WHOLESALE AND RETAIL TRADE
Input: Sector Description
The Wholesale and Retail Trade supersector, 21,516,616 jobs, is made up of two parts: the Wholesale Trade sector (sector 42), and the Retail Trade sector (sector 44 - 45).
The Wholesale Trade sector comprises establishments engaged in wholesaling merchandise, generally without transformation, and rendering services incidental to the sale of merchandise. The wholesaling process is an intermediate step in the distribution of merchandise. Wholesalers are organized to sell or arrange the purchase or sale of (1) goods for resale (i.e., goods sold to other wholesalers or retailers), (2) capital or durable nonconsumer goods, and (3) raw and intermediate materials and supplies used in production. Wholesalers sell merchandise to other businesses and normally operate from a warehouse or office. During 2015, wholesale trade employment averaged 5,875,316.
The Retail Trade sector comprises establishments engaged in retailing merchandise, generally without transformation, and rendering services incidental to the sale of merchandise. The retailing process is the final step in the distribution of merchandise. Retailers are organized to sell merchandise in small quantities to the general public. This sector comprises two main types of retailers: store and nonstore retailers. Retail trade employment averaged 15,641,300 in 2015 (an increase of 358,100 jobs from 2008).
For more information about the Wholesale and Retail sector, see the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) Web site (Code 42; 44 & 45)
Industry at a Glance profile from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) provides detailed information about employment, wages, productivity, and occupational outlook for the Wholesale and Retail Trade sector.
- Page last reviewed: May 29, 2015
- Page last updated: August 5, 2016
- Content source:
- National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division