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Industry Research Guide

Codes

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Industry Codes

In the United States, there are two primary numbering systems used to identify industries. Because several of the databases allow you to search by these codes, locating the relevant code can be very useful when researching an industry.

The SIC or Standard Industrial Classification is the older of the two systems. SIC numbers are gradually being phased out, but are still used in databases and some print sources. SIC codes have been traditionally used for U.S. industries.

The NAICS or North American Industrial Classification System is the newer of the two systems and is gradually being established as the standard classification system for industries in the United States, Canada and Mexico. It is revised every five years.

Industry codes can be located through print or online sources. The resources below will assist you in locating the
code(s) for your industry:

  • North American Industry Classification System (U.S. Census Bureau)
    The North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) is the standard used by Federal statistical agencies in classifying business establishments for the purpose of collecting, analyzing, and publishing statistical data related to the U.S. business economy. NAICS was developed under the auspices of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and adopted in 1997 to replace the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) system. It was developed jointly by the U.S. Economic Classification Policy Committee (ECPC), Statistics Canada, and Mexico’s Instituto Nacional de Estadistica, Geografia e Informatica, to allow for a high level of comparability in business statistics among the North American countries. This official U.S. Government Web site provides the latest information on plans for NAICS revisions, as well as access to various NAICS reference files and tools.
  • 2007 NAICS and Downloadable Files
  • 2002 NAICS and Downlaoadable Files
  • Concordances
    2007 NAICS to ISIC 4; 2007 NAICS to 2002 NAICS; 2002 NAICS to 2007 NAICS; 2002 NAICS to 1997 NAICS; 1997 NAICS to 2002 NAICS; 2002 NAICS to 1987 SIC; 1987 SIC to 2002 NAICS; 1997 NAICS to 1987 SIC; 1987 SIC to 1997 NAICS.
  • North American Industry Classification System at BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics)
    Includes links to: Implementation Schedule for the BLS, BLS NAICS Aggregation Titles, Industry at a Glance, SIC Search, NAICS Search, NAICS to SIC/SIC to NAICS, Census Background Papers, BLS Background Papers, and Census NAICS Page.
  • Standard Industrial Classification System Search
    U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety & Health Administration. This website allows the user to search the 1987 version SIC manual by keyword, to access descriptive information for a specified 2, 3, or 4-digit SIC, and to examine the manual structure.

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