JAN. 19, 2023 — The U.S. Census Bureau today released data from the Business Trends and Outlook Survey (BTOS), a survey that measures business conditions on an ongoing basis. The 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.
The BTOS increases the scope of the SBPS to include large single-location employer businesses (those with 500 or more employees). It provides 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 captures the impact of events like natural disasters and economic crises and assists in monitoring recovery efforts.
The BTOS sample consists of approximately 1.2 million businesses with biweekly data collection. Selected businesses are split into six panels (approximately 200,000 cases per panel) that will be asked to report every 12 weeks for a year. The Census Bureau estimates it takes the average respondent approximately six minutes to complete the survey, including the time for reviewing the instructions and answers.
Starting October 13, data will be released biweekly and available by sector, state and the 25 most populous metropolitan statistical areas. Survey results give local, state and federal officials essential, real-time data to aid in policy and decision-making. In addition, the information aids businesses in making economic decisions.