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PAC

Employed population in Trade grows 3.2% in 2021, but stands below the pre-pandemic period

Section: Economic Statistics | Igor Ferreira e Vinícius Britto | Design: Helga Szpiz

August 04, 2023 10h00 AM | Last Updated: August 11, 2023 08h18 PM

  • Highlights

  • In 2021, the number of employed persons in Trade grew by 3.2% compared to 2020, reaching 10.1 million workers. Compared to the pre-pandemic period (2019), however, this amount fell by 1.0%.
  • Trade generated R$5.5 trillion in net operating revenue and R$893.9 billion in gross value added in 2021.
  • The commercial margin rate in trade companies dropped from 29.6% in 2012 to 27.3% in 2021.
  • In ten years, the retail trade and wholesale trade margin rates fell, respectively, by 5.2 pp and 2.0 pp, while that of the trade of motor vehicles, parts and motorcycles grew by 4.8 pp in the period.
  • The concentration of revenue among the eight largest companies in the trade sector decreased from 10.2% in 2012 to 9.4% in 2021.
  • In 2021, the trade sector employed 10.1 million persons, with 7.4 million in retail trade, 1.8 million in wholesale trade and 833.1 thousand in trade of motor vehicles, parts and motorcycles.
  • The number of employees in wholesale trade grew by 8.0% (or 135.8 thousand more jobs) from 2019 to 2021.
Almost 40% of the sales in the Retail Sales of Cultural, Recreation and Sporting Goods took place through the Internet in 2021 - Art mockup/Freepik

The 2021 Annual Survey of Trade (PAC) revealed that, in the second year of the pandemic, the Brazilian commercial activity had 1.4 million companies, employing 10.1 million persons. There was a slight recovery compared to 2020, with a 3.2% growth in employed persons, which, however, is still 1.0% below 2019.

In 2021, against 2020, the segment which had the greatest percentage increase in the number of workers was wholesale trade (6.5%), influenced by the growth of workforce in the activities of food products, beverages and tobacco (24.1 thousand more persons, a high of 5.9%), wholesale trade of chemicals, steel products, paper, cardboard and waste (an increase of 21.2 thousand persons, an increase of 11.9%) and of machinery, devices and equipment, including IT and communication (another 19.8 thousand persons, up 10.4%). Next came retail trade (2.7%) and trade of motor vehicles, parts and motorcycles (0.7%).

“In 2021, the recovery process of the economic activity started in 2020 went on with vaccination and relaxation of social isolation measures against the Covid-19. But such a recovery was not enough to lead us back to the level of 2019. We see also some activities trying to amplify its commerce forms, with e-commerce”, highlights Marcelo Miranda, PAC analyst.

From 2020 to 2021, just two of the 22 activities surveyed had decrease in the number of employed persons: trade of parts for motor vehicles (-10.5 thousand persons) and retail trade of unspecified new and used products (-0.5 thousand persons, -0.1%). 

Compared with the pandemic period, in 2019, just wholesale trade had increase (8.0%) in the number of employed persons. Both trade of motor vehicles, parts and motorcycles (-8.1%) and retail (-2.2%) were still below the level seen two years before.

Share of Internet sales in Trade’s revenue increasing since 2019

PAC surveys commercialization forms used by the companies, including “e-commerce” (which comprises sites, applications, social media and instant messaging applications). However, just the companies from the certainty stratum (with 20 employed persons or over or those with high revenue levels) are eligible for analysis.

The survey showed an increase in the number of companies of the retail trade (certainty stratum) which sold goods through the Internet: this group grew 44.8% from 2019 to 2020 and 13.5% from 2020 to 2021, under the influence of the social isolation during the pandemic. In this period, the Retail trade of cultural, recreation and sporting goods was the segment with the greatest proportion of enterprises that sold their products through the Internet: 11.9% in 2019, 17.1% in 2020 and 17.8% in 2021.

At the same time, the share of the Internet in the gross sales revenue of companies of the certainty stratum also increased. In 2019, just 5.3 of the trade revenue derived from the Internet, going to 8.4% in 2020 and reaching 9.2% in 2021. The Retail trade of cultural, recreation and sporting goods was the segment with th greatest share in the internet sales in its gross revenue, which was 22.4% in 2019 and reached 38.9% in 2021.

However, in two segments of Trade, the share of the Internet in the gross revenue retreated after the pandemic. In the Retail trade of fabric, apparel, footwear and haberdashery, this share was of 8.8% in 2019, it rose to 17,2% in 2020 and retreated to 14.8% in 2021. In the Retail trade of cultural, recreation and sporting goods, this share was of 9.0% in 2019, it rose to 14.8% in 2020 and fell to 12.5% in 2021.

Net revenue of commercial companies was R$5.5 trillion

In 2021, the commercial companies recorded a total gross revenue of R$6.0 trillion.  From this amount, the trade of motor vehicles, parts and motorcycles contributed with R$509.8 billion, wholesale trade, with R$3.0 trillion, and retail trade, with R$2.5 trillion. The net operational revenue, i. e., that free of deductions, as cancelled sales, discounts and taxes, was of R$5.5 trillion.

Wholesale trade remained as the main representative of the sector, with 49.6% of the total, the greatest rate since 2007. Retail trade, in turn, was the leading segment between 2014 and 2019, got the second position, with 41.7% of contribution, the lowest one of the 10 last years. The participation of motor vehicles, parts and motorcycles retreated from 13,6% in 2012 to 8.7% in 2021.

In ten years, wholesale and retail trade have taken turns in the top position. From 2012 to 2021, wholesale trade gained more participation (5.2 percentage points), whereas retail trade and trade of motor vehicles, parts and motorcycles lost, respectively, 0.3 pp and 4.9 pp. The year of 2021 recorded the greatest difference between the shares of the biggest segments (7.9 pp).

During the last 10 years, the greatest representation in net operational revenue remained with hypermarkets and supermarkets, with 12.0% of participation, an increase of 1.5 pp between 2012 and 2021. However, when assessing the changes in the last year this activity was the one with the greatest loss in participation, with decrease fo 1.6 pp in 2021 over 2020.

PAC 2021 also pointed out that the greatest percentage change in the last 10 years was that of trade of motor vehicles, which had 9,5% of contribution in 2012, ranking in the third position. In 2021, it went to 5.3%, ranking in the seventh position.

Commercial margin rate reaches R$1.2 trillion in 2021, but the margin rate shrinks in 10 years

The trade margin, difference between the net sales revenue and the cost of goods sold, was R$1.2 trillion in 2021.  The sector of trade of motor vehicles, parts and motorcycles contributed with 7.9%. The wholesale trade stood with 41.1% of share, the greatest of the time series started in 2007. The retail trade, in turn, was responsible for 51.0% of the total margin, the lowest value between 2012 and 2021.

The margin rate, defined as the commercial margin rate divided by the cost of the goods sold, grew between 2012 (29.6%) and 2014 (30.6%), a peak in the time series. From that point, there was decline, reaching the lowest value of the last 10 years in 2021 (27.3%). That was mostly due to the 5.2 pp decrease in ten years of the retail trade margin, reaching 34.7% in 2021. The same occurred in wholesale trade, which lost 2.0 pp between 2012 and 2021, reaching 22.0%, the lowest value. The trade of motor vehicles, parts and motorcycles increases its margin rate, reaching the peak in 2021, 24.4%.

Market concentration between the eight largest companies fell in the last 10 years

The “eight-firm concentration ratio” (R8), which indicates the percentage share of the eight largest companies in net sales revenue in the sector, decreased from 10.2% in 2012 to 9.4% in 2021, indicating a decrease in trade concentration in the last 10 years.

Among the sectors, there were different movements. In retail trade, concentration among the eight largest companies increased by 2.2 percentage points (pp), rising from 8.1% in 2012 to 10.3% in 2021. Traditionally a sector with low concentration, some retail activities had higher concentration, such as the retail trade of information technology, communication and household items (43.4%) and the retail trade of pharmaceutical products, perfumery, cosmetics and medical, optical and orthopedic articles (29.4%).

Conversely, wholesale trade saw a reduction of 5.3 percentage points, falling from 21.5% in 2012 to 16.2% in 2021. The wholesale trade of fuels and lubricants stands out, as the most concentrated activity among the 22 (R8 of 60.4% in 2021).

“Although wholesale trade in fuels and lubricants had the highest R8 among activities, it had one of the biggest declines. In 10 years, after presenting a concentration of 75% in 2012, there was a drop of almost 15 pp in this indicator”, points out Mr. Miranda.

Trade in motor vehicles, parts and motorcycles showed stability, with the R8 remaining at 4.6% in the comparison between the last 10 years.

Number of employees in wholesale trade grew during the pandemic

In 2021, the commercial sector employed a total of 10.1 million persons. Of the total number of workers, 7.4 million were employed in retail trade, 1.8 million in wholesale trade and 833.1 thousand in vehicle, parts and motorcycle trade.

“In 2021, we had not yet surpassed the pre-pandemic period, but we are very close, with around 100,000 employed peresons less than in 2019. While retail trade and that of motor vehicles, parts and motorcycles are still below the pre-pandemic level, wholesale trade had an increase of 8.0% in employed persons, or 135.8 thousand more jobs”, stresses the researcher.

In percentage terms, the retail trade maintained, in the comparison between 2012 and 2021, its value in employment participation, with 73.5% of persons in the trade sector in this segment. Wholesale trade was the second most relevant in 2021 (18.2%), the largest share of the segment in the time series since 2007, followed by trade in motor vehicles, parts and motorcycles (8.3%). The positions in the rankings of the three segments have not changed in the last 10 years.

After the drop in the number of employed persons in 2020, the following year showed a recovery, driven mainly by the retail sector, which was responsible for 196.8 thousand of the 314.2 thousand persons employed more between one year and another.

From the perspective of employed persons, between 2012 and 2021, wholesale trade was the one that grew the most in percentage terms (6.3%), followed by retail trade (0.6%), while trade of motor vehicles, parts and motorcycles was the only one to show losses (-10.2%). The year 2021 had the highest number of employed persons in the time series in wholesale trade.

Southeast remains ahead but loses share in trade in the last 10 years

From a regional perspective, the Southeast Region was the most relevant Region, while the Northeast was the smallest, in terms of: number of Local Branches (ULs); gross sales revenue; wages, withdrawals and other compensation; and employed persons.

In the last 10 years, the Southeast lost share in number of ULs (-2.4 pp); gross sales revenue (-4.2 pp); wages, withdrawals and other compensation (-2.0 pp) and employed persons (-1.3 pp). The same occurred between 2019 and 2021, with a drop of: 2.2 pp in the number of ULs; of 1.5 pp in gross sales revenue; -1.2 pp in wages and -1.2 pp in the number of employed persons.

“It is interesting to notice that the Southeast lost share over the last 10 years, but still maintained its leadership, driven mainly by São Paulo”, analyzes Mr. Miranda.



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