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The retail industry posted jobs gains of 49,200 over November and 328,600 year-over-year, as calculated by the National Retail Federation (NRF).
According to NRF President Matthew Shay, “The nation’s retailers continued to add to their payrolls in December even in the midst of the condensed holiday shopping season. Retailers and merchants, especially those operating clothing and general merchandise stores, increased hiring, which may indicate a solid holiday sales season," he said.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Situation report showed that December total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 74,000, with the unemployment rate at 6.7 percent and the labor force participation rate at 62.8 percent.
“While the employment gains were much lower than anticipated, gains were made and the economy seems primed for growth,” said Jack Kleinhenz, NRF chief economist. “The shortened holiday calendar and severe weather in many parts of the country certainly impacted these figures but I suspect we will see upward revisions in the coming months.”
NRF is the world’s largest retail trade association, representing retailers from the United States and more than 45 countries.