WASHINGTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Retail industry employment in September increased by 25,600 jobs
unadjusted over the same time last year despite a seasonally adjusted
drop of 23,600 jobs from August, the National Retail Federation said
today. The numbers exclude automobile dealers, gasoline stations and
restaurants. Overall, U.S. businesses added 134,000 jobs over August,
the Labor Department said.
“I think we can safely ignore the decline from August because that was
largely the result of the aftermath of Hurricane Florence, which
affected both the retail sector and leisure/hospitality,” NRF Chief
Economist Jack Kleinhenz said. “More importantly, we know we have a
large number of unfilled retail jobs with a record level of openings in
Retailers had 835,000 unfilled job openings as of July, Kleinhenz said.
September’s numbers followed a revised monthly gain of 8,900 jobs in
August over July, which had originally been reported as a 9,700-job
loss. The three-month moving average in September showed a loss of 5,000
Economy-wide, average hourly earnings in September were up 8 cents over
August and 73 cents from a year ago, a year-over-year increase of 2.8
percent. The Labor Department said the unemployment rate fell to 3.7
percent, its lowest level since December 1969.
Kleinhenz noted that retail job numbers reported by the Labor Department
do not provide an accurate picture of the industry because they count
only employees who work in stores while excluding retail workers in
other parts of the business such as corporate headquarters, distribution
centers, call centers and innovation labs.
The National Retail Federation is the world’s largest retail trade
association. Based in Washington, D.C., NRF represents discount and
department stores, home goods and specialty stores, Main Street
merchants, grocers, wholesalers, chain restaurants and internet
retailers from the United States and more than 45 countries. Retail is
the nation’s largest private-sector employer, supporting one in four
U.S. jobs — 42 million working Americans. Contributing $2.6 trillion to
annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the nation’s economy.
National Retail Federation
J. Craig Shearman, 855-NRF-PRESS