Hello chuck3 and thank you for your question.
The general number of people "estimated to be in "Sales" in the United
States" is between twelve and thirteen million. (some estimates are
higher and some are lower but the average is between twelve and
See below for details.
I strongly recommend you subscribe to this magazine:
"America?s 500 Largest Sales Forces
By Selling Power Editors
Every year, Selling Power magazine?s research team ranks companies
according to the number of salespeople they employ. The 500 top
companies in America that employ the world?s largest sales forces
command an army of 14.3 million salespeople. Our research confirms
again that it is people ? the sales force ? that produce the dollars
that drive our country?s economic engine.
The 2002 listing of the SP 500 includes the top 200 companies in the
manufacturing industry, the top 200 companies in the service industry,
the top 50 insurance companies, the 30 largest direct-selling
companies and the top 20 automotive-dealer organizations
Every year new companies make the list, while others drop off. The
total number of salespeople employed by all 500 companies listed adds
up to 14,280,794, which represents a small increase of 169,885
compared with last year. During the last two years, the number of
salespeople has declined by slightly more than 1.3 million. Most of
the decline was reported in the direct-selling industry, which employs
a large number of part-time salespeople.
To find out where the Selling Power 500 companies are located and to
see how many salespeople they employ, please consult the special map
on pages 60?61. The states with the largest numbers of SP 500
companies are California (64), New York (50) and Illinois (34). The
states in which the SP 500 companies employ the largest number of
salespeople are New York (3,378,463) Michigan (3,031,850) and
California (2,447,117). These states account for about 30 percent of
the total companies and a whopping 62 percent of the total
PRODUCTIVITY SHOT UP ACROSS THE BOARD
Our research team continued to find that salespeople employed by
manufacturing firms contribute a far higher amount of sales revenue
compared with other industry segments. The top 200 manufacturing firms
employ 484,532 salespeople and produce more than $2.46 trillion in
sales. That?s an average of more than $5 million in sales per
salesperson and a 3 percent increase in productivity compared to the
previous year. It is interesting to note that while manufacturing
companies lost 32,478 salespeople last year and gained only 6,894 back
this year, they still managed to increase overall sales almost 10
percent over the last two years.
The top 200 companies in the service sector reported an increase of
21,870 salespeople, for a total of 900,419 salespeople. While the
number of salespeople increased by only 2 percent, total revenues were
more than $1.4 trillion, for a strong increase of 14 percent. This
represents more than $1.5 million in sales per salesperson and a
healthy 11 percent gain in productivity.
The top 20 automotive megadealers reported increases across the board
as well. The top 20 firms own 1,072 dealerships (up by 5 percent),
employ 16,080 salespeople (an increase of 5 percent) and produce more
than $63.9 billion in sales (up by 11 percent). This brings the
average annual sales per salesperson to more than $3.97 million (up by
The top 50 insurance companies show a total sales force of 941,763,
with an average sales volume per salesperson of $441,078. The number
of salespeople has increased slightly, and the yearly sales per
salesperson has risen by 9 percent.
The top 30 direct-selling companies reported 11.9 million salespeople,
reversing the trend of significant declines in the number of
salespeople over the last two years by posting an increase of 123,605
salespeople, or more than 1 percent."
Subscription for the above can be obtained here (USA 1-year $33.00 )
"More than 12 million people in this country work in sales or
"Sales and Management 2004-2005"
"Sales is one of the fastest growing careers with over 13 million
people employed in retail, wholesale, service, and manufacturer
"There are approximately 12.2 million salespeople in the United
States?that?s about 1 out of every 23 people!"
Have a look at this book: (April 19, 2004)
"The number of people in sales occupations in 2000 was 16 million, or
about 12 percent of the total employed workforce. This figure includes
all types of sellers, from pharmaceutical sales workers to
counterpersons at department stores; it is up from about 5 percent in
1920 and 7 percent in 1960. Of the 16 million people working in sales
in 2000, about 10 percent are manufacturers' sales reps and
business-to-business salespeople. About 41 percent of today's sales
workers sell in retail stores. The demographics of America's sales
workers have changed. Nearly half of the total sales workers recorded
in the 2000 census were women.
The same industries that relied on face-to-face sales workers in the
mid-twentieth century still rely on them today, and for similar
purposes. Some of the largest sales forces among manufacturing
companies are in the field of beverages, including Pepsico and
Coca-Cola, and pharmaceuticals, including Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer,
Novartis, and Procter & Gamble. The computer industry is another one
that contains many firms with large sales forces, including Microsoft,
IBM, Oracle, Hewlett-Packard, and Xerox. All of these companies have
sales forces with more than 5,000 agents, and Pepsico's and
Microsoft's have over 30, 000. Salespeople have been essential in the
growth of high-tech businesses, ushering in the rise of computer
hardware and software firms, just as they had once pushed the cash
register, IBM's punch-card machines, and other innovations"
Other sales employment statistics I stumbleed across which I thought
might be of passing interest to you:
"Members of families whose primary wage earner works in sales are also
more likely than the general population to be uninsured (22 percent
"Americans Say 'I Quit' About Every 3-1/2 Years"
"Average length of job depends on factors such as industry, employer
"people in sales occupations remain 2.7 years;"
"Office of Minority Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services"
CFOI reported that people in sales occupations experienced a high
number of workplace homicides?53 percent of a total 386 deaths."
"Supervisors and proprietors in sales occupations incurred 7 percent
of all workplace suicides."
"At 4.1 percent, the lowest union membership rate was in sales occupations."
"Disproportionately high rates of current illicit drug use were seen
among workers in sales occupations (11.4%),"
"? 13% of U.S.-born Latinos were in Sales occupations.
? 7% of Mexican immigrants were in Sales occupations.
? 7% of Salvadoran immigrants were in Sales occupations."
Thank you for your question, and if you need any clarification of my
answer, do not hesitate to ask before rating my answer.
Very best regards.
Search strategy included:
"are employed in sales" million