Results of CNMI’s 2017 Economic Census now out


From left, supervisory survey statistician of the Economic Census Section Lawrence Montgomery III, Commerce Secretary Mark O. Rabauliman, Lt. Gov. Arnold I. Palacios, U.S. Economic Census assistant survey director staff chief Robert Nusz, and CNMI Department of Commerce Central Statistics Division director Justin Andrew. (CONTRIBUTED PHOTO)

The results of the 2017 Economic Census of the Commonwealth are now out, according to a press statement yesterday from the Department of Commerce’s Central Statistics Division.

Every five years, the U.S. Census Bureau collects data and reports the economic conditions of all sectors of American businesses across the nNation by conducting the Economic Census and the Economic Census of Island Areas (CNMI, Guam, American Samoa, US Virgin Islands).

The 2017 Economic Census give information based on what was happening in the CNMI economy at the time it was conducted. The CNMI is currently experiencing extraordinary economic circumstances as a result of devastating natural disasters and now the coronavirus.

“We are a resilient community and the recovery and the data from this important economic report can be used to assist us in our policy formulations and planning as we seek every means in moving our economy in a positive direction,” the statement quoted Gov. Ralph DLG Torres and Lt. Gov. Arnold I. Palacios as saying.

Commerce Secretary Mark O. Rabauliman explained that the Economic Census of Island Areas is the most comprehensive measure of the economy and provides industry statistics for the entire Commonwealth as a whole, and for Saipan, Tinian, and Rota individually.

“I am very grateful for the participation of all our businesses on the three islands in providing the data needed. The CNMI’s Census response rate of close to 90% compared to 75% response rate in the U.S. mainland is phenomenal,” Rabauliman said. “ I would like to thank my Central Statistics Division staff for a job well done including all of the government agencies who played important roles in the successful completion of the CNMI’s Economic Census.”

The Economic Census was a collaborative effort between the CNMI Department of Commerce’s Central Statistics Division and the U.S. Census Bureau’s Economic Census section. U.S. Economic Census assistant survey director staff chief Robert Nusz and supervisory survey statistician of the Economic Census section Lawrence Montgomery III visited the CNMI last week to meet with CNMI leadership and release the report.

During their visit Nusz said, “The U.S. Census Bureau has released the results of the 2017 Economic Census of Island Areas covering the CNMI. Estimates are available for the CNMI overall and for the three municipalities at the 2- through selected 5-digit North American Industry Classification System code levels for all covered NAICS codes that meet publication standards. These statistics include the number of establishments, total employment, annual payroll and total sales and receipts or revenue. Data on expenses, inventories and a wide variety of statistics are also available for selected sectors. The Economic Census of Island Areas is conducted once every five years, for years that end in “2” and “7,” and collects extensive statistics about businesses that are essential to understanding the CNMI economy. This official count serves as the foundation for the measurement of CNMI businesses and their economic impact and is a major component of the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis’ annual gross domestic product estimates.”

A few highlights of the results:

There were 1,742 total establishments in CNMI in 2017, with combined sales of over $3.6 billion, over $419 million in annual payroll, and 22,652 employees.

Of the 1,742 establishments in CNMI in 2017, 1,675 were in Saipan municipality, 29 were in Rota municipality and 38 were in Tinian municipality.

The industry with the largest number of establishments in 2017 was Retail Trade, with 332 establishments and over $460 million in combined sales—an increase from 284 establishments and over $314 million in sales in 2012. Within Retail Trade, there were 27 establishments in the Motor vehicle and parts industry, NAICS code 441, with combined sales of over $80 million.

All dollar values are expressed in current dollars and are not adjusted for price changes. The Economic Census of Island Areas covers only businesses with paid employees.

All 19 tables containing 2017 Economic Census of Island areas data covering the CNMI can be accessed at (PR)

Press Release
News under Press Release are official statements issued to Saipan Tribune giving information on a particular matter.

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