Thousands of jobs were lost at clothing and accessories stores last month, the latest sign that retailers are retooling their businesses as consumer shopping habits change.
Per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report, released Friday, clothing and accessories stores laid off 15,600 people in October. That massive monthly decline offset gains in general merchandise stores—including department stores—as well as sporting goods stores and nonstore retailers, resulting in the loss of roughly 1,100 jobs in the retail industry overall last month.
General merchandise retailers added 9,800 jobs in October. Within that category, department stores added 2,800 jobs—their third consecutive month of hiring. Meanwhile, sporting goods stores gained 1,200 positions last month, and nonstore retailers, which mainly comprise e-commerce, hired 1,500.
On the manufacturing side, the employment situation at textile mills was unchanged from September, but 2,400 jobs were cut from textile product mills and apparel producers lost 1,800.
Overall, the U.S. economy added 161,000 jobs in October and the unemployment rate was little changed at 4.9%. Employment mainly ticked up in health care, professional and business services and financial activities.
Friday’s jobs report came on the heels of a study released by White House economists Thursday that said failure to pass the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) in the “lame duck” session after next week’s presidential election could have dire consequences for the U.S. economy. Namely, 35 goods-producing industries employing close to 5 million workers are directly at risk of increased competitive pressure from China in the Japanese market if the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) between 10 Pacific Rim countries goes into effect.
Both Hillary Clinton, the Democratic candidate, and Republican nominee Donald Trump have come out against TPP, with Trump drawing comparisons between it and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) that he claims killed U.S. jobs. But while the deal did result in the loss of nearly 700,000 positions over 15 years, Friday’s report highlighted that job gains have averaged 176,000 per month over the past three months—roughly three-quarters the number lost due to NAFTA.
LevaData is tapping the power of AI to make strategic sourcing and procurement more seamless for apparel industry members.Read more
Samples, it seems, may soon end up on the endangered list if 3D modeling technology continues to improve and provides the industry with a way to cut down production timelines.Read more
Abercrombie & Fitch continues to rely on Hollister gains, while positioning the Abercrombie brand for similar success. Gap sales up on Athleta, Old Navy performance.Read more
The domestic textile industry and apparel importers have often been on opposite sides of U.S. trade issues, but in today’s political climate they seem to have found some common ground.Read more
U.S. employers added 261,000 jobs in October, pushing unemployment down to the lowest rate since the halcyon days of late 2000.Read more
While everyone’s been focused on the "retail apocalypse," the real story to emerge from 2017 might be the strange bedfellows that have emerged as everyone tries to plot a course forward. The recent partnership between Walmart and Lord & Taylor is the latest to get people talking.Read more
J.W. Anderson’s chief executive, Simon Whitehouse, is exiting the company, plus Dick's Sporting Goods tapped Paul Gaffney as its new CTO.Read more