According to calculations by the National Retail Federation, the retail industry added 43,600 more jobs in August. NRF said the biggest gains occurred in clothing, general merchandise and electronics stores.
Overall, said the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the economy added 169,000 jobs in August, lowering the unemployment rate to 7.3 percent.
“The economy continues to sputter along,” said NRF president and ceo Matthew Shay. “Employers and retailers are adding to their payrolls and ranks, but still remain guarded. The business community is hiring yet waiting for stronger signs of sustained economic growth before extending too many job offers.”
“While the jobs numbers weren’t as strong as anticipated, they indicate a more positive trend,” added NRF chief economist Jack Kleinhenz. “We are expecting further signs of strengthening in the second half of the year. Retailers are making headway but challenges remain. Slow wage growth and downward jobs revisions continue to indicate a reluctant economy.”