Retail Jobs on Roll

According to recently released Department of Labor data, the retail industry added nearly 50,000 jobs in November, the second highest increase since September 2007. In addition, according to the American Express OPEN® Small Business Monitor, a semi-annual survey now in its tenth year, 31 percent of small businesses said they were looking to hire over the next six months. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports, “Employment is expected to grow by eight percent over the 2008 to 2018 decade, about as fast as the average for all occupations. About 374,700 new retail salesperson jobs will arise, more jobs than will be generated in almost any other occupation.”

A detailed look at the Department of Labor data reveals the retail industry added 49,800 jobs, raising the total number of U.S. retail jobs to 14.7 million. The retail industry has added nearly 200,000 new jobs this year alone, averaging 14,000 new jobs each month. “Strong job growth in the retail industry is proof positive that the consumer is back,” said RILA president, Sandy Kennedy. “As consumers gain confidence and open their wallets once again, the retail industry is poised to grow.”

However, as customer sales continue to increase, retailers have to be willing to pay a little more for the help needed. As revealed by Intuit’s Index report, jobs opportunities are increasing, but so is compensation. Average monthly payment for all small business employees was $2,682 in July. In the retail industry specifically, the average hourly wage continues to rise, with the middle 50 percent falling between $8.26 and $13.35 an hour, as recorded in early 2008. The Bureau of Labor Statistics notes, however, “Compensation systems can vary by type of establishment and merchandise sold.”