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Wholesale Trade

Wholesale merchants bridge the gap between manufacturers and retailers. They buy large quantities of goods and distribute them to retailers, businesses, and institutions. These merchants normally operate from a warehouse or office and rarely look for walk-in traffic.

GDP Gross Domestic Product

Gross domestic product (GDP) measures the overall size of an economy. In 2015, the wholesale trade industry made up 4.8% of Alberta's GDP. This represents a 0.2% increase from 2012.

Alberta’s GDP
Increase from 2012
  • farm products
  • petroleum products
  • food, beverage, and tobacco products
  • personal and household goods
  • motor vehicles and parts
  • building materials and supplies
  • machinery and equipment

The wholesale trade industry employed 89,500 people in 2015. This is an increase of 8,000 jobs (9.8%) from 2013.


60,900 men worked in the industry in 2015 (up 3.9% from 2013).


28,600 women worked in the industry in 2015 (up 24.9% from 2013)

Average Wage
Wholesale Trade
Average Hourly Wage
Average Hourly Wage
  • The average 2015 hourly wage of $22.26 for the wholesale trade industry was below the provincial average of $29.06.
Industry Performance

The value of Alberta wholesale sales reached $7.2 billion in September 2014, up 8.8% over the previous year's sales. Investment in the industry was expected to drop by 9.1% between 2013 and 2014.

Industry Outlook

Provided Alberta's construction, manufacturing, and mining sectors recover, the wholesale trade industry is forecast to grow from 1.6% annually between 2015 and 2020 to an average of 2.6% annually in the following years. Alberta's wholesale trade industry is predicted to experience a 10.8% increase in investment in 2016.

Industry Employment Trends

Employment in this industry is expected to grow at an average rate of 1.5% from 2016 to 2019.

OCCinfo has more information about occupations in Alberta, including details about duties, working conditions, educational requirements, employment outlook, and salary ranges. You can also find reports on region-specific information about wages, job vacancies, and hiring difficulties in this industry. Visit the Survey Analysis to learn more.

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