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Structure

Of the approximately 1.8 million sales workers employed by wholesalers and manufacturers, 334,000 sell manufacturing, technical, and scientific products. These wholesaler businesses arrange for the sale of goods owned by others. They do not take title to the goods but generally receive a fee or commission for their service of bringing sellers and buyers together. This industry is dominated by small business operations. The largest employment sectors in this branch of sales are wholesale electronic markets and agents and brokers and professional and commercial equipment and supplies merchant wholesalers. In 2016, wholesale trade agents and brokers accounted for 99 percent of the 92,000 establishments and the same share of the workers in this industry. The other sector, business to business electronic markets, uses the Internet or other electronic means to connect sellers and buyers. Although the electronic B2B sector has only a tiny share of the industry's establishments and employees, the sector's efficient use of high technology generates more dollar sales per worker than the sector not using electronic markets. Of course, a high-tech workplace also requires a more-skilled workforce; in 2015, this sector had 53 percent higher per-worker payroll costs than the low-tech sector.

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