The National Retail Federation today issued the following statement from NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay and Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz on the October jobs report: “The latest jobs report, which came in stronger than anticipated, provides some positive indication that the economy and employment situation are steadily improving,” Shay said
“The timing couldn’t be better for retailers and consumers, who are busy preparing for the holiday shopping season.”
“It is now incumbent upon policymakers to address our pending fiscal and budgetary questions sooner rather than later. We cannot afford to repeat the same mistakes, which led us to a government shutdown and to the brink of default.”
NRF calculated retail industry job gains at 37,600 in October, and 295,000 year-over-year, a 2.4 percent increase over 2012. Job gains were seen in every retail sector with the exception of clothing and clothing stores, which witnessed a contraction of 12,500 positions in September.
In its annual holiday sales and employment forecast, NRF predicted that retailers would see a 3.9 percent increase in sales, and hire an additional 720,000 to 780,000 employees this holiday season.
“Today’s report puts the U.S. economy in a very positive light heading into the fall and winter seasons,” Kleinhenz said. “The government shutdown had little to no impact on the improving employment situation, which is steadily improving along with GDP. While retailers and businesses are hiring, consumers remain cautious, but we remain steadfast in our belief that consumer confidence and spending will improve.”
The Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Situation report showed that the economy added 204,000 jobs in October. Unemployment was calculated at 7.3 percent.
As the world’s largest retail trade association and the voice of retail worldwide, NRF represents retailers of all types and sizes, including chain restaurants and industry partners, from the United States and more than 45 countries abroad. Retailers operate more than 3.6 million U.S. establishments that support one in four U.S. jobs – 42 million working Americans. Contributing $2.5 trillion to annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the nation’s economy. NRF’s Retail Means Jobs campaign emphasizes the economic importance of retail and encourages policymakers to support a Jobs, Innovation and Consumer Value Agenda aimed at boosting economic growth and job creation. www.nrf.com