WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The National Retail Federation (NRF) today issued the following statements from NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay and Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz on the August employment numbers.
NRF calculated retail industry job gains at 43,600 in August, with marked increases in clothing, general merchandise and electronics stores.
“The economy continues to sputter along,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “Employers and retailers are adding to their payrolls and ranks, but still remain guarded. The business community is hiring yet waiting for stronger signs of sustained economic growth before extending too many job offers.”
“While the jobs numbers weren’t as strong as anticipated, they indicate a more positive trend,” NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said. “We are expecting further signs of strengthening in the second half of the year. Retailers are making headway but challenges remain. Slow wage growth and downward jobs revisions continue to indicate a reluctant economy.”
The Bureau of Labor Statistics employment situation report showed that the economy added 169,000 jobs in August, which lowered the unemployment rate to 7.3 percent.
As the world’s largest retail trade association and the voice of retail worldwide, NRF represents retailers of all types and sizes, including chain restaurants and industry partners, from the United States and more than 45 countries abroad. Retailers operate more than 3.6 million U.S. establishments that support one in four U.S. jobs – 42 million working Americans. Contributing $2.5 trillion to annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the nation’s economy. NRF’s This is Retail campaign highlights the industry’s opportunities for life-long careers, how retailers strengthen communities, and the critical role that retail plays in driving innovation. www.nrf.com
Note to media: Retail Insight Center