WASHINGTON, 2014-5-2 — /EPR Retail News/ — The National Retail Federation issued the statements below from President and CEO Matthew Shay and Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz in response to the April jobs report released today. NRF calculated that retail employment increased 28,000 in April from March and 241,000 year-over-year. March’s retail employment was revised upward by 2,700 jobs. The increase reflects the growth and positive momentum seen in the retail industry in recent months.
“While this is certainly a solid report and proves that retailers continue to help lead the way in job creation, there is still room to address the underlying issue that the overall labor force remains underutilized,” Shay said. “A concentration on pro-business initiatives by our leaders in Washington that would give companies the confidence they need to hire more out-of-work Americans would go a long way in this economic recovery.”
“After a weak report on growth in the overall economy, the strong jobs report shows that the backlash from the weather-induced slowdown between December and March impacted economic activity but was not a foreboding sign of what is to come,” Kleinhenz said. “We expect a rebound in economic activity. While only select sectors such as apparel and general merchandise reported higher results, we expect retailers to be stocked and prepared for one of the busiest times of the year – summer.”
The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Situation Summary showed that total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 288,000 in April, above analysts’ expectations.
NRF is the world’s largest retail trade association, representing discount and department stores, home goods and specialty stores, Main Street merchants, grocers, wholesalers, chain restaurants and Internet retailers from the United States and more than 45 countries. Retail is the nation’s largest private sector employer, supporting 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
Craig Shearman or Bethany Aronhalt (855) NRF-PRESS
Note to media: View latest report in NRF’s Retail Insight Center