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Retail jobs in San Antonio fall short

Tuesday, January 27th, 2015

The number of retail jobs in San Antonio and other cities may have fallen short, according to adjusted government employment data by global outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

Seasonal employment gains in retail fizzled in November and December, with employers adding 23,000 fewer workers than during the same two-month period a year earlier.

Retail employment increased by 603,200 in November and December. That was down 4.0 percent from the 626,200 workers added during the same period in 2013.

Holiday hiring during the final three months of 2014 resulted in 785,200 workers added to retail payrolls, which was 1,000 fewer than last year’s 786,200.

Holiday hiring got off to a strong start in October, with retail employment growing by 182,000 jobs. That was the largest October employment gain in Labor Department data going back to 1939.

“The early hiring gains, coupled with lower-than-expected Black Friday gains, may have tempered hiring activity in November and December. Of course, it is important to keep this year’s hiring numbers in perspective. Yes, holiday job gains were flat from a year earlier, but 2013 hiring was the best we have seen since 2000,” said Challenger.

“It is also important to understand that the retail employment numbers do not include the robust seasonal hiring that occurred outside of that sector. Between FedEx and UPS alone, nearly 150,000 holiday workers were added to the economy.

“If the retail sales and hiring data tell us anything, it’s not that consumers are spending less; it’s that they are spending differently. The retail environment has been evolving ever since the advent of the internet and the changes that occurred slowly and steadily over several years are finally coming into full view,” said Challenger.