US Retail Industry Records Slight Job Decrease In July
The US retail industry saw employment declining slightly in July, with a decrease of approximately 1,700 jobs from June, according to statistics from the National Retail Federation (NRF). These numbers exclude automobile dealers, gasoline stations, and restaurants.
On a three-month average, retail jobs have decreased by 4,200 jobs, the NRF calculated.
NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz noted that retail job numbers reported by the Labor Department don’t paint an entirely accurate picture of the industry. Only employees who work in stores are being counted and retail workers in other parts of the business like corporate headquarters, distribution centres, call centres and innovation labs are excluded.
The overall economy saw gains of 209,000 jobs in July, exceeding growth expectations for the month. Unemployment in July was at 4.3%, down from 4.4% in June.
At the same time, average hourly earning in July showed a slight gain of 2.5% year-over-year, keeping pace with the increase in June.
While the sporting goods sector saw decreased employment in July, department stores, building materials and supply stores, as well as health and personal care stores all saw job gains.
The NRF noted that department store employment has increased for the past two months, with June and July gaining a combined total of 6,000 jobs. Health and personal care employment increased in July, as opposed to June’s decline in jobs.
“Overall job and wage growth are positive indicators for the retail industry since it means consumers have more money to spend when they come into stores or shop online,” said Kleinhenz.
“Of note, the oft-maligned department store sector has had two consecutive months of job increases. With back-to-school shopping ramping up and the holiday season just around the corner, retailers will only be busier in the weeks and months ahead”.
© 2017 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Larissa Zimmer. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.