Home > Box: Data by Industry of Affiliate and by Industry of Sales

Box: Data by Industry of Affiliate and by Industry of Sales

Most data from the benchmark survey are classified by industry of affiliate. For this classification, an affiliate's primary industry—that is, the industry that accounts for the largest portion of its sales—is determined, and all data are shown in that industry even if the affiliate also has activities in secondary industries.

Sales and employment are also classified by industry of sales. For this classification, an affiliate's sales and employment are shown in those industries rather than in the affiliate's primary industry. Employment classified by industry of sales should generally approximate that classified by industry of establishment (plant), because an affiliate that has an establishment in an industry usually also has sales in that industry./1/

Data classified by industry of sales are preferable for analyses of the various activities in which diversified enterprises are engaged. The pattern of change in employment by industry of sales may differ from the pattern by industry of affiliate because the changes in employment in affiliates' secondary industries may not parallel those in their primary industries. A change in an affiliate's industry of classification may also cause these patterns to differ; when employment is classified by industry of affiliate, all employees are shifted from the old industry to the new one, but when it is classified by industry of sales, changes in employment for an industry reflect only actual changes in employment in that industry.

  1. However, if one establishment of an affiliate provides all of its output to another establishment of the affiliate, the affiliate will not have sales in the industry of the first establishment. For example, if an affiliate operates both a metal mine and a metal-manufacturing plant and if the entire output of the mine is used by the manufacturing plant, all of the affiliate's sales will be in metal manufacturing, and none in metal mining. When the mining employees are distributed by industry of sales, they are classified in manufacturing even though the industry of the establishment is mining.