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].”
Harrods plans to remove the famous statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed from the bottom of the Egyptian escalators and hand it back to Mohamed Al-Fayed. “We are very proud to have played our role in celebrating the lives of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed at Harrods and to have welcomed people from around the world to visit the memorial for the past 20 years,” said Michael Ward, Harrods managing director. “With the announcement of the new official memorial statue to Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace, we feel that the time is right to return this memorial to Mr. Al Fayed and for the public to be invited to pay their respects at the palace.” More on the news, with reporting by @loreleimarfil, at WWD.com. #wwdnews
@prada is introducing a new project at its men’s fall 2018 show this Sunday: “Prada Invites.” The fashion house invited four celebrated creative minds – @ronanaerwanbouroullec, Konstantin Grcic, @herzogdemeuron and @rem.koolhaas – to each create a unique item with its iconic nylon material. The designs will be unveiled on the runway show, which will take place at the company’s warehouse in Viale Ortles 25. #wwdfashion #mfwm (📷: @martinocarrera)
@kering_official is spinning off its stake in puma in an effort to focus on its luxury brands, the brand operator announced yesterday. “We are proud to have supported the turnaround of Puma, which now has unrivaled capabilities to take full advantage of the specific dynamics of its global markets and is poised to achieve substantial growth,” said François-Henri Pinault, Kering’s chief executive officer and chairman. Artémis will become a “long-term strategic shareholder” of Puma with a 29 percent stake. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
The fashion world mourns for celebrated street style photographer, Nabile Quenum, who died at age 32 in Paris.
Quenum, creator of the fashion blog “J’ai Perdu Ma Veste,” was a fashion week fixture, and regularly shot for New York magazine’s The Cut, among other outlets, and brands such as Louis Vuitton, Moncler and Adidas. He was also actively involved in the #NoFreePhotos initiative, which kicked off in the fall. Read more about Quenum in @kbsmoke's story on WWD.com. #wwdnews
@verwanggang and @maisonladuree have teamed up on a dessert collab called Vera Wang Pour Ladurée. The collection, which launched this week, features a specialty macaroon, as well as a wedding cake inspired by one of the designer’s gowns. “I could not imagine a more delicate or sophisticated creation to grace any couple’s celebration,” said Wang. #wwdfashion