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The retail industry added 37,600 jobs in October and 295,000 year-over-year, a 2.4 percent increase over 2012, according to the latest numbers from the National Retail Federation (NRF).
Job gains were seen in every retail sector with the exception of clothing and clothing stores, which saw a decline of 12,500 positions in September.
“The latest jobs report, which came in stronger than anticipated, provides some positive indication that the economy and employment situation are steadily improving,” said Matthew Shay, president and CEO of the Washington, D.C.-based NRF. “The timing couldn’t be better for retailers and consumers, who are busy preparing for the holiday shopping season.”
In its annual holiday sales and employment forecast, NRF predicted that retailers would see a 3.9 percent increase in sales, and hire an additional 720,000 to 780,000 employees this holiday season.
“The government shutdown had little to no impact on the improving employment situation, which is steadily improving along with GDP,” added NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz. “While retailers and businesses are hiring, consumers remain cautious, but we remain steadfast in our belief that consumer confidence and spending will improve.”
NRF represents retailers of all types and sizes, including chain restaurants and industry partners from the U.S. and more than 45 countries abroad.