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Industry Research Library Guide: HOME


Researching an industry can be an involved process requiring you to consult many types of resources. A suggested first course of action is to determine the relevant industry code(s) for the industry you are studying. These codes will help you to efficiently locate industry information within many sources. The types of information sources you will need to utilize may include, but are not limited to, the following: industry profiles or overviews, industry surveys, industry and market forecasts, statistical sources of economic information, financial ratios, rankings and market share, economic census information, and articles in business journals or news sources. Learning about an industry is a multi-step process challenging you to analyze data from numerous and varied sources. This data can be pieced together to form a complete and informative picture of the industry you are exploring.

Industry Codes

In the United States, there are two primary numbering systems used to identify industries. Because several of the databases allow you to search by these codes, locating the relevant code can be very useful when researching an industry.

NAICS: North American Industrial Classification System is the newer of the two systems and is gradually being established as the standard classification system for industries in the United States, Canada and Mexico. It is revised every five years.

SIC: Standard Industrial Classification is the older of the two systems. SIC numbers are gradually being phased out, but are still used in databases and some print sources. SIC codes have been traditionally used for U.S. industries.

Additional Sources:

North American Industry Classification System: United States, 2012
READY REF HF1042 .N67 2012 (Held at Reference Desk)
Executive Office of the President, Office of Management and Budget

NAICS Concordances
Detailed descriptions of the direct relationships between classification systems:
2012: 2012 NAICS to 2007 NAICS; 2012 NAICS to ISIC Rev. 4
2007: 2007 NAICS to 2012 NAICS; 2007 NAICS to 2002 NAICS; 2007 NAICS to ISIC 4;
   2007 NAICS to ISIC Rev. 4
2002: 2002 NAICS to 2007 NAICS; 2002 NAICS to 1997 NAICS; 2002 NAICS to 1987
   SIC; 2002 NAICS to ISIC Rev. 3.1; 2002 NAICS to NACE Rev. 1.1
1997: 1997 NAICS to 2002 NAICS; 1997 NAICS to 1987 SIC
1987: 1987 SIC to 2002 NAICS; 1987 SIC to 1997 NAICS

North American Industry Classification System at BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics)
Includes links to: Implementation Schedule for the BLS, BLS NAICS Aggregation Titles, Industry at a Glance, SIC Search, NAICS Search, NAICS to SIC/SIC to NAICS, Census Background Papers, BLS Background Papers, and Census NAICS Page.

Standard Industrial Classification System Search
U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety & Health Administration. Allows the user to search the 1987 version SIC manual by keyword, to access descriptive information for a specified 2, 3, or 4-digit SIC, and to examine the manual structure.

Business & Economics Government Documents

Christine Adams's picture
Christine Adams
Christine Adams, MLS
Co-Director & Head of Research and Academic Support
William F. Maag Jr. Library
Information Services
Phone: 330.941.3681