The National Retail Federation issued the following statements from NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay and Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz on the December jobs report:
“The nation’s retailers continued to add to their payrolls in December even in the midst of the condensed holiday shopping season,” Shay said. “Retailers and merchants, especially those operating clothing and general merchandise stores, increased hiring, which may indicate a solid holiday sales season.”
The National Retail Federation calculated retail industry job gains at 49,200 over November and 328,600 year-over-year.
“While the employment gains were much lower than anticipated, gains were made and the economy seems primed for growth,” Kleinhenz said. “The shortened holiday calendar and severe weather in many parts of the country certainly impacted these figures but I suspect we will see upward revisions in the coming months.”
The Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Situation report showed that December total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 74,000, with the unemployment rate at 6.7 percent and the labor force participation rate at 62.8 percent.
NRF is the world’s largest retail trade association, representing discount and department stores, home goods and specialty stores, Main Street merchants, grocers, wholesalers, chain restaurants and Internet retailers from the United States and more than 45 countries. Retail is the nation’s largest private sector employer, supporting one in four U.S. jobs – 42 million working Americans.