Tracking Industry Changes – the Time Series Advantage

To answer a question like “how has the number of jobs in an industry changed over time?” one must first establish a definition for the industry. This is not necessarily a simple nor straightforward task.

Historically, many analyses relied upon Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) codes. The SIC system was last updated in 1987. The North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) was initially issued in 1992. SIC codes describe businesses based on the products or services they produce, while NAICS classifies businesses based on the processes used to create the products or services.

In addition to these codes, the Your Economy Time Series developed and maintains its own Market Segment designations.

Industries change over time in response to market forces and innovations. In response to these changes, the US Census issues updated NAICS code definitions every five years – adding new codes to describe burgeoning categories while consolidating and/or reinterpreting others. The 2022 NAICS Code definitions include 238 changes.

These updates present additional challenges for using snapshot-based economic data like QCEW, CES or CBP to study the dynamics of jobs per industry over time. How can we tell if the number of jobs in an industry increased, when the definition of the industry itself was modified?

This is where the Your Economy Time Series provides a strategic advantage. We track NAICS, SIC and Market Segments, for every establishment, for every year. We will be using NAICS Concordances provided by US Census to assign a 2022 NAICS code to each of the 46.5+ million records in our database. The new NAICS definitions will be included in our next major database release, expected in April 2023. Using this approach, research about the number of jobs in an industry will clearly show the change in the number of jobs – regardless of the definition of the industry.

Example of NAICS changes over time for broadcast media companies.

 SIC1997 NAICS2002 NAICS2007, 2012 and 2017 NAICS2022 NAICS
Radio4832: Radio Broadcasting513111: Radio Networks   513112: Radio Stations515111: Radio Networks   515112: Radio StationsUnchanged from 2002516110: Radio Broadcasting Stations   516210: Media Streaming Distribution Services, Social Networks & Other Media Networks and Content Providers
Television4832: Television Broadcasting Stations513120: Television Broadcasting515120: Television BroadcastingUnchanged from 2002512120: Television Broadcasting Stations
Cable4841: Cable & Other Pay Television Services513210: Cable Networks  515210: Cable & Other Subscription ProgrammingUnchanged from 2002516210: Media Streaming Distribution Services, Social Networks & Other Media Networks and Content Providers
Internet/Media Streaming7374: Services – Computer Processing & Data Preparation514199: All Other Information Services516110: Internet Publishing and Broadcasting519130: Internet Publishing & Broadcasting & Web Search Portals516210: Media Streaming Distribution Services, Social Networks & Other Media Networks and Content Providers