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posted on 23 December 2017

November Retail Hiring Highest Since 2012

from Challenger Gray and Christmas

Retail employment in November grew 26 percent to 451,600, the highest November total since 2012, when 485,400 jobs were added, according to an analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics data by global outplacement and executive coaching firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

October job gains were revised higher to 146,400 from 136,700, down 2 percent from the 149,400 retail jobs added in October of last year. Retailers have added a total of 598,000 jobs this year, a 17.5 percent increase from the 508,800 retail jobs added through this point last year.

These are the highest gains in October and November since 2013, when 602,700 jobs were added.

"The November gains indicate that consumer demand at brick-and-mortar stores is high enough that retailers need to stock their stores for the holidays. This is good news for traditional retailers looking to get back in the black before the new year, and execute a new strategy to compete with online shopping in 2018," said John Challenger, Chief Executive Officer of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

Meanwhile, Challenger has tracked 7,670 announced store closures since January.

2017 Announced Store Closures

January-November

Stores Closed

Job Cuts

Reason

Macy's

68

10,000

Restructuring

The Limited

250

4,000

Bankruptcy

American Apparel

110

3,457

Bankruptcy

Wet Seal

171

3,000

Bankruptcy

Lowe's

2,400

Cost-Cutting

Sears/Kmart

421

3,415

Cost-Cutting

Abercrombie & Fitch

60

150

Cost-Cutting

hhgregg

220

5,000

Bankruptcy

JCPenney

138

5,500

Restructuring

Family Christian Stores

240

1,300

Closing

L.L.Bean

900

Cost-Cutting

Payless

800

Bankruptcy

RadioShack

1,000

Bankruptcy

Bebe

190

960

Restructuring

BCBG Max Azria

120

492

Bankruptcy

Dollar Express

330

2,800

Acquisition/Merger

Rue 21

400

Bankruptcy

Central Grocers

31

1,900

Bankruptcy

Winn-Dixie

20

Restructuring

Marsh Supermarkets

18

1,535

Bankruptcy

Michael Kors Holdings

125

Cost-Cutting

Ascena Retail Group

650

Cost-Cutting

GameStop

100

Cost-Cutting

The Children's Place

300

Cost-Cutting

Gymboree

350

Bankruptcy

True Religion

27

Bankruptcy

Alfred Angelo

60

Bankruptcy

Teavana

379

Closing

Gap Inc.

200

Restructuring

Benny's

31

715

Closing

Neiman Marcus Last Call

10

Restructuring

Perfumania

64

Bankruptcy

Walgreens

600

Acquisition/Merger

The Bon-Ton Stores

40

Cost-Cutting

J.Crew

50

Cost-Cutting

Charming Charlie LLC

97

Bankruptcy

Source: Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc. ©

"December typically sees the smallest number of retail job gains. The ongoing store closures could signal smaller-than-average December hiring," said Challenger.

[editor's note: the following FRED graphic illustrates the points raised in this post - the peak hiring months are November for retail trade]

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