November saw monthly gains 39,300 jobs at general merchandise stores
Retail industry employment in November increased by 18,600 jobs seasonally adjusted from October, accounting for 12% of the 155,000-job increase reported by the Labor Department for the economy overall, the National Retail Federation reported. Year-over-year, retail employment was down by 16,300 jobs unadjusted as a tight labor market made it difficult to fill positions. The retail numbers exclude automobile dealers, gasoline stations and restaurants.
November’s retail job numbers followed a revised loss of 9,100 jobs in October from September. The three-month moving average as of November showed a loss of 6,700 jobs. Unemployment for all of retail was 4.2%, which combined with October’s 4.1% makes the lowest two-month average since the Great Recession.
November saw monthly gains 39,300 jobs at general merchandise stores, which include department stores and warehouse clubs, and that number alone accounted for a quarter of job gains seen economy-wide in November. Jobs increased by 9,800 at miscellaneous stores; 2,900 at food and beverage stores and 2,100 in non-store, which includes online. There were losses of 11,100 jobs at sporting goods and hobby stores and 10,900 at electronics and appliances stores.
Economy-wide, average hourly earnings in November were up 6 cents over October to $27.35 and up 81 cents from a year ago, a year-over-year increase of 3.1%. The Labor Department said overall unemployment remained at 3.7%, its lowest level since December 1969.