Retail Jobs Post Strong Growth in April
The National Retail Federation announced today that retail industry employment increased 3,700 jobs seasonally adjusted in April over March and 48,900 jobs unadjusted year-over-year. The numbers exclude automobile dealers, gasoline stations and restaurants. Overall, U.S. businesses added 164,000 jobs in April, the Labor Department said. Over the last three months, the retail industry saw an overall average increase of 17,200 jobs.
"The jobs gains are looking very good and are in line with the continuing growth of the economy,” NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said in a press release. “Irregular weather patterns have put some noise into the data this year in terms of fluctuating monthly numbers, but the overall trends show the underlying strength of the economy. Tax reform and regulatory reform seen over the past few months are expected to continue to provide traction for the economy and further job growth.”
Total Retail's Take: While overall this is good news, Kleinhenz noted that retail job numbers reported by the Labor Department do not always 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. It will be interesting to see how retail sales and job growth will be as we near a traditionally slow season — summer – for the industry.