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.


Recent News

Business Analysts’ Top 10 Economic Predictions for 2018 Show Positive Signs

The global economy will expand in 2018, matching the rate of growth achieved in 2017 and marking the first time since 2011 that global growth topped 3 percent, according to an annual forecast by business information provider IHS Markit.

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

Shuffle Board: Macy’s Loses Executive Chairman, Nike Ramps Up Digital & Retail Team

Terry Lundgren, Macy’s executive chairman, is retiring from the company’s board, plus Nike added two new executives to elevate its digital and retail teams.

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: Only 8% of Retailers Are Maximizing Ominichannel’s Promise

Omnichannel is more than just a buzzword—it's a necessary strategy for survival but too many retailers are struggling amid the current retail turmoil to keep up with consumer demands for a seamless experience.

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