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US retail industry sees job decline in Dec 2017

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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 December 2017 when compared to the month earlier, i.e. November.

During the review period, the retail industry noted a decline of 20,200, the association mentioned in the press statement issued. However, NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said, “This figure should not be considered as the final figure to judge the retail industry.”

A strong spending was observed during the holiday season which needs to have further evaluation and that would be done once the final figures are released by the United States Census Bureau, the primary agency responsible for releasing data on the US people and economy, next week, the statement read.

Kleinhenz added that the Labor Department uses certain seasonal factors to notice the history of monthly employment changes and the NRF is not sure of the ‘factors’ currently used and is adjusting for the transformations occurring in the US retail.

According to the US Labor Department data, 148,000 jobs were generated in December 2017 and average hourly earnings increased by 2.5 per cent year-over-year. A preliminary report stated that 565,000 seasonal workforces were added during November and December. This figure may go up once revisions by the Labour Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics are out.