Retail Industry Added 12,000 Jobs in August

Retail industry employment saw an increase of 12,000 jobs in August over July, according to numbers released today by the National Retail Federation, which excludes automobile dealers, gasoline stations and restaurants from its calculations. New retail jobs made up a significant portion of the 151,000 jobs the Labor Department said were gained in all industries nationwide.

"More jobs mean more income and this is a preliminary positive indication for ongoing consumer spending."

Jack Kleinhenz
NRF Chief Economist

“Today’s payroll data is solid for this late stage in the labor market cycle, though the gains are not as exciting as the past two months,” NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said. “The payroll numbers do not clarify whether a liftoff of interest rates by the Federal Reserve is imminent. Nonetheless, more jobs mean more income and this is a preliminary positive indication for ongoing consumer spending.”

On a three-month moving average, retail employment as calculated by NRF has increased by 13,700 jobs since the same time last year. Since August 2015, the retail industry has added 222,300 jobs.

The unemployment rate remained steady at 4.9 percent as people across the country continued to actively look for jobs, the Labor Department said.