The US-based National Retail Federation has said that retail employment grew by 37,600 unadjusted year-on-year in December, in what was a bumper holiday shopping period in the States.
Some 4,000 jobs were created at food and beverage stores, the NRF said, with 15,000 jobs created at general merchandise stores, which include department stores and warehouse clubs.
Overall, US businesses added 312,000 jobs overall in December, according to the Labor Department.
NRF chief economist Jack Kleinhenz said that the numbers "indicate that labour demand remains strong and signal that the economy is more stable than what the financial markets suggest.
“The strong growth in employment confirms that the labor market is still expanding. And while the unemployment rate increased, it did so for the right reason – more individuals are seeking to enter the labor force since wages are growing and more attractive.”
The three-month moving average for retail job creation, which had been at a loss of 6,700 jobs as of November, rose to an increase of 15,200 jobs in December.
Preliminary numbers also show that retailers hired 576,800 seasonal employees during November and December, the NRF said.
“Retailers would have been happy to hire more seasonal workers if they could have found them,” Kleinhenz said. “Our industry continues to have more job openings than applicants even for full-time positions.”
© 2019 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Stephen Wynne-Jones. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.