WASHINGTON — The U.S. Census Bureau will be sending questionnaires to an estimated 42,000 laundry and drycleaning businesses in December, launching the 2007 Economic Census.
This census – done every five years – provides official measures of outputs for industries and geographic areas, and serves as the cornerstone of the nation’s economic statistics. Most businesses with five or more paid employees – and a sample of smaller ones – will receive a census form.
The forms ask for basic information such as location, employment, payroll and sales by type of product or service. Businesses that receive a form are required by law (Title 13, U.S. Code) to respond; completed forms will be due by Feb. 12.
Individual responses are confidential, according to the Census Bureau. Federal law prohibits publishing any data that could reveal the identity or activities of an individual firm.
Drycleaning and laundry services are grouped under Code No. 8123 in the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). There are subcategories for coin-operated laundries, drycleaners, commercial laundries, linen supply companies and industrial launderers.
A sample Laundry Services form – for informational purposes only – is available online at http://bhs.econ.census.gov/2007forms/OS81203.pdf.
The 2007 Economic Census Business Help Site – www.census.gov/econhelp – will provide answers to questions that businesses ask most often, and other services, such as verification that a specific report has been received.
Complementing the electronic Help Site is a toll-free “help line” – 800-233-6136 – to be answered by Census Bureau employees starting Dec. 1. Additionally, businesses can send e-mail messages through a secure area of the Business Help Site — www.census.gov/econhelp/securemail.
Data covering calendar year 2007 will be collected and processed during 2008, and the first data will be released beginning in February 2009.
The 2002 Economic Census reported 41,906 “Drycleaning & Laundry Services” establishments employed 371,241 paid workers and logged approximately $20.4 billion in receipts that calendar year.