Retail industry employment increased by an unusually high 12,900 jobs in November over October, according the National Retail Federation.
The November increase compares with a monthly loss of 10,300 jobs in October. The industry is now on track to reach the high end of NRF’s forecast of hiring of annual temporary workers, which is between 500,000 and 550,000 positions. NRF forecasts that this year’s holiday sales will grow between 3.6 and 4 percent.
The NRF noted there were decreases in electronics and appliances stores, clothing and clothing accessories stores, and non-store sales, which includes online sales. However, warehouse and storage employment was up by 8,100 jobs in November.
“This was one of the strongest gains we’ve seen all year,” said Jack Kleinhenz, chief economist at NRF. “You expect employment to be up during the holiday season and retailers are expecting strong holiday sales with related job growth, but overall growth in the economy has to be recognized here as well. We’re also seeing new jobs in other sectors of the economy, particularly industrial, and that means more demand for retail goods and a need for more retail workers.”