining, and Construction Sectors of the Economy-Wide Statistics Division, Census Bureau  (301) 763-7170  marlo.n.thornton@census.gov
 
For AEA members wishing to provide comments, "A Primer on How to Respond to Calls for Comment on Federal Data Collections" is available at https://www.aeaweb.org/content/file?id=5806

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