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NAIC System replaces Standard Industrial Classification

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According to the U.S. Office of Management and Budget, the official U.S. reference manual for implementing the new North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) was scheduled to be available at the end of June in both printed and electronic versions from the National Technical Information Service.

The manual reflects the most significant restructuring of industry categories in more than a half century, according to a news release from the U.S. OMB.

NAICS, developed jointly by the United States, Canada and Mexico to help harmonize economic data, replaces the Standard Industrial Classification system, or SIC.

The new reference manual was created following a five-year interagency development process carried out in conjunction with industry groups. Decisions for the adoption of NAICS-United States were published by OMB in an April 9, 1997, Federal Register notice.

"With the publication of the manual, users now have a tool to put NAICS to work," said Katherine K. Wallman, chief statistician of the United States, in the release. "Establishments can determine the NAICS code for their type of business activity, as well as reclassify their lists of customers and suppliers according to the new system."

NAICS identifies more than 350 new industries and nine new service-industry sectors. Many of the industries reflect the new "Information Age" economy, such as fiber-optic cable manufacturing and satellite telecommunications.

In addition, other new industry classifications recognize changes in the way business is conducted by establishing codes for health maintenance organization medical centers, environmental consulting, bed and breakfast establishments, and diet and weight-reduction centers, the release stated.

NAICS employs a hierarchical structure and groups the economy into 20 broad sectors, doubling the 10 divisions of the SIC system. U.S. industries are identified in NAICS-United States by six-digit codes, in contrast to the four-digit SIC codes, according to the release.

Federal agencies will implement

NAICS from 1999 to 2004. For example, among the first major data programs to use the new system are the U.S. Census Bureau's 1997 Economic Census, with advance statistics due to be released early in 1999, and the Bureau of Economic Analysis' 1997 Foreign Direct Investment Benchmark Survey, which will also be published in 1999.

Most current economic surveys conducted by the Census Bureau, such as Monthly Retail Sales, will switch to

NAICS by 2001; the Bureau of Labor Statistics will begin its conversion to a

NAICS basis with its Employment and Wages Report for the 2000 reference year.

The NAICS-United States Manual includes:

?Definitions for each industry.

?Tables showing correspondence between 1997 NAICS and 1987 SIC codes.

?An alphabetical index of types of business activities and their NAICS codes.

A CD-ROM version of the manual includes features not available in print versions:

?A search option, including access to more comprehensive index entries; and NAICS-SIC and SIC-NAICS code-comparison files that can be imported into databases and spreadsheets.

The National Technical Information Service is now accepting orders at 800-553-6847 or 703-605-6000. The manual is available in hardcover, softcover or CD-ROM.

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