The National Retail Federation calculated retail industry job gains at 43,600 in August, with marked increases in clothing, general merchandise and electronics stores. The Bureau of Labor Statistics employment situation report showed that the economy added 169,000 jobs in August, which lowered the unemployment rate to 7.3 percent.
“The economy continues to sputter along,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “Employers and retailers are adding to their payrolls and ranks, but still remain guarded. The business community is hiring yet waiting for stronger signs of sustained economic growth before extending too many job offers.”
“While the jobs numbers weren’t as strong as anticipated, they indicate a more positive trend,” NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said. “We are expecting further signs of strengthening in the second half of the year. Retailers are making headway but challenges remain. Slow wage growth and downward jobs revisions continue to indicate a reluctant economy.”