OPERATIONS

NRF: Retailers stepped up hiring in April

BY Marianne Wilson

Washington, D.C. — The retail industry, the nation’s largest private sector employer, added 29,000 jobs in April, indicating that retailers are seeing signs of an improving economy, and as a result, added to their payrolls heading into the summer, according to the National Retail Federation.

Still, the NRF sounded a cautious note.

“While the overall impact of the payroll tax increase and sequester remain a significant concern, unease over taxes and spending and the upcoming debate on the debt ceiling in Congress may once again stymie business investment and consumer spending,” said CEO Matthew Shay.


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FINANCE

Consumer spending stays flat

BY Dan Berthiaume

Washington, D.C. — U.S. consumer spending averaged $86 a day in April 2013, according to new figures from Gallup. This number is essentially flat compared to $89 in March and $83 in February.

According to Gallup analysis, the lack of change in consumer spending in recent months may reflect the recent increase in payroll tax, as well as the early Easter holiday. Consumer spending remains well above levels recorded during the economic recession of 2008-2011.

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OPERATIONS

Workers worry about pay

BY Dan Berthiaume

New York — Employees show increased levels of anxiety about their income, benefits and security, according to a new poll from Harris Interactive. Aggregated concern about these three issues rose from 56% in March to 57% in April.

In addition, 24% of workers expect to have their salary or hours reduced in the next three months; 29% expect a raise in the next three months; and 13% expect to get better retirement benefits in the next three months. Consumers with an average annual household income of $50,000 to $74,999 showed the highest levels of concern as well as the most growth in fiscal and job-related anxiety.

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