Census of Wholesale Trade

Description & Updates


The Wholesale Trade sector (sector 42) comprises establishments engaged in wholesaling merchandise, generally without transformation, and rendering services incidental to the sale of merchandise.

The wholesale sector includes: merchant wholesalers who buy and take title to the goods they sell, manufacturers sales branches and offices who sell products manufactured domestically by their own company, and agents and brokers who collect a commission or fee for arranging the sale of merchandise owned by others.

Comparability with SIC data

This sector includes most of what was classified in Wholesale Trade under the SIC system. Excluded from this sector, however, are establishments with retail selling characteristics; these establishments are now clasified in the Retail Trade sector. Prominent examples of these are auto parts, farm supplies, and building products dealers and lumber yards.

In addition, this sector now includes prerecorded video tape wholesalers; this industry was previously classified in Services Industries under the SIC system.

Geographic detail

The Economic Census publishes data for the wholesale trade sector for the U.S., states, counties, places, and metropolitan areas.

The Census of Wholesale Trade is updated by: