WASHINGTON — U.S. specialty stores, boosting payrolls for the holidays, added 11,400 seasonally adjusted jobs last month, while department stores continued their long-term slide, cutting 9,300 jobs.
Apparel manufacturers had a surprising gain of 400 jobs in November and textile manufacturers narrowed job losses to 1,100 last month, the Labor Department reported Friday.
Overall, employers added 94,000 jobs to payrolls in November, compared with 170,000 in October. The gain was driven by increases in retail, health services, professional services and the leisure and hospitality sectors. Those increases offset job losses in manufacturing and construction. The unemployment rate was unchanged at 4.7 percent, its level for the past three months.
The bellwether economy figures were released before Fed policy makers meet Wednesday, when they are expected to cut interest rates by at least a quarter point. Although job creation exceeded most forecasts, many economists were still cautious because of the housing slump, subprime mortgage crisis, credit crisis and higher energy costs.
"Jobs growth near 100,000, combined with a steady unemployment rate, does not signal an economy dipping into recession and provides important support for consumer incomes," Nigel Gault, U.S. economist for Global Insight, wrote in a report. "Over the next few months, we expect job growth to slow substantially, but stay positive, as the economy slows under the weight of further declines in housing and slower growth in consumer spending."
Apparel and accessories stores, after posting the jobs gain, employed 1.47 million people last month, while department stores continued to shed jobs and employed 1.53 million people.
"I think what happened is not only the seasonal holiday [hiring], but also a shift in purchases of clothing this year because it took awhile for the weather to cool down, so there were pretty poor purchases of apparel earlier this fall, and now there is more seasonal weather," Sophia Koropeckyj, an economist with Moody's Investors Service, said.
But the apparel and textile industry continues to downsize in the face of fierce foreign competition, although the sector's pace of job losses in November slowed. Apparel manufacturers added 400 jobs to employ 210,700. Textile mills cut 800 jobs to 166,100 last month, and textile product mills employment fell by 300 jobs to 151,700."It now appears that job losses in 2007 will be less severe than last year for the textile segments and only slightly worse for apparel," Charles McMillion, president and chief economist at MBG Information Services, said in a report.
But McMillion warned that demand in the U.S. has been weakening, which could have an adverse impact on employment.
"Unfortunately, I do not expect the current industry job stability to continue as demand growth slows further and imports continue to displace producers," he added.
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews
“Stranger Things” is getting a new cast member for season 2. Meet @sadiesink_, the 15-year-old who will be joining the Netflix series for its new season. You may recognize her from “The Glass Castle” with Brie Larson and Woody Harrelson, but the Texas native’s next role goes in an entirely different direction. She describes her character, Max, as “a rough and tumble skater girl [who] becomes friends with the boys at school.” The second season debuts on October 27. (📷: @jgreenery) #wwdeye
Amid the Harvey Weinstein controversy, there’s another sector that’s being put under the spotlight for sexual abuse: the modeling industry. While rumors about abuse and sexual harassment of female and male models — and the photographers, agents and others who perpetrated it — have circulated within the fashion world for years, model @cameronrussell started posting stories from models on Instagram last week about abusive situations they’ve encountered — from sexual harassment and molestation to attempted rape. Over 75 have weighed in so far. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews
To celebrate its 16th anniversary, @dylanscandybar tapped designers and celebrities to create mosaics out of candy. The mosaics will be auctioned off to support the philanthropic cause of each participant’s choice. Pictured here is the mural created by @aliceandolivia's Stacey Bendet. For a first look at some of the other artwork being unveiled tonight, go to WWD.com. #wwdeye
The annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in Pacific Palisades this weekend drew Kate Hudson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laura Dern and more. See pictures of the star-studded event on WWD.com. (📷: @chelsealaurenla) #wwdeye
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye
"Nowadays when life is not so happy with everything going on in the world, I think people come to me for a little bit of whimsy and color and fun." - Designer Rebecca De Ravenel on her cult-favorite jewelry line. (📸 : @vsteves) #wwd40
“Everyone is talking about how the retail industry is struggling, but I think it’s an incredible time because brands who are doing something different and innovative are setting themselves up for the future,” said @adamgoldston, who founded the luxury athletic brand @apl with his brother @ryangoldsten. The Goldston’s are part of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables. See the rest of the list on WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
@eyeswoon blogger Athena Calderone debuted her first-ever cookbook, “Cook Beautiful,” which is heavily centered on the presentation and visual expression of food. Pictured here are her miso glazed carrots from the book. Get the recipe on WWD.com. (📷: @johnny_miller_) #wwdeye