January retail employment is down 21,600 jobs, yet up 230,000 jobs year-over-year, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF) monthly jobs report. December retail employment figures were revised up to reflect a gain of 57,000 jobs.
The NRF issued statements from President and CEO Matthew Shay and Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz, both citing seasonal factors for the dip in employment.
“While it is always positive to see an increase in private sector hiring and a decrease in unemployment, it is alarming that employment can’t shift into a higher gear,” Shay said. “Despite seasonal factors at play in today’s employment report, it remains incumbent on policymakers to lead the nation’s recovery and move beyond partisan disputes over raising the debt ceiling and refocus attention on patent, tax and immigration reform, which will spur economic growth, opportunity and job creation.”
The Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Situation report showed that January total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 113,000 with the unemployment rate at 6.6% and the labor force participation rate at 63%.
“Once again the jobs report was disappointing and weather was a major factor,” Kleinhenz said. “Even though employment gains in the retail sector declined for the month due to severe winter weather and additional seasonal factors, the economy is primed for a rebound. The decreases in retail jobs were mostly localized and focused on specific categories, especially sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores.”