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The University of Arizona

Eller Online Undergraduate Program in Business Administration

A guide to library resources for business research.

NAICS codes

North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes (pronounced "nakes" codes) are helpful when searching business databases. An industry can have more than one NAICS code. The longer the code, the more specific it is. For example:

722513 — Fast-food restaurants
7225 — Restaurants and other eating places
722 — Food services and drinking places
72 — Accommodation and food services

NAICS categories don't distinguish between small and large business, or between for-profit and non-profit.

Databases for industry research

Great places to start


More focused searches


Advanced tools

See the Tutorials tab for quick lessons on how to use these powerful tools:

Industry snapshots

The U.S. Economic Census is done every 5 years, for years ending in "2" and "7." The most recent data available is from 2012.

Economic Census: Industry Snapshots

To view Industry Snapshots, enter a NAICS code in the search box (e.g., 451211 for book stores). Industry Snapshots provide key statistics such as:

  • Number of establishments in an industry
  • Total sales
  • Sales per capita
  • Employees per establishment
  • A map showing where sales, establishments, and populations are concentrated in the U.S.

Inside the snapshot, there's also a Compare Your Business to Industry Averages feature.

County Business Patterns provide economic data by industry. Data include the number of establishments, employment, first quarter payroll, and annual payroll.