Economy Adds 209K Jobs in July, Unemployment Falls to New Low

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

The economy added a higher-than-expected 209,000 jobs in July, according to data released Friday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, bringing unemployment to 4.3%, tied with May 2017 for a 16-year low. 

The retail industry, however, had little to celebrate, as the sector added only a thousand jobs in the month, further evidence that the industry is undergoing a secular upheaval that has more to do with changing consumer demands than with economic malaise.

Brick and mortar retailers are experiencing declining store foot traffic, the shift to online and off-price stores that employ fewer people than department and specialty stores, and store closures that are expected to put continued pressure on retail employment.

The biggest drop in employment occurred at apparel specialty stores, where a total of 10,000 jobs were shed. Department store employment increased by 2,000 jobs, while general merchandise stores increased their staffs by 5,000.

Several big-box and specialty retailers, including Macy’s, Sears Holdings, J.C. Penney Limited, Wet Seal, American Apparel, Foot Locker, Abercrombie & Fitch, Michael Kors, Ascena Retail Group, Gymboree, and others, have announced plans to close stores that will result in further employment erosion in the sector.

This content is for Annual, Monthly and Limited members only. You can read up to five free articles each month with a Limited Level Subscription. Please log in, or register.
Log In Register

Recent News

Sourcing Scoop: Spencer Fung on the Fate of Li & Fung’s Business in the Face of Accelerating Disruption

Though Li & Fung has been working on its new Three-Year Plan to digitize and speed up the supply chain and its evolution to agent 2.0, the business has still hit on hard times as retail wriggles out of its old skin and into a new life.

This content is for Annual, Monthly and Limited members only. You can read up to five free articles each month with a Limited Level Subscription. Please log in, or register.
Log In Register
Read more

Report: Textile Exchange Shows Preferred Fiber Uptake is Greater than Ever Before

Textile Exchange, the global non-profit that promotes the adoption of preferred fibers, integrity and standards and responsible supply networks, has released its largest preferred fibers report ever in the number of participants and areas of coverage.

This content is for Annual, Monthly and Limited members only. You can read up to five free articles each month with a Limited Level Subscription. Please log in, or register.
Log In Register
Read more