The National Retail Foundation (NRF) has calculated the retail industry added 37,600 jobs in October, and 295,000 jobs over the last year, a 2.4% improvement versus 2012 employment gains.
To address to the results, NRF released the following statement from President and CEO Matthew Shay and Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz:
“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.”
However, Shay added that it is important for 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.”
The positive hiring results may be the start to a successful holiday season. NRF predicted in the annual holiday sales and employment forecast that retail sales in November and December would marginally increase by 3.9%, surpassing the 3.5% sales growth of the 2012 holiday season. Retailers also are expected to hire between 720,000 and 780,000 seasonal workers through the New Year.
“The government shutdown had little to no impact on the improving employment situation, which is steadily improving along with gross domestic product,” Kleinhenz said. “While retailers and businesses are hiring, consumers remain cautious, but we remain steadfast in our belief that consumer confidence and spending will improve.”