We all know that industries evolve to offer new products or services in new ways. Over time, industries also experience changes in the ways customers find and purchase their goods and services. For instance, ecommerce has supplanted mail-order to become the dominant method of purchasing goods outside of brick-and-mortar stores.

In response to these fundamental changes, the federal government modifies its definitions of industries to provide a better statistical representation in its Economic Census. Prior to the federal government’s census of businesses, which occurs every five years, industries are analyzed to determine if modifications should be made to their scope and therefore their identification code, aka the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code.

The federal government recently conducted such an analysis in preparation for the 2022 Economic Census. While most industries saw little to no change, some underwent significant modifications to their scope, NAICS, and names. The most notable changes occurred in the Retail, Information, and Finance Sectors. Here’s a quick highlight of the changes:

Retail Sector (NAICS 44-45)

Nearly all retail industries experienced a code change to reflect the federal statistical agencies’ addition of related ecommerce and direct-selling establishments to the otherwise brick-and-mortar industries. To highlight the inclusion of ecommerce, the naming convention shifted from “Stores” to “Retailers.” For example, Shoe Stores are now referred to as Shoe Retailers by the federal statistical agencies. Vertical IQ does not plan to change our naming convention, but we have historically covered ecommerce as a function of retail industries.

Information Sector (NAICS 51)

Similar to retail, some information sector industries have been revised to include online-based functions, such as Internet publishing and online broadcasting.  

Finance and Insurance Sector (NAICS 52)

In this sector, some related industries were combined. For example, Commodities Contracts Dealing (2017 NAICS: 523130) and Commodities Contracts Brokerage (2017 NAICS: 523140) have been combined to form Commodities Contracts Intermediation (2022 NAICS: 523160). The 2017 names and codes are being retired. 

In Conclusion

For greater detail into how industry codes changed and a complete list of affected industries, check out the NAICS 2022 Manual produced by the US Census Bureau.

We understand that change can be difficult, and not everyone is as dialed into or as excited about industry codes as we are. So, for your convenience, Vertical IQ is retaining the 2017 NAICS codes in our database, while adding in the new 2022 NAICS codes. This gives you the ability to search by 2017 or 2022 NAICS codes to locate industry reports.

>> For details on some of the industries that Vertical IQ covers, visit our Industry List page.

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