To get under the hood and see the inner workings of the U.S. economy, delve into BEA’s industry data. These statistics show which industries are growing or shrinking, and how much each contributes to the nation’s economic growth. They capture the flow of goods and services from one industry to another, as well as sales to consumers, and show changes over time in employment, compensation, and gross output.

BEA’s industry groupings generally follow the North American Industry Classification System, better known as NAICS codes (pronounced “nakes”). Data are produced for broad sectors such as manufacturing or retail trade, and also for subcategories such as computer and electronic parts manufacturing or food and beverage stores.

What can you do with industry data?

Answer questions like

  • Which U.S. industries are expanding fastest?
  • Which industries contributed most to your state’s economic growth?
  • How much of an industry’s growth is due to price inflation? 

Industry statistics are widely used for estimating the effects of various policies, regulations, and tax proposals. The U.S. International Trade Commission uses them to gauge the impact of trade policies. The Patent and Trademark Office uses them to measure copyright-related industries. The detailed statistics from BEA's input-output accounts are the building blocks for our estimates of gross domestic product, and other agencies such as the Bureau of Labor Statistics rely on these data as well.

BEA estimates include:

GDP by Industry

GDP by industry measures an industry’s contribution to the gross domestic product of the United States. It's also known as "value added by industry."

An industry's value added is the market value it adds in production, or the difference between the price at which it sells its products and the cost of the inputs it purchases from other industries. For example, when a baker makes and sells a birthday cake, the baker's value added is the market price of the cake minus the cost of the eggs and other inputs that the baker uses. The baker's work making and selling the cake counts as part of the manufacturing industry's contribution to GDP while the farmer's production of eggs is part of the farming industry's contribution to GDP. Value added for all U.S. industries combined is equal to the nation's GDP.

GDP by industry data also include compensation of employees, gross operating surplus, and taxes.

Estimates released quarterly and annually.

Gross Output by Industry

Gross output is principally a measure of sales or receipts, and it's roughly equal to the market value of the products an industry sells. Unlike BEA's value added statistics, the cost of an industry's inputs, such as the eggs that a baker buys to make a cake, are not subtracted when calculating gross output. This means some double-counting occurs. The same eggs included in the farmer's gross output are also embedded in the value of the cake that's part of the baker’s gross output. Because of this, gross output for all U.S. industries combined is larger than the nation's GDP.

By including the business-to-business spending necessary to produce goods and services and deliver them to final consumers, gross output statistics reflect the full value of the supply chain.

Released quarterly and annually with GDP by industry.

Input-Output Accounts

The I-O accounts are detailed tables showing how industries interact with each other and the rest of the economy.

Supply tables show the total value of goods and services available in the domestic economy, including production of these goods and services by domestic industries and imports of these goods and services from foreign producers.

Use tables show how the supply of goods and services is used, including domestic purchases by industries, individuals, and government, and exports to foreign purchasers.

Requirements tables summarize the full supply chain by showing how production relies on both direct and indirect inputs. For example, flour is a direct input for a baker while wheat (used in the production of flour) is an indirect input for the baker. The requirements tables can be used to analyze the economic repercussions of a natural disaster or other event that changes spending patterns.

Employment by Industry

Statistics on national employment and compensation by industry are found in our Interactive Data in Section 6 of the National Income and Product Account Tables. State employment and compensation by industry are in the Regional Data section.

Updated annually.

Note: In addition to the data above, BEA also produces underlying detail tables for industry statistics. These tables should be used with caution, however, because the quality of the data is lower than the published data covering higher-level industry aggregates.

Learn more:

Primer on BEA’s Industry Accounts

Concepts and Methods of the U.S. Input-Output Accounts

Guide to GDP by Industry Tables in BEA's Interactive Data

Survey of Current Business: Integrated Input-Output and Gross Domestic Product by Industry Accounts for 1947-1996 [PDF] | February 2016

Regional Modeling
BEA's Regional Input-Output Modeling System (RIMS II) is a customizable tool used in economic impact studies. RIMS II multipliers – created by BEA for a fee – are used by planners, elected officials, and investors to assess a project’s potential economic effects on a region.

Special Topics
BEA zooms in for a closer look at some industries, such as arts and culture, health care, travel and tourism, outdoor recreation, and the digital economy. To learn about these, see the Special Topics learning page.

To learn more about employment by industry statistics, see the Employment learning page.

To learn about the Integrated Industry-Level Production Account, also known as the KLEMS accounts, see the Special Topics learning page.