NAICS is an industry classification system that classifies economic units that have similar production processes in the same industry. This is a supply-based or production-oriented economic concept. Statistics Canada, Mexico's Instituto Nacional de Estadistica Geografia e Informatica (INEGI), and the Economic Classification Policy Committee (ECPC) of the United States, acting on behalf of the Office of Management and Budget, created a common classification system that replaced the existing classification systems of each country, the Standard Industrial Classification (1980) of Canada, the Mexican Classification of Activities and Products (1994), and the Standard Industrial Classification (1987) of the United States. It is used by BEA for the estimates of the private sector only, although it is designed to cover both public and private earnings and employment activities.

The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by state and metropolitan area estimates currently use the 2007 NAICS.

The state and local area personal income, earnings, and employment estimates currently use the 2002, 2007, and 2012 NAICS.

For descriptions of NAICS industries, please see at the Census Bureau.