Market Overview

July Retail Jobs Increase 66,000 Over 2017

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Retail industry employment in July increased by 66,000 jobs unadjusted
over the same time last year showing on-going industry growth, the
National Retail Federation said today. The numbers exclude automobile
dealers, gasoline stations and restaurants. Overall, U.S. businesses
added 157,000 jobs over June, the Labor Department said.

"While today's jobs release may appear disappointing after a string of
monthly gains, the economy remains fundamentally strong," NRF Chief
Economist Jack Kleinhenz said. "In the past, summer months tend to show
large employment fluctuations due to the timing of seasonal hiring.
However, consumer and business optimism remain elevated and paints a
positive picture as we head into the third quarter."

July's increase of 3,100 jobs was followed by revisions in June with a
loss of 23,600 and an upwardly revised increase in May of 28,000,
seasonally adjusted. The three-month moving average in July showed an
increase of 2,500 jobs.

July saw monthly gains in general merchandise stores, which were up by
14,000 jobs, clothing and accessories stores up 10,000 jobs, and food
and beverage stores up 8,000 jobs. Offsetting the gains, employment
decreased by 32,000 jobs in sporting, hobby, book, and music stores.

Today's figures also showed a slight dip in the retail industry
unemployment, from 4.5 percent to 4.4 percent, which underscores the
current reports surrounding a tight job market within the retail
industry.

Economy-wide, average hourly earnings in July were up 7 cents over June
to $27.05, a year-over-year increase of 2.7 percent. The Labor
Department said the unemployment rate was 3.9 percent, down from 4
percent in June.

Kleinhenz noted that retail job numbers reported by the Labor Department
do not provide an accurate picture of the industry because they count
only employees who work in stores while excluding retail workers in
other parts of the business such as corporate headquarters, distribution
centers, call centers and innovation labs.

About NRF

The National Retail Federation is the world's largest retail trade
association. Based in Washington, D.C., NRF represents 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 $2.6 trillion to
annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the nation's economy.

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