Census Bureau: Retail Sector Employment Down But Payroll, Revenues Gain

According to the 2012 Economic Census Advance Report released today by the United States Census Bureau, the retail trade sector had the most businesses of any sector in 2012 at nearly 1.1 million and is one of the tree largest sectors of the economy, along with the wholesale trade and manufacturing. However, the mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction sector of the economy was the star, with 2007 to 2012 growth as measured by number of establishments up 26.4%, as measured by employment up 23.7% and as measured by revenue up 34.2% to $555.2 billion.

At the same time, according to the posted study results, retail trade employment fell by 5% to 14.7 million, but the sector’s annual payroll for 2012 came in at $371.34 billion versus $362.82 billion in 2007. Total revenues were $4.23 trillion in 2012 versus $3.92 trillion in 2007.

The Economic Census Advanced Report provides the first comprehensive look at the U.S. economy since the 2007 recession, the bureau stated.

“The economic census is one of the Commerce Department’s most valuable data resources,” U.S. secretary of commerce Penny Pritzker said. “By providing a close-up look at millions of U.S. companies in thousands of industries, the economic census is an important tool that informs policy at the local, state and national level, and helps businesses make critical decisions that drive economic growth and job creation. At the Department of Commerce, one of the top priorities of our ‘Open for Business Agenda’ is to make our data easier to access and understand so that it can continue enabling startups, moving markets, protecting life and property, and powering both small and large businesses across the country.”

The 2012 Economic Census Advance Report is the first in a coming series of industry and geographic area studies, according to the Census Bureau, and contains broad economic sector statistics at the national level. Information on emerging industries, including solar, wind, geothermal and biomass electric power generation, all new to the 2012 Economic Census, will release later in the year.

The 2012 Economic Census Advance Report excludes data for the construction and the management of companies and enterprises sectors because of technical considerations, the bureau said, adding that it would include data for those sectors in later reports.