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US retail industry reports over 6K fewer jobs in March 2018: NRF

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The National Retail Federation (NRF), world’s largest retail trade organisation headquartered at Washington D.C., USA, has revealed that the country’s retail industry noted a decline in jobs in the month of March 2018 as compared to February 2018.

During the period under review, the retail industry reported 6,400 fewer jobs on the seasonally adjusted basis but it increased 30,800 unadjusted year-over-year. Automobile dealers, gasoline stations and restaurants jobs have been excluded while calculating.

The decline in March has come soon after an increase of 46,400 jobs in the previous month. A moving average increase in jobs in March reported an increase of 14,200 jobs. Notably, the retail industry reported 711,000 job openings in January, the highest monthly figure ever.

The drop in jobs was majorly reported at general merchandise stores, down 12,600; clothing and clothing accessory stores, down 7,300; sporting goods stores, up 1 per cent; and grocery stores, down 3,200.

“Despite being weaker than February the trend is in the right direction. In view of weather condition, Easter and Passover this time of year can be quirky,” stated NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz.

Despite the dip in jobs in March, employment in retail is still substantially high, he added.

Also, the unemployment rate in March remained unchanged at 4.1 per cent for the sixth straight month. The month of March also reported an increase of 8 cents – 2.7 per cent – year over year increase in average hourly earnings.