WASHINGTON — Retailers, buoyed by strengthening consumer confidence and spending, added 37,100 jobs to payrolls in June, as employment gains in the overall economy beat economists’ expectations, the Labor Department’s monthly employment report showed on Friday.
Apparel and accessories stores added 8,100 jobs to employ 1.4 million in June. General merchandise stores, including discounters and department stores trimmed 100 jobs to employ 3.1 million. Within the general merchandise group, department stores added 100 jobs to employ 1.5 million in June.
The overall economy added 195,000 jobs, while the unemployment rate remained unchanged at 7.6 percent.
“Despite a headwind from the federal spending sequester, the private sector is creating more jobs than previously thought,” said Paul Edelstein, director of financial economics at IHS Global Insight.
Edelstein said strong June jobs growth combined with upward revisions in April and May brought average monthly job growth to 199,000 per month, up from the average of 163,000 per month, following the May employment report.
“Stronger payrolls mean higher long-term interest rates for the economy,” Edelstein said. “Strong payrolls should boost market expectations for economic growth and inflation, which can push up bond yields. But the numbers also suggest that the Fed could be closer to slowing its bond buying than previously thought.”
In the apparel and textile manufacturing sector, apparel employment fell 700 to 141,800. Mills making apparel fabrics and yarns added 800 jobs to employ 115,600, while mills making home furnishings products added 100 jobs to employe 114,400.