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NAICS Primer

by Chloe Campbell
March 2017

Editor's note: I apologize. I switched the January and March articles. Here is the background article to clarify the series.

The Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) is a program managed by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Every quarter analysts with the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), working on the QCEW program, use employment and wage information reported to the State of Minnesota's Unemployment Insurance (UI) program to produce a comprehensive summary of wage and employment information. Wage and employment data are also collected and tabulated on federal employees covered under the Unemployment Compensation for Federal Employees (UCFE) program. This information is made available to the public and includes data on the number of establishments, monthly employment, and quarterly wages by NAICS industry sector, by county and community, and by ownership sector for the entire state. The ability of the QCEW program to provide this detailed and accurate information rests partly on the program's reliance on the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS).

NAICS is the standard used by federal and state statistical agencies to classify business establishments for the purpose of collecting, analyzing, and publishing statistical data related to the U.S. business economy ( NAICS relies on numerical codes to classify establishments. There are a total of 20 NAICS sectors (see table below). Within the 20 NAICS sectors, there are 1,170 6-digit subsectors. The first two digits designate the economic sector, the third digit designates the subsector, the fourth digit designates the industry group, the fifth digit designates the NAICS industry, and the sixth digit designates the national industry (

Over the course of 2017 the Minnesota Employment Review will spotlight each of the NAICS sectors and provide a detailed description of all 20 sectors for the reader. The goal is to help readers understand how industry classifications are structured and what each industry sector includes both in Minnesota and across the nation.

Code NAICS Sectors Code NAICS Sectors
11 Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing, and Hunting 53 Real Estate and Rental and Leasing
21 Mining 54 Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services
22 Utilities 55 Management of Companies and Enterprises
23 Construction 56 Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services
31-33 Manufacturing 61 Educational Services
42 Wholesale Trade 62 Health Care and Social Assistance
44-45 Retail Trade 71 Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation
48-49 Transportation and Warehousing 72 Accommodation and Food Services
51 Information 81 Other Services (except Public Administration)
52 Finance and Insurance 92 Public Administration
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