Retail industry sees solid employment gains in September

The retail industry saw an increase of 10,000 jobs in September over August, according to calculations released today by the National Retail Federation, which excludes automobile dealers, gasoline stations and restaurants. The gains came as the Labor Department announced that the U.S. economy overall gained 156,000 jobs.

“What we’re seeing is reasonable when taking into consideration the economy is in the range of full employment.”

Jack Kleinhenz
NRF Chief Economist

“What we saw in September were very decent gains that reflect the general conditions of the economy and our expectations of a strong second half of 2016,” NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said. “With modest gains spread across key business categories including, clothing, electronics and furniture, what we’re seeing is reasonable when taking into consideration the economy is in the range of full employment.”

On a three-month-average, retail jobs as calculated by NRF have increased by 11,000 positions over last year. On a year-over-year basis, retail jobs have increased by 194,000 positions.

Retail results by business lines have been uneven, and the figures jump up and down monthly. For example, the increase of 14,000 jobs in clothing in September followed a decrease of 1,800 in the same category in August. Moving in the opposite direction, building materials had a gain of 7,600 jobs in August, but lost 4,600 jobs in September.