The National Retail Federation (NRF) calculated that retail employment was down 21,600 jobs in January 2014, yet up 230,000 jobs year-over-year. December retail employment figures were revised up to a gain of 57,000 jobs.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Situation report showed that January total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 113,000, with the unemployment rate at 6.6% and the labor force participation rate at 63%.
NRF research shows that much of the retail job loss was due to severe weather and localized in sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores. NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay said the government needs to do more to improve the job situation.
“While it is always positive to see an increase in private sector hiring and a decrease in unemployment, it is alarming that employment can’t shift into a higher gear,” said Shay. “Despite seasonal factors at play in today’s employment report, it remains incumbent on policymakers to lead the nation’s recovery and move beyond partisan disputes over raising the debt ceiling and refocus attention on patent, tax and immigration reform, which will spur economic growth, opportunity and job creation.”