Fewer major retailers have announced large-scale hiring announcements so far this year, which reflects the drop in the number of October employment gains in the sector. Gains fell 8 percent from last year to 136,700, the lowest October gain since 2011, when the sector added 134,200 jobs, according to an analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data by global outplacement and executive coaching firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

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