WASHINGTON — Retailers boosted payrolls in November as the overall economy posted a steady employment gain and the unemployment rate fell, the U.S. Labor Department’s monthly employment report showed Friday.
Clothing and accessories stores, which had shed jobs in the past three months, reversed the trend and added 2,000 seasonally adjusted jobs to employ 1.4 million in November. General merchandise stores, including discounters and department stores, added 13,800 jobs in November to employ 3.1 million, following a gain of 7,800 last month. Department stores increased employment by 4,300 to employ 1.5 million.
“This is the first gain in four months for apparel specialty stores, although it’s not much to speak of with 2,000 jobs,” said Scott Hoyt, director of consumer economics of Moody’s Analytics. “They’ve been struggling with three consecutive months of declines.”
On a year-over-year basis, apparel specialty store employment was down 27,300, Hoyt said, indicating some softness in employment growth in that sector.
Hoyt said the general merchandise and department store categories have “reversed” declines in employment they posted last year.
Employment at general merchandise stores was up 88,700 in November compared with November 2012, while department store employment was 24,000 above year-ago levels, Hoyt said.
“The trend has probably been one of modest improvement in the retail sector, which is certainly in line with overall employment gains,” Hoyt said. “But there is still a lot of uncertainty out there revolving around federal fiscal policy,” he warned, noting that businesses are keeping a close eye on whether Congress can reach a deal on the federal budget by mid-January to avert another government shutdown. An impasse in Congress over spending levels led to a 16-day government shutdown in October.
“Employment is steadily improving month-by-month showing that the economy is primed for growth,” said Jack Kleinhenz, chief economist at the National Retail Federation. “While we are far from fully-recovered, we are seeing a more consistent picture of the market, which should support further economic and employment growth in 2014. The positive jobs report may put additional pressure on the Federal Reserve as they decide the fate of the taper [which generally means reducing the size of its bond-buying program, a tool used to stimulate the economy].”
Supermodel @helenachristensen teamed up with longtime friend and designer @camillastaerk on a joint @paredeyewear collaboration. The lineup features three styles and 11 offerings, all of which embody a vintage feel. Get all the details on how they celebrated the collab on WWD.com. #wwdaccessories #wwdeye (📷: @slovekinpics)
“It’s a hard industry to keep motivated, as well, so finding different subjects and people is what makes it worth it – when you’re like, oh, I’ve met great people, I feel like I’ve done something good, and I feel proud of having done this,” said French actress Stacy Martin on being grateful for the variety of roles she’s take on. Read @ktauer’s full interview with Martin on her her latest film “Godard Mon Amour.” #wwdeye (📷: @danieldorsa)
After showing in front of the Eiffel Tower for his last two women’s ready-to-wear collection, it looks like @anthonyvaccarello may be heading to the Big Apple. Sources say the designer will stage his next @ysl show in NYC on June 6. Get all the details on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
EXCLUSIVE: Two and half months after John Targon, cofounder and codesigner of Baja East, was hired as creative director of the contemporary division at Marc Jacobs, he has left the company, WWD has learned. Marc Jacobs International, which is owned by LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, confirmed Targon’s departure in a statement: “John Targon is a talented designer and we appreciate the work he has done here. Ultimately working together did not make sense for the brand and we wish him the best.” Read the story by @jessiredale, link in bio. #wwdnews
@theluxurycollection is officially launching a collection, tapping Sofia Sanchez de Betak for the capsule. Over 30 styles will be featured in the Chufy x The Luxury Collection, debuting next month at Bergdorf Goodman, The Webster, FiveStory and more. De Betak, known as “@chufy,” drew inspiration for the collection from her trips to Japan in the past year #wwdfashion
@lhd, founder and CEO of @thewebster, has teamed up with @lebonmarcherivegauche for the European launch of her ready-to-wear line, LHD. The launch will come with an exclusive pop-up opening today that’s set to run through May 20. Located on the second floor, it carries her debut Miami-themed resort collection, launched in November as see-now-buy-now. #wwdfashion