Industry Focus: Wholesale and Retail Trade

Posted in News, Industry Focus

Industry Focus: Wholesale and Retail Trade

Much of NWPB’s work focuses on the state of the labour force and related indicators throughout Niagara. Given this, NWPB features monthly blog posts highlighting information about industries in Niagara. The focus for this month is wholesale and retail trade. Employment data for industries are obtained from the Labour Force Survey, which focuses on the St. Catharines-Niagara Census Metropolitan Area (CMA). As a result, these data do not include Grimsby or West Lincoln. For additional information on employment in Grimsby and West Lincoln please review our municipal snapshot documents.

Results from the Labour Force Survey indicate that approximately 32,100 individuals residing in Niagara were employed in wholesale and retail trade throughout 2018. This puts wholesale and retail trade as the  largest source of employment for Niagara residents.

Figure 1 shows the number of employed individuals in wholesale and retail trade. There has been an increase of approximately 1,000 individuals reporting employment in this industry since 2014. Specifically, the number of Niagara’s residents working in this field has gone up from 31,100 in 2014 to 32,100 in 2018 (an increase of 3.2%).

Figure 1. Historical Employment in Wholesale and Retail Trade, 2014-2018, St. Catharines-Niagara CMA

Figure 1. Historical Employment in Wholesale and Retail Trade, 2014-2018, St. Catharines-Niagara CMA

Source: Statistics Canada. Table 14-10-0098-01 Employment by industry, annual, census metropolitan areas

Figure 2 shows the percentage of Niagara’s employed residents that work in wholesale and retail trade.

Figure 2. Percentage of all Employment That Wholesale and Retail Trade Represents, 2014-2018, St. Catharines-Niagara CMA

Figure 2. Percentage of all Employment That Wholesale and Retail Trade Represents, 2014-2018, St. Catharines-Niagara CMA

Source: Statistics Canada. Table 14-10-0098-01 Employment by industry, annual, census metropolitan areas

While data from Statistics Canada report on the number of people living in Niagara who work within a given industry (regardless of where their job is), data from Table 1 provide a count of the number of jobs within Niagara in wholesale and retail trade. Here, the data are based on the Niagara region and include all 12 local municipalities.  Table 1 outlines the number of jobs and average wages per job in wholesale and retail trade between 2014 and 2018. Overall, the number of jobs between 2014 and 2018 in Niagara increased by 7.5% or 2,290 jobs.


Table 1. Number of Jobs and Average Wages per Job in Wholesale and Retail Trade, 2014-2018, Niagara  

Industry 2014 Jobs 2015 Jobs 2016 Jobs 2017 Jobs 2018 Jobs Avg. Wages Per Job
Wholesale trade 6,985 6,983 7,168 7,563 7,794 $55,230
Retail trade 23,412 24,012 24,437 24,673 24,893 $26,303
Total 30,397 30,995 31,605 32,236 32,687 $33,201

Source: EMSI Analyst, 2019.1, employees

Table 2 dives deeper into the wholesale and retail trade industry to provide an outline of the most common occupations within the industry.


Table 2. Top Occupations within the Wholesale and Retail Trade Industry, 2017, Niagara

Occupation Employed in Industry (2018) % of Total Jobs in Industry (2018) Median Hourly Wages
Retail salespersons 6,360 19.5% $14.16
Cashiers 2,891 8.8% $13.00
Retail sales supervisors 2,403 7.4% $18.45
Store shelf stockers, clerks and order fillers 2,330 7.1% $13.84
Retail and wholesale trade managers 2,083 6.4% $36.05
Sales and account representatives - wholesale trade (non-technical) 1,690 5.2% $22.89
Shippers and receivers 881 2.7% $18.55
Material handlers 842 2.6% $17.95
Technical sales specialists - wholesale trade 766 2.3% $25.29
Other customer and information services representatives 682 2.1% $17.04

Source: EMSI Analyst, 2019.1, employees

Want to know more about in-demand jobs in wholesale and retail trade? Contact us.