The Wholesale and Retail Trade Survey 2020 showed employment in the wholesale and retail trade sector in Bangladesh multiplied three times to 1.41 crore in the past decade despite a drop in the number of wholesale and retail trade units.
On the other hand, the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS) survey finds that the number of operating wholesale and retail trade declined 4 per cent to 25.4 lakh units in 2019-20 from 26.5 lakh a decade ago.
However, the sector, one of the significant businesses contributing $350 billion GDP, created additional 88 lakh jobs, taking the total number of employed to 1.41 crore since the last survey in 2009-10. Besides, wholesale and retail trades account for 14 per cent of GDP.
“Supermarkets and departmental stores have replaced the traditional mom-and-pop shops,” said Zahid Hussain, a former lead economist of the World Bank office in Bangladesh.
Hussain said productivity increased many times, as indicated by the increase in the GVA per establishment in nominal terms. Gross value-added per worker increased by more than 3.2 times.
“These increases will remain significant even after adjusting for inflation,” he said, adding that the increase in productivity was shared among workers and non-worker stakeholders.
Employees are using modern facilities such as computers, and this could be one of the reasons behind the increased productivity.