According to the National Retail Federation (Washington, D.C.), the retail industry added a total of 312,000 jobs in December as part of a total of 576,800 seasonal workers it hired over the holidays. Compared to 2017, 37,600 more jobs were created (unadjusted), and there was a bump of 15,200 from November to December.
NRF’s Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said in a statement that the report indicates that the job market in retail is “still expanding,” despite a rise in the unemployment rate and signals of unstable financial markets.
Of the jobs added during the holiday season, general merchandise added 15,000 jobs (including department and warehouse stores) and food and beverage stores added 4000. Online and other non-store retailers lost jobs (1100), as did sporting goods and hobby retailers (9400). The Labor Department’s retail job statistics do not include auto dealers, gas stations or restaurants.