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Fashion & retail professionals are upbeat on job market
Jul '11
Higher salaries, job mobility, and a strong emphasis on “quality of life” benefits are redefining the job market in retail and fashion, according to 24 Seven's Fifth Annual Salary Survey. The survey, conducted in collaboration with the American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA), queried more than 2,000 professionals across the U.S. in all sectors including design, sales and marketing, merchandising, product development, operations, e-commerce and store level.

“The fashion and retail job marketplace is experiencing a period of transformation driven by renewed optimism and the retail industry's need to reinvigorate brands,” said Celeste Gudas, President and Founder of 24 Seven, Inc. “The recession has re-shaped job expectations, and we're now seeing star talent on all levels leaving to create their own opportunities, redefine their career paths and increase their on-the-job satisfaction level. Companies need to become more attuned to the desires of employees in order to attract and retain talent and remain competitive in this post-recession environment.”

Key findings unveiled in the survey include:
- 68% of respondents plan to make a career move in the next year, with almost 50% of all respondents already looking for a new job.
- Design, digital, and e-commerce are emerging as the most active areas. Among the job categories in greatest demand in the sector are apparel design; social media-related positions such as strategist, campaign manager and blogger; and luxury brand management and sales. Visual merchandising and graphic design jobs are also expected to grow.
- Base salaries for respondents who moved into a new job within the last 12 months are up almost 20%. For employees who have held their current positions between one and five years, salaries have risen 9%. Across the entire survey sample, salary increases during this period have occurred in all job categories.
- Flex-time and ability to telecommute represent new non-traditional benefits that are driving employment satisfaction. The top three reasons for considering a job change are higher base salary, better growth potential and improved quality of life, according to respondents. But, the #1 factor that can positively impact job satisfaction is work/life balance.
Beyond medical insurance, non-traditional benefits such as more flexible work schedules and telecommuting options are highly valued by respondents.
- Fashion and retail professionals are upbeat on the job market. 62% of survey respondents believe their salary will increase in the coming year, and 43% expect their bonuses to rise in 2011.

“The U.S. apparel and footwear industry is comprised of one of the most dynamic and creative workforces in the world,” said AAFA President and CEO Kevin M. Burke. “We are proud to partner with 24 Seven on the 2011 Annual Salary Survey. Not only does this survey describe in great detail the positive employment outlook for our industry, this survey will help AAFA reinforce the work we do in Washington, D.C., on behalf of the industry.”

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