According to the BLS's March jobs report, retail trade declined by 24,000 after averaging 32,000 jobs per month over the prior 6 months. Economists are concerned job growth is slowing, particularly in the retail sector. Reduced retail hiring may indicate that consumers are spending less in stores which demonstrates a weakening economy. Bloomberg suggests that retailers have been cautious about hiring because of the sequester in Washington and the increase in payroll taxes which may tighten consumers' budgets. Have retailers been cautious about hiring? The overall job ad volume in 2012 was 22% higher than 2011, with October 2012 marking a 4-year high. In March, the retail trade sector posted over 408,800 job ads online. Although hiring demand decreased over the past 6 months, partially due to a post holiday season decline, March job ad volume was still 1% higher than the same time last year.
Hiring Demand in the Retail Sector – 4 Year Hiring Trend
In March, the highest volume of job ads was posted by home centers and department stores. Automotive parts and accessories stores had the greatest increase in demand over the same time last year.
Industries with the Highest Demand and Their Year-Over-Year Growth
First-Line Supervisors of Retail Sales Workers, Retail Salespersons, and Cashiers are the most commonly advertised job titles by these industries. Cashiers had the biggest increase in-demand over the past year, rising 38%. The largest volume of job ads appeared in New York (NY), Chicago (IL), and Los Angeles (CA). Each of these cities experienced a decline in demand when comparing March 2013 to March 2012. Below is a heat map of ad volume throughout the US. The cities with the highest job counts are shown below in dark blue.
Heat Map of Job Volume in the Retail Sector
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