0 votes
asked ago by (54.9k points)
Oct 30 -- The U.S. Census Bureau (Census) invites comments to OMB by November 30, 2023 on the proposal for the Annual Integrated Economic Survey (AIES). [Comments due 30 days after submission to OMB on October 31.]

In June 2023, OMB granted approval of an AIES Dress Rehearsal, with the stipulation that Census will submit a revision request documenting any changes to the forms or procedures prior to implementing a full scale AIES. This revision request documents the modifications that transpired between Census obtaining that OMB clearance and the present.

Census requests OMB approval to conduct the AIES on an annual basis, beginning for survey year 2023 (collected in calendar year 2024) and a preparatory AIES Dress Rehearsal for survey year 2022 (collected in calendar year 2023). The AIES is a new survey designed to integrate and replace seven existing annual business surveys into one survey. The AIES will provide the only comprehensive national and subnational data on business revenues, expenses, and assets on an annual basis. The AIES is designed to combine Cenlong-termu collections to reduce respondent burden, increase data quality, and allow Census to operate more efficiently to reduce long term costs. The existing collections integrated into the AIES are the Annual Retail Trade Survey (ARTS), Annual Wholesale Trade Survey (AWTS), Service Annual Survey (SAS), Annual Survey of Manufactures (ASM), Annual Capital Expenditures Survey (ACES), Manufacturers' Unfilled Orders Survey (M3UFO), and the Report of Organization.

The AIES will collect the following information from employer businesses in sample:

-- Business characteristics, including employment, operating status, organizational change, ownership information, and co-op status.
-- Business classification, including business activity, type of operation, and tax status.
-- Revenue, including sales, shipments, and receipts, revenue by class of customer, taxes, contributions, gifts, and grants, products, and e-commerce activity.
-- Operating expenses, including purchased services, payroll, benefits, rental payments, utilities, interest, resales, equipment, materials and supplies, research and development, and other detailed operating expenses.
-- Assets, including capital expenditures, inventories, and depreciable assets.
-- Robotic equipment expenditures and usage.

Additional topics of collections in the AIES include sources of revenue and/or expense for providers (e.g., hospitals and other businesses in the health industry) of select services such as inpatient days, outpatient visits to hospitals, patient visits for other selected health industries, revenue from telemedicine services, and expenses for electronic health records. Product data will be collected from businesses operating in manufacturing industries. Merchandise lines data will be collected from businesses operating in select retail industries. Detailed inventories will be collected for select businesses operating in transportation services industries (e.g., trucks, truck tractors, and trailers).

The AIES may include new questions each year based on relevant business topics. Potential topics for such new questions could include technological advances, management and business practices, export practices, and globalization. Any new questions will be submitted to OMB for review using the appropriate clearance vehicle.

In September 2023, Census began conducting a Dress Rehearsal for the AIES with approximately 8,470 companies. The Dress Rehearsal will collect survey year 2022 information. The Dress Rehearsal will be a large-scale test of the forms and procedures planned for the AIES. The Dress rehearsal will allow us to examine patterns of non-response and to determine what additional support respondents will need. Paradata gathered from respondents' interactions with the online collection instrument during the Dress Rehearsal will help refine our burden estimate. We will also compare the quality of responses received to historical data collected in the 7 surveys the AIES will replace. Up to 50, 1-hour debriefing interviews with respondents will also be conducted.

To minimize the burden imposed on most respondents already in sample for the seven annual surveys the AIES will replace, we will use the AIES responses from companies that participate in the Dress Rehearsal to satisfy their reporting requirement for the annual survey(s) for which they are in sample for the 2022 survey year. As the AIES Dress Rehearsal will be conducted during the same calendar year as we will be conducting the 2022 Economic Census, we may use the AIES Dress Rehearsal to supplement Economic Census responses.

After conclusion of the Dress Rehearsal, and based on refinements made to forms and procedures, Census will begin conducting the full-scale AIES in 2024, collecting survey year 2023 information. The target population of the AIES includes all domestic, private sector, non-farm employer businesses in the United States (50 states and DC) as defined by the 2017 NAICS. Exclusions are foreign operations of U.S. businesses headquartered in the U.S. territories and most government operations (including the USPS), agricultural production companies and private households. Based on this target population, the AIES will select a stratified sequential random sample of approximately 384,940 companies from a frame of approximately 5.4 million companies constructed from the BR, the Census Bureau's master business list. Businesses which reported business activity on IRS tax forms 941, “Employer's Quarterly Federal Tax Return”; 944, “Employer's Annual Federal Tax Return”; 1065 “U.S. Return of Partnership Income”; or any one of the 1120 corporate tax forms will be eligible for selection. The AIES will collect company, industry, and establishment information for all sampled enterprises with one or more operating locations in the United States and DC.

In an effort to provide a holistic company view and replace the functions of the Report of Organization Survey with the AIES to maintain and update the BR as a master list of businesses, the AIES will also collect limited company, industry, and establishment information for select enterprises with one or more operating locations in associated offshore areas (referred to, collectively, as “Stateside”) as well as in the U.S. territories of Puerto Rico, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and American Samoa (referred to, collectively, as “Island Areas”). In addition, any international locations of select enterprises are included if they have U.S. employees.

The public administration sector (NAICS 92), agriculture production activities (NAICS 111, 112), the postal service (NAICS 491), funds and trusts (NAICS 525), offices of notaries (NAICS 54112), and private households (NAICS 814) are considered to be out-of-scope to the AIES program. Activities for establishments in these industries belonging to sampled enterprises will also be collected. Enterprises that are exclusively engaged in these industries will not be selected.

Non-employer businesses are not within the scope of the AIES. Census will submit a separate request for approval to collect data from non-employer businesses, if it is determined that a collection is needed to produce those estimates.

The AIES will replace the ARTS, AWTS, SAS, ASM, ACES, M3UFO, and the Report of Organization for survey year 2023, at which time the Census Bureau will officially sunset these programs. The ASM and the Report of Organization completed their final year of data collection in survey year 2021. ACES, ARTS, AWTS, SAS, and M3UFO will complete their final year of data collection in survey year 2022.

Estimates currently published in ARTS, AWTS, SAS, ASM, and ACES will be produced as part of the AIES and expanded to include subnational data across the economy. Previously, the ASM was the only annual survey being integrated into the AIES that produced subnational data. The AIES will produce subnational data for manufacturing, retail, wholesale, and service sectors if quality standards are met. The AIES information previously collected on the Report of Organization will continue to be used to update the Census Bureau's BR, and the AIES data previously collected on the M3UFO will continue to be used for the Manufacturers' Shipments, Inventories, and Orders (M3) Survey benchmarking purposes.

Based on the use of the data of the existing collections, estimates produced from the AIES will serve as a benchmark for Census Bureau indicator programs, such as the Advance Monthly Sales for Retail and Food Services (MARTS), the Monthly Retail Trade Survey (MRTS), Manufacturers' Shipments Inventories & Orders (M3), Monthly Wholesale Trade Survey (MWTS), and the Quarterly Services Survey (QSS). Like the previous collections, the AIES will provide updates to the Longitudinal Research Database (LRD), and Census Bureau staff and academic researchers with special sworn status will continue to use the LRD for micro data analysis. The Census Bureau will also continue to use information collected in the AIES to update and maintain the centralized, multipurpose BR that provides sampling populations and enumeration lists for the Census Bureau's economic surveys and censuses.

BEA will continue to use the estimates to derive industry output for the input-output accounts and for GDP. BLS will continue to use the data as input to its PPI and in developing productivity measurements; the FRB will continue to use the data to prepare the Index of Industrial Production, to improve estimates of investment indicators for monetary policy, and in monitoring retail credit lending; the CMS will continue to use the data to estimate expenditures for the National Health Accounts and for monitoring and evaluating healthcare industries; and Treasury will continue to use the data to analyze depreciation and to research economic trends.

AIES: https://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/aies.html
Census submission to OMB: https://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAViewICR?ref_nbr=202310-0607-003 Click IC List for data collection instruments, View Supporting Statement for newly added technical documentation. Submit comments through this webpage.
FRN: https://www.federalregister.gov/d/2023-23908

For AEA members wishing to submit 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

Please log in or register to answer this question.