The U.S. Census Bureau today announced the start of data collection for its new survey to measure business conditions on an ongoing basis. The Business Trends and Outlook Survey (BTOS) is the successor to the Small Business Pulse Survey(SBPS), a high-frequency survey that measured the effect of changing business conditions during the coronavirus pandemic and other major events like hurricanes on our nation’s small businesses.
BTOS will increase the scope of the SBPS to include large single-location employer businesses (those with 500 or more employees). It will provide insight into the state of the economy by providing continuous, timely data for key economic measures every two weeks.
BTOS data are representative of all single-location employer businesses in the U.S. economy, excluding farms. By providing continuous data with geographic and subsector detail, BTOS will capture the impact of events like natural disasters and economic crises and assist in monitoring recovery efforts.
The BTOS sample will consist of approximately 1.2 million businesses with biweekly data collection. Selected businesses will be split into six panels (approximately 200,000 cases per panel) asked to report every 12 weeks for a year. The Census Bureau estimates it will take an average of six minutes to complete the survey, including the time needed to review instructions and answers.
Beginning in September, experimental statistics will be released biweekly and available by sector, state and the 25 most populous metropolitan statistical areas. Survey results will provide local, state and federal officials with essential, real-time data to aid in policy and decision-making. They will also help businesses make economic decisions.