This section provides information about census coverage and reporting for establishments in the Wholesale Trade sector. It includes answers to frequently asked questions about this sector and its census forms.
Wholesale establishments buy and sell products that are intended for resale, are intended for use in another business, or are sold using wholesale methods of selling. They include two main types of wholesalers: merchant wholesalers that sell goods on their own account, and business-to-business electronic markets, agents, and brokers that arrange sales and purchases for others, generally for a commission or fee. NAICS classifies establishments in the Wholesale Trade sector using numbers that start with 42. The Economic Census covers all wholesale establishments that operated during all or part of calendar year 2012.
Wholesale establishments with paid employees will receive a census mail package with two types of materials. The materials are similar in content but customized to make reporting easier for different groups of wholesale establishments. Each establishment will receive an Information Sheet and census form.
Information Sheets provide general information about the census and instructions for reporting selected items on the census form. Single establishment businesses will receive Information Sheet WH-S(I) and multi-establishment businesses will receive Information Sheet WH-M(I).
Census Forms describe each data item for wholesale establishments, and provide instructions and formats for reporting it. Census forms for wholesale establishments are numbered WH-42xxx. Forms are tailored to industry groups and forty-two separate forms are available for use by different kinds of wholesale establishments.