Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census, County Business Patterns. Updated annually. http://www.census.gov/econ/cbp/
An establishment is a single physical location at which business is conducted or where services or industrial operations are performed. It is not necessarily identical with a company or enterprise, which may consist of one establishment or more. When two or more activities are conducted at a single location under a single ownership, all activities are generally grouped together as a single establishment and classified on the basis of its major activity. Establishments with paid employees include all locations with paid employees any time during the year. (A separate data item, Nonemployer establishments, provides the number of establishments without paid employees, (mostly self-employed individuals.) Establishment counts represent the number of locations with paid employees any time during the year. This series excludes government establishments except for wholesale liquor establishments (NAICS 4248), retail liquor stores (NAICS 44531), Book publishers (NAICS 511130), Federally-chartered savings institutions (NAICS 522120), Federally-chartered credit unions (NAICS 522130), and hospitals (NAICS 622).
Paid employment consists of full- and part-time employees, including salaried officers and executives of corporations, who are on the payroll in the pay period including March 12. Included are employees on paid sick leave, holidays, and vacations; not included are proprietors and partners of unincorporated businesses.
Scope and Methodology:
Figures for private nonfarm establishments with paid employees for the U.S. Puerto Rico and the Island Areas are published in County Business Patterns (CBP), an annual statistical series. Basic data items are extracted from the Business Register, a file of all known single and multiestablishment companies maintained and updated by the Bureau of the Census from various Census Bureau programs, such as the 5-year Economic Census, the annual Company Organization Survey, the Annual Survey of Manufactures, and Current Business Surveys, as well as from administrative records of the Internal Revenue Service, Bureau of Labor Statistics, and the Social Security Administration.
Employers without a fixed location within a state (or of unknown county location) are included under a "Statewide" classification at the end of the county tables. This incomplete detail causes only a slight understatement of county employment.