CNMI Economic Census begins

Secretary of Commerce Mark O. Rabauliman (center), meets with (3rd from left) Assistant Survey Director for Economic Census, William Samples, (5th from left) chief, Economic Census Assistant Survey director staff Robert Nusz flanked by CSD director Justin H. Andrew and staff, Fermin Sakisat Jr., Jenny Rospel, Yohei Iwashita and Brieanna Oronigo. (Contributed Photo)

The 2017 CNMI Economic Census now starts, through the CNMI Department of Commerce Central Statistics Division, in collaboration with the U.S. Census Bureau’s Economic Census.

The U.S. Census Bureau measures the nation’s population once every 10 years. Every five years, the Census Bureau also paints an important portrait of American businesses across the nation by conducting the Economic Census and the Economic Census of Island Areas such as Guam, American Samoa, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The ECIA is the most comprehensive measure of the U.S. territory economy and it will provide industry statistics for the entire Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and for Saipan, Tinian, and Rota separately. 

It is the official five-year measure of U.S. territory businesses collected for years ending in “2” and “7.” The next ECIA will be conducted in the second quarter of 2018, with employer businesses reporting their 2017 year-end numbers. 

Commerce Secretary Mark O. Rabauliman noted that the ECIA data serves as the foundation for the gross domestic product and these statistics are also used by trade associations, economic development agencies, governments and individual businesses for business decisions and policymaking.

According to Gov. Ralph DLG Torres, the increase in business development in the Commonwealth is evident.

“By looking at the recent gross domestic product report as well as what we all see happening on the grounds in our islands, there is so much to quantify in our efforts to be more reflective to the needs of our islands. New data from the Economic Census will allow us to reposition ourselves to continue to seek other means to keep our economy moving in a positive direction,” Torres said.

Rabauliman said the mail-out of the ECIA will begin in early May with a due date of June 12, 2018.

ECIA companies will report information for each location including revenue, employees, payroll, and the value of goods or services produced in 2017. Questions are tailored by industry and size.  

Response is required by law under Title 13, U.S. Code and all is kept confidential. The Census Bureau is required by law to keep information private and secure. Federal law protects all businesses responses and ensures the data can only be used for statistical purposes.

For the 2017 Economic Census of Island Areas, private sector employers will be asked to complete the economic census online. Online reporting is easy, improves accuracy, and reduces cost and processing times. For secure online reporting, instructions and a unique company code will be provided to respondents by the Census Bureau via official U.S. mail. Respondents will be instructed to set up an online account on a secure website to complete survey. Small companies located in U.S. territories will have a paper option available.

The CNMI Statistical Act also requires business establishments to respond to this census, said Rabauliman.

“I urge our businesses to take some time to respond to the census once they receive their questionnaires. My CSD staff have been sworn by the Economic Census staff who visited us on April 9 and 10 and are currently undergoing training and background checks to assist in this important project,” he said.

The 2017 Economic Census results for CNMI will be available in October 2019.

The Central Statistics Division is prepared to assist businesses with any questions for completing the census questionnaire at 664-3023/45.

For previous Economic Census results, visit https://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/economic-census/about/island-areas.html. (PR)

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