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Release Number CB15-TPS.78

Texas supplanted California between 2007 and 2012 as the state with the largest volume of sales for the wholesale trade sector, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s most recent economic census. California was the top state in 2007, with $925.3 billion in sales, but its increase was only 4.7 percent to $969.2 billion in 2012. Texas was second in 2007, at $663.7 billion, but its sales rose 70.1 percent to $1.1 trillion in 2012. These data were published as the Census Bureau today concluded the release of its 2012 Economic Census Geographic Area Series reports for the wholesale trade sector of the economy.

State and metro area highlights for the Geographic Area Series for the wholesale trade sector include:

  • Among states and equivalents, sales for the wholesale trade sector ranged from $1.1 trillion in Texas to $4.1 billion in the District of Columbia.
  • New Jersey had the largest average annual payroll per number of employees in the sector. New Jersey wholesalers reported annual payroll of $21.2 billion and 263,316 employees, yielding $81,000 in payroll per employee.
  • New York-Newark N.Y.-N.J.-Conn.-Pa., led all consolidated statistical areas with 42,495 establishments and $906.2 billion in sales in wholesale trade in 2012.

National highlights include:

  • The wholesale trade sector generated $7.9 trillion in sales in 2012, a 21.2 percent increase from $6.5 trillion in 2007. However, the number of establishments declined 3.6 percent over the period, from 434,983 to 419,464. The sector’s number of employees also fell (5.5 percent from 6.2 million in 2007 to 5.9 million in 2012) while annual payroll climbed 7.7 percent, from $336.2 billion in 2007 to $362.1 billion in 2012.
  • The largest industry within the sector was petroleum and petroleum products merchant wholesalers (NAICS 4247), with $1.4 trillion in sales.
  • Farm product raw material merchant wholesalers (NAICS 4245) experienced the largest percentage increase in sales within this sector, jumping  74.6 percent from $145.8 billion in 2007 to $254.5 billion in 2012. Lumber and other construction materials merchant wholesalers (NAICS 4233) experienced the largest percentage decrease in sales, dropping 20.8 percent, from $171.4 billion in 2007 to $135.7 billion in 2012.

The Geographic Area Series for the wholesale trade sector includes statistics for merchant wholesalers of durable and nondurable goods, manufacturers’ sales branches and offices, and wholesale electronic markets, agents and brokers. The files provide statistics on the number of establishments, sales, payroll, number of employees and other data items by industry. The Geographic Area Series is the only source of such statistics at the economic place level (incorporated places, census designated places and minor civil divisions with at least 2,500 people or jobs) and the only source of economic census statistics for states, combined statistical areas, metropolitan statistical areas and counties.

All dollar values are expressed in current dollars, i.e., they are not adjusted for price changes. The statistics presented include data only for businesses with paid employees. For more information about the economic census (including information on comparability, confidentiality protection, sampling error, nonsampling error and definitions), see

No news release associated with this product. Tip Sheet only.


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