WASHINGTON — U.S. apparel and textile manufacturers shed another 3,700 jobs last month, as imports again took their toll, but the overall employment picture brightened.
Retailers helped boost the nation’s employment in April, as a total of 274,000 jobs were added — higher than previous estimates, according to the Labor Department’s monthly report on employment released Friday. The unemployment rate was unchanged at 5.2 percent.
Apparel and accessories stores added 2,600 jobs in April, employing 1.4 million, which represented a gain of 32,300 compared with a year ago. Department stores hired 2,100 workers in the month for a total of 1.6 million, or 12,300 more than a year ago.
The larger general merchandise store category, which includes department stores, increased its workforce by 4,700 for a total of 2.9 million workers, or 19,500 more than a year ago. Figures were adjusted by the government to compensate for seasonal differences.
Standard & Poor’s chief economist, David Wyss, characterized the report as “extremely strong.” The unemployment rate combined with increases in hours worked and earnings were positive signs for consumer spending, he said.
“Manufacturing was still down, however,” Wyss said. “One of the things that has to worry you with manufacturing is the combination of that with the huge deficit.”
The overall U.S. trade deficit hit a record $617 billion last year.
Apparel vendors cut 1,800 jobs last month, for a total workforce of 261,600, or 30,200 fewer than a year ago. Textile mills reduced their base by 1,700 jobs to 227,000, or 12,700 fewer than April 2004.
Bucking the trend, textile product mills added 200 positions for a total of 177,900. Still, that represents a loss of 1,200 from a year ago.
“Even though employment in the textile industry is still falling, even here the silver lining is that the pace of decline appears to be slowing down,” said Ken Goldstein, an economist at The Conference Board. “At least the hemorrhaging or the rate of hemorrhage is starting to slow.”
The improving employment situation factored into the stronger-than-expected same-store sales from retailers on Thursday, said S&P’s Wyss. Same-store sales rose 2.2 percent in April, according to an International Council of Shopping Centers report, which tracked 70 stores.“The economy’s looking like it’s in pretty good shape,” he said, adding that upward revisions in March and February employment figures made for three “pretty decent months.”
“What he has done at Vuitton is really exceptional,” said @gameofthrones’ actress Gwendoline Christie on @mrkimjones’ final show for @louisvuitton. “He has rebooted luxury in terms of making it commercial, viable and contemporary. And most importantly artistic. He has never compromised his artistic vision for the sake of commodity.” (📷: @zefashioninsider)
After seeing a demand for men’s wear from its customers, British contemporary women’s wear label @ariesarise has added a men’s wear component and will launch a unisex collection with @mrporterlive. The 20-piece collection includes jackets, denim, logo T-shirts and more with deconstructed ‘90s vibes. Set to launch on January 18, you can shop the pieces on Aries’ website and on mrporter.com. #wwdfashion
“And so spending so much time with a character who thinks like that, inevitability you try and analyze yourself and go back and think about your own demons and dark chapters that you had in your life,” says @thedanielbruhl of his role in TNT’s “The Alienist.” The show, set in the Gilded Age of New York, also stars Dakota Fanning and Luke Evans. Head to WWD.com to read about how 39-year-old Brühl prepared for the role and why he thinks the show is so relevant to today #wwdeye ( 📷: @Eriktanner)
Now that Celine Dion’s collection has topped $10 million in sales, the pop superstar, fashion icon and newly-minted industry player is eyeing growth in Asia. Read the full report by @tiffanyap, link in bio. #wwdnews #celinedion
“My personal philosophy to beauty is paying attention to oneself. I love to be outdoors, lots of fresh air, trying to take care of yourself as best you can. I always notice that comes through,” says Felicity Jones, the global face of @shiseido-owned @cledepeaubeauteus, which launches today. Head to WWD.com to read more about the actress’ love for beauty and how she prepared for her new role in “The Basis of Sex,” playing the young Ruth Bader Ginsburg. #wwdbeauty (📷: @dandoperalski)
Among the familiar faces at @off____white’s show was a surprise figure: Japanese artist @takashipom, pictured here on Wednesday morning. Other show-goers included @jerrylorenzo, who spoke about his upcoming project: a @nike collaboration for back to school, with designs inspired by his childhood on the West Coast. Sitting in the front row were Future, Don Crawley, @miguel and more. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: Stephane Feugere)
According to @laurentsai, former “Terrace House: Aloha State” cast member, she didn’t know she was auditioning for the Japanese version of “Real World.” “I was telling a couple of my friends and someone’s like, ‘That sounds a lot like Terrace House.’ I was like, ’No it can’t be.’” Turns out, it was. But Tsai isn’t just a reality star — she’s an illustrator who has worked with Starbucks Japan and most recently, she’s dipping her toes into the fashion world. Head to WWD.com to read about her time on the show, modeling and her art. #wwdeye (📷: @danieldorsa)
More changes are coming to New York Fashion Week: Beginning with the spring 2019 collection, @alexanderwangny will move his New York show to June from September, adopting a biannual schedule with collections shown in June and December. Additionally, the @cfda is planning for an official summer/winter fashion season taking place as soon as June and December 2018. Read more about the upcoming changes on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @slovekinpics)