Retail employment in November grew 26 percent to 451,600, the highest November total since 2012, when 485,400 jobs were added, according to an analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics data by global outplacement and executive coaching firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.
October job gains were revised higher to 146,400 from 136,700, down 2 percent from the 149,400 retail jobs added in October of last year. Retailers have added a total of 598,000 jobs this year, a 17.5 percent increase from the 508,800 retail jobs added through this point last year.
These are the highest gains in October and November since 2013, when 602,700 jobs were added.
“The November gains indicate that consumer demand at brick-and-mortar stores is high enough that retailers need to stock their stores for the holidays. This is good news for traditional retailers looking to get back in the black before the new year, and execute a new strategy to compete with online shopping in 2018,” said John Challenger, Chief Executive Officer of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.
Meanwhile, Challenger has tracked 7,670 announced store closures since January.
“December typically sees the smallest number of retail job gains. The ongoing store closures could signal smaller-than-average December hiring,” said Challenger.