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Industry Resources

Industry Research Tips

Industry research tips:

  • Identify your industry. In order to perform more efficient research, you'll want a clearly defined industry to start with.
  • Try related terms for keyword searches, like "apparel" vs. "clothing." Databases may have different terms for the same or similar industry.
  • Try different databases included in the Reports and News sections of this guide. Each covers different industries, with some overlap.
  • Industry code designations, like NAICS or SIC codes, are NOT uniform across databases. You may have to adjust your search as you use different databases.
  • Use trade or professional associations as they often produce and publish helpful reports and data.

North American Industry Classification System (NAICS)

The North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) is used to classify the industry or industries in which a business operates. This standard is used by Federal statistical agencies to classify businesses for the purpose of collecting, analyzing, and publishing statistical data related to the economy. Knowing the code for your industry will help you find reports, articles, and other information on that industry. Even though the codes are standardized, different resources will assign codes differently. Additionally, many companies can have multiple codes because of their various business segments. Be flexible and cautious when using codes to search, and always check multiple sources. Sometimes there isn't a perfect or obvious code.

Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

The Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS) provides information profiles for over 100 national industries. Profiles include statistics and reports on labor-related topics, such as business costs, employee benefits, occupational outlook, and forecasts. The industries are broken down into 12 supersectors, based on North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes: Construction, Education & Health Services, Financial Activities, Government, Information, Leisure & Hospitality, Manufacturing, Natural Resources & Mining, Other Services, Professional & Business Services, Transportation & Utilities, and Wholesale & Retail Trade.