By  on October 22, 2013

WASHINGTON — Discounters and department stores added jobs to payrolls in September, while apparel specialty stores cut staff and overall employment grew modestly, the U.S. Labor Department’s monthly employment report showed Tuesday.

The overall economy added 148,000 new jobs in September, falling slightly below economists’ expectations. The unemployment rate edged down to 7.2 percent from 7.3 percent in August. Total retail employment rose 20,800 in September compared with August on a seasonally adjusted basis. General merchandise stores, including discounters and department stores, provided a big boost to the overall retail employment number, adding 6,800 jobs to employ 3.1 million. Department stores added 500 positions to employ 1.5 million last month, while apparel and accessories stores trimmed 7,200 jobs to employ 1.45 million.

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