General merchandise chains led in job gains for month
WASHINGTON – Retail employment turned a corner in June, gaining 7,400 jobs over May, the National Retail Federation said Friday.
The association noted that its retail industry job figures exclude jobs at automobile dealers, gasoline stations and restaurants. The overall U.S. economy added 222,000 jobs in June.
“The gain in June shows that the industry is still very much meeting the demands of consumers and households,” NRF chief economist Jack Kleinhenz said in a statement. “While one month does not make a trend, retailers are working through a transformative time and gearing up for back-to-school and the not-too-distant winter holiday season.”
Average hourly earnings in June showed a slight gain of 2.5% year-over-year, compared with 2.4% in May.
On a three-month average, retail jobs have decreased by 2,200 fewer jobs as calculated by NRF. On a year-over-year basis seasonally adjusted, retail jobs have decreased by 32,900 positions.
The retail sector saw mixed results in business lines in June with general merchandise retailers, including department stores, registering a 12,200-job gain. That increase, though, was offset by declines in the clothing segments and health and personal care, which lost a combined 12,600 jobs.
The Labor Department reported June unemployment was at 4.4%, up from 4.3% in May.