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Frequently Asked Questions - Construction

Component ID: #ti1689000796

Sector Questions

  1. What type of activity does the 2017 Economic Census of the Construction Sector cover?
  2. What activities determine whether my project is a construction sector activity and should be included in the 2017 Economic Census?
  3. I do not believe that my company or establishment belongs in the construction sector. What should I do?
  4. Fifty percent or more of this establishment's revenues were not derived from activities listed in items 5 (Sales, Shipments, Receipts, or Revenue) and 22 (Detailed of Sales, Shipments, Receipts, or Revenue) considered to be construction activities. Does this mean that I do not have to fill out the collection instrument?
  5. What exactly is a "construction establishment"?
  6. What are some examples of "construction establishments"?
  7. How long will it take for me to complete this collection instrument?
  8. Our company only keeps records at the company or divisional level. How should I complete this collection instrument?
  9. What's new on this collection instrument since the last Economic Census?
  10. My establishment is out of business.  Am I still responsible for reporting?

  11. Collection Instrument Questions

  12. What should I include or exclude from "Sales, Shipments, Receipts, or Revenue" (Item 5)?
  13. How to report Rental Payments (Item 14)?
  14. What should I include or exclude from "Employment and Payroll" (Item 7)?
  15. What should I report for inventories in Item 9?
  16. What are depreciable assets (Item 13)?
  17. What are capital expenditures (Item 13B)?
  18. What should I report for "Cost of Materials, Parts and Supplies" in Item 16A1?
  19. What should I include or exclude from reporting in "Cost of Construction Work Subcontracted Out" (Item 16A2)?
  20. What should I report for "Other Operating expenses" (Item 16C)?
  21. I am not sure how to classify the Kind of Business activities my establishment performs (Item 23)?
  22. How should I report "Ownership of Construction Projects" for work done on interstate highways (Item 28A)?
  23. I did not receive a collection instrument for one of my establishments.  What should I do?
  24. I need more time to complete the collection instrument.  Can I have an extension?
  25. I want to ask additional questions.  How can I contact you?
  26. Is the completion of this collection instrument required by law?


Component ID: #ti926886983

1. What type of activity does the 2017 Economic Census of the Construction Sector cover?

The 2017 Economic Census of the Construction Sector covers domestic operations of establishments primarily engaged in these broad types of activities:

  • Building Construction by general contractors, specialty trade contractors, design-builders, developers, or construction managers.
     
  • Heavy Construction includes work on non-building structures, such as highways, utility related structures, and water projects by general contractors, specialty trade contractors, design-builders, developers, or construction managers.
     
  • Land Subdivision represents subdividing and servicing of raw land into lots for sale by landowner to a builder.

Specialty Trade Contractors represents specialty trade activities, such as plumbing, electrical, masonry, carpentry, painting, excavation, flooring, glass, metal, or concrete work, and other construction activities performed on building and non-building structures.

Component ID: #ti2034137764
Component ID: #ti598549409

2. What activities determine whether my project is a construction sector activity and should be included in the 2017 Economic Census?

Construction includes the following types of activities: 

  • New or original construction
  • Additions, alterations rehabilitation, remodeling or reconstruction
  • Maintenance, repair or service work.

If this establishment performs any of these activities, please complete the 2017 Economic Census collection instrument.

Component ID: #ti1153932402
Component ID: #ti1328289973

3. I do not believe that my company or establishment belongs in the construction sector. What should I do?

Please review what broad types of activities are in the Construction sector included on the online Portable Document Format (PDF) on the 2017 Economic Census, Construction Sector, electronic collection instruments. Additionally, review for each collection instrument the types of construction project activities shown in item 22 (Detail of Sales, Shipments, Receipts, or Revenue) considered to be construction activities included on the BHS online Portable Document Format (PDF) samples of the 2017 Economic Census electronic collection instruments, Construction sector. If 50 percent or more of this establishment's 2017 revenues were derived from these kinds of activities indicated, then your establishment is considered in the construction sector and you should complete the entire collection instrument.  You still need to complete the following items: 1,2,3,4,5,7,22, and 30 and return to the U.S. Census Bureau

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Component ID: #ti1445378205

4. Fifty percent or more of this establishment's revenues were not derived from activities listed in items 5 (Sales, Shipments, Receipts, or Revenue) and 22 (Detail of Sales, Shipments, Receipts, or Revenue) considered to be construction activities. Does this mean that I do not have to fill out the collection instrument?

You still need to complete the following items: 1,2,3,4,5,7,22, and 30 and return to the U.S. Census Bureau. For items 5 and 22 indicate what amounts were revenues from activities you did or did not consider to be construction activities. Additionally, review how to report in item 22 (Detail of Sales, Shipments, Receipts, or Revenue) construction project activities and non-construction activities, refer to instructions included on the BHS online Portable Document Format (PDF) of the 2017 Economic Census, Construction Sector, Information Sheet.  For Item 22 (Detail of Sales, Shipments, Receipts, or Revenue) indicate the appropriated receipts for construction business activities if you received any revenue from construction activities and also appropriated receipts for non-construction activities.  Put receipts in all associated assigned codes descriptions, and if necessary indicate in the corresponding write-in sections "receipts from construction and non- construction activities".  If necessary, for the write-in sections please indicate the construction business and non-construction kind of business in which your revenue is derived.

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5. What exactly is a "construction establishment"?

Construction establishments are those, which have a relatively permanent office, or other place of business, where the usual business activities related to construction are conducted. Generally, a relatively permanent office is one, which has been established for the management of more than one project or job and is expected, to be maintained on a continuing basis.

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Component ID: #ti1989922288

6. What are some examples of "construction establishments"?

  • The office or branch office of a construction contractor or builder, even if the office is in your home.
  • The office or shop of a special trade contractor who specializes in activities such as plumbing, painting, carpentry, etc.
  • A Construction division or subsidiary of a manufacturing, mining or other business company, which undertakes construction for the parent company or others.
  • A separate legal entity which has been established to carry out a given project, part of a project, or to undertake a construction project as a joint venture.

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7. How long will it take for me to complete this collection instrument?

Public reporting burden or the length of time to complete this electronic collection instrument is estimated to take an average of 2.3 hours. This includes the time to review the instructions, search existing data sources, gather and maintain data needed and time to complete and review the collection of information.  Please review what questions   are included on the BHS online Portable Document Format (PDF) samples of the 2017 Economic Census, Construction Sector, electronic collection instruments to get a better idea of length of time to complete the electronic collection instrument.

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8. Our company only keeps records at the company or divisional level. How should I complete this collection instrument?

If any of the items requested are maintained in records at a parent company or divisional level, allocate the cost of each construction establishment for which you received a collection instrument. For example, item 9 (Value of Inventories) and item 13 (Assets, Capital Expenditures, Retirements, and Depreciation) should be assigned to each establishment that the establishment is responsible for as if it owned them. In the case of building and equipment, if the establishment is a tenant or lessee, item 14, rental payments should be adjusted accordingly.

Expenses in item 16B (Other Operating Expenses) incurred by the parent company on behalf of the establishment should be allocated to each establishment on an appropriate basis (e.g., the ratio of the payroll of each construction establishment to the total company payroll or revenues). The costs should not be duplicated on any establishment reports.

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Component ID: #ti1168203321

9. What's new on this collection instrument since the last Economic Census?

Modified the former Item 8 (Hours Worked) added to all collection instruments.  Respondents are to report only total hours worked for construction workers reported in item 7B (total annual construction workers hours).

INCLUDE:

  • Hours worked during four specific pay periods including the 12th of March, June, September, and December 2017
  • Overtime hours as actual hours worked not a straight-time equivalent hours.

EXCLUDE:

  • Hours paid for vacations, holidays (unless actually worked), or sick leave.

Modified the former item 13E, now to be reported as item 16B, Section 179,Normal depreciation charges for all tangible assets including buildings, machinery and equipment

Modified former Item 26D, Franchise to be called Items 25 and now question on all 2017 Economic Census Construction instrument. Respondent will need to write-in trademark(s) or name brand(s), if applicable.

New question item 26, Business Cooperative on all 2017 Economic Census Construction instruments. Respondent will need to respond yes or no to question.

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10. My establishment is out of business. Am I still responsible for reporting?

Yes, you are responsible for reporting with a notation of its condition in Item 3, Operational Status, any data for the months operated during the survey year, and reporting data in item 5, Sales, Shipments, Receipts, or Revenue. Then return collection instrument.

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11. What should I include or exclude from "Sales, Shipments, Receipts, or Revenue" (Item 5)?

Exclude sales, shipments, billings, receipts, or revenue from business operations in foreign countries or outside the 50 states and the District of Columbia.

In item 5 report your 2017 receipts, billings, or sales for construction work and non-construction work .

INCLUDE:

  • Work on new construction, additions, alterations, reconstruction, maintenance, repairs and service work
  • Receipts or billings for construction work under any type of contract- general, special trade, design build, construction, management, engineer-construct, turnkey, etc.
  • Cost of labor materials, overhead, and profit.
  • Sales of houses and other buildings you built which were sold during 2017.

EXCLUDE:

  • The cost of land other than site preparation
  • The purchase cost or estimated value of raw land from the value of construction work.

In item 5 report the both receipts for construction business activities and  all other business non-construction activities done by this establishment in 2017.

EXCLUDE:

  • Non-operating income such as interest, dividends, or the sale of fixed assets.

Component ID: #ti654226089
Component ID: #ti1723069789

12. How to report Rental Payments (Item 14)?

If this establishment is part of a multi-establishment company or a subsidiary rented property for use of this establishment and paid the rent, the rent should be reported in item 14 as if the establishment paid it.

However, if this establishment rented buildings or equipment from the parent or affiliate as a tenant, then the value of assets should be reported in item 13. Exclude capital leases (leases with a contract to own at end of the lease) as well as rentals of assets owned by parent reported in item 13.

Component ID: #ti1105876441
Component ID: #ti389781389

13. What should I include or exclude from "Employment and Payroll" (Item 7)?

For item 7A, report the number of employees on the payroll of this establishment during the specific pay periods listed on the form.

For item 7C, reported payroll should equal the taxable Medicare wages and tips reported on the Internal Revenue Services (IRS) Form 941, Employer's quarterly Tax Return, exclude employer's cost for fringe benefits, and definitions as described in Circular E, Employer's Tax Guide.

INCLUDE:

  • All permanent, full-time or part-time employees.
  • Salaried officers and executives of a corporation.
  • Employees on paid sick leave, paid holidays and paid vacations.
  • The spread on stock options that are taxable to employee wages.

EXCLUDE:

  • Subcontractors and their employees.
  • Full-or part-time leased employees whose payroll was filed under a Professional Employer Organization’s Employer Identification Number.
  • Temporary staffing obtained from a staffing service.
  • Proprietors or partners of an unincorporated company.

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Component ID: #ti2125940009

14. What should I report for inventories in Item 9?

Report the value of all inventories of material and supplies that are owned by this establishment or assigned to it at the end of 2017 and 2016 regardless of where the inventories are held. If this establishment is part of a multi-establishment company, the parent company should assign to each establishment those inventories that the establishment is responsible for as if it owned them and this establishment should include the value of inventories in this report. Inventories should not be duplicated on any establishment reports.

EXCLUDE:

  • The value of inventories owned by unaffiliated parties held by this establishment.

Component ID: #ti767658699
Component ID: #ti48852153

15. What are depreciable assets (Item 13)?

Depreciable assets are the buildings, structures, machinery, and equipment owned by this establishment or its parent for which depreciation accounts are ordinarily maintained. If this establishment is part of a multi-establishment company, the parent company should assign to each establishment building and equipment that the establishment is responsible for as if it owned them. This establishment should include these as part of it's beginning balances, additions, and disposals as appropriate as well as the allocation of related depreciation expenses. For example, if this establishment maintained a tenant relationship with the parent company or a subsidiary, and paid "rent" for the use of either buildings or equipment, do not report the value of this "rent". Instead, in item 13 report the gross value of the assets made available to this establishment as a result of this "rental" agreement as if the establishment owned them.

INCLUDE:

  • Assets acquired through capital leases. If any building or equipment has been acquired under a capital leasing arrangement that meets the criteria set down by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB), please report the original cost or market value as a fixed asset and as a capital expenditure if acquired in 2012. If the lease qualifies as an operating lease, do not include the value of building and equipment as a fixed asset or capital expenditures.
  • Assets acquired or produced to be leased to other as the less or under an operating lease.
  • Capital expenditures for construction in progress incurred in prior periods. Report current capital expenditures in 13B, even if not completed and operational.

EXCLUDE:

  • The cost of land, but include the value of land development.
  • Assets leased to others under capital lease arrangements.

Component ID: #ti1736255527
Component ID: #ti864526238

16. What are capital expenditures (Item 13B)?

Capital expenditures include current expenditures for property, equipment, and capital improvements that were or will be chargeable to the fixed assets accounts and for which depreciation accounts are ordinarily maintained. Additions to construction-in-progress for company owned projects lasting more then one year that will be added, as depreciable assets should be reported currently rather then once the project has been completed and is in use. Include the cost of capital improvements that were made during 2017 which increased the value of property or adapted it for another use. Capital expenditures for leasehold improvements (made to property leased from others) are also included. Include the value of depreciable assets acquired through mergers and acquisitions.

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Component ID: #ti387710036

17. What should I report for "Cost of Materials, Parts and Supplies" in Item 16A1?

Report job-site, general office, and all other materials, parts, and supply costs relating to the construction and other business activities of this establishment.

INCLUDE:

  • Equipment purchased by this establishment that was installed in a building as an integral part of its structure, such as elevators, heating and air conditioning equipment, etc.
  • Costs after discounts for the materials, parts, and supplies that were purchased by this establishment or obtained from other establishments or your company.
  • Freight and other direct charges for the materials, parts, and supplies used in 2012.
  • Expendable tools that were charged to current accounts in 2012.

Component ID: #ti57567310
Component ID: #ti1480697451

18. What should I include or exclude from reporting in "Cost of Construction Work Subcontracted Out" (Item 16A2)?

INCLUDE:

  • Your payments to subcontractors for construction work.

EXCLUDE:

  • The cost of non-construction work subcontracted out unless it is incidental to the primary construction activities of the subcontractor. Services such as abatement, refuse, design work or surveying should be reported in 16B.

Component ID: #ti1351934150
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19. What should I report for "Other Operating expenses" (Item 16C)?

INCLUDE:

  • Costs for each of these goods and services purchased from other companies that are paid directly or incurred by a parent or affiliate for this establishment and have not been reported elsewhere in the collection instrument.

EXCLUDE:

  • Salaries paid to employees of this establishment for any professional and/or technical services. These should be reported in item 7.
  • Materials, parts, and supplies used for repairs and maintenance performed by this firm's employees.
  • Lease and rental payments for equipment, building, other structure, or land by this establishment and reported item 14, Rental Payments.
  • Cost of construction activities subcontracted to others and reported in item 16A, line 2.
  • Cost of any utility payments if payments are included in a lease or rental payment and reported in item 14 or energy reported in item 16A, line 3.
  • Income taxes, purchases or merchandise for resale, bad debts, impairment charges, interest and other non-operating expenses.

Component ID: #ti2049476540
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20. I am not sure how to classify the Kind of Business activities my establishment performs (Item 23).

Review how to report item 23, Kinds of Business activities instructions in section above question in the collection instruments and also on the BHS online Portable Document Format (PDF) of the 2017 Economic Census Sector, Information Sheet.

Component ID: #ti157768299
Component ID: #ti1678661538

21. How should I report "Ownership of Construction Projects" for work done on interstate highways (Item 28A)?

Work on interstate highways should be reported as a state-owned project under State and local governments.

Component ID: #ti719332839
Component ID: #ti2084997245

22. I did not receive a collection instrument for one of my establishments. What should I do?

If you did not receive, or are missing collection instrument for some of your establishments, you may add the additional establishment location using required collection instrument functionality add establishment options, or contact us using eCORR and the Business Help Site (BHS) using online services.   Below is the link to eCORR and BHS online services.  You will need your user ID and password.

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Component ID: #ti2024176525

23. I need more time to complete the collection instrument. Can I have an extension?

Yes, you can file an extension on the Business Help Site.  The website is (link will be updated).  The Online Services tab will allow you to check your Filing Status, Remail letters, Print PDF’s of collection instrument, and file for a Time Extension.  You will need your User ID and Password that is printed on your letter.  Once logged in, you can request additional time to complete your report for collection instruments.  You will get a new due date and a confirmation number.

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24. I want to ask additional questions. How can I contact you?

You can contact us through the eCORR or Business Help Site at (link will be provided).

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Component ID: #ti2098423607

25. Is the completion of this collection instrument required by law?

Yes, the completion of this collection instrument is required by law.  The Census Bureau is bound by Title 13 of the United States Code to conduct the Census.  These laws not only provide the authority to conduct the Census, but also to provide protection for the information we collect.

Component ID: #ti1425677335

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