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Retail Employment Down 6,700 in February

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 175,000 in February, with the unemployment rate at 6.7 percent and the labor force participation rate at 63.0 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics recently reported.

The National Retail Federation calculated retail employment down 6,700 in February yet up 205,500 year-over-year. The biggest job losses were seen in electronics and appliance stores, and sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores. December and January retail employment figures were also revised downward.

“Retailers continued to rearrange and maximize their payrolls and inventories following the holiday shopping season,” NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said. “This decline should be temporary in nature and viewed as a speed bump. We really need to lift the snow screen to adequately measure the economy and jobs situation.

“We remain optimistic for continued economic and employment gains this year and are encouraged by the growth in construction jobs and building material employment last month, which suggests a forthcoming improvement in residential and nonresidential spending along with household and business confidence.”

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About Amanda Bell

Amanda Bell was an assistant editor of Hardware Retailing and NRHA. Amanda regularly visited with home improvement retailers across the country and attended industry events and seminars. She earned a degree in magazine journalism from Ball State University and has received honors for her work for Hardware Retailing from the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals.

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