Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Check Out Line: Jobs jolt

June 6, 2008

clouds.jpgCheck out the loss of more retail jobs. 

Another 27,000 retail jobs disappeared in May, according to the U.S. government’s monthly employment report. That makes 152,000 retail jobs eliminated since the beginning of the year.
 
Overall, nonfarm payrolls fell by 49,000. But even more worrisome for the economy and for retailers could be the jump in the unemployment rate to 5.5 percent. That half-point jump was the largest such move in 22 years and brought the unemployment rate to its highest level in 3-1/2 years.
 
Retailer’s May sales reports yesterday were mostly better than expected, causing some analysts to think they could signal the beginning of a consumer turnaround.
 
But others said it just showed a blip in spending that was caused by the tax rebate checks consumers have begun to receive. 
 
Economic concerns could still linger after all that stimulus money is gone, they say, and things could get worse if consumers, already hit by $4-a-gallon gasoline, soaring food prices and falling home values really start to worry about their jobs.

Wonder how a half-point jump in the unemployment number plays into that?
 
Meanwhile, to take your mind of the jobs report, there’s always the company pep rally that masquerades as the Wal-Mart annual meeting. The world’s-largest retailer flies in employees from all around the world to help pack the basketball arena at the shopper1.jpgUniversity of Arkansas, where stars entertain the crowd (this year’s acts include Miley Cyrus), everybody does the Wal-Mart cheer, and, oh yeah, shareholders get to ask questions.
 
Also in the basket:
 
New Wal-Mart director may herald changing of the guard (Wall Street Journal, subscription required)
 
Target grows makeup artist brands, adds testers (WWD)

 (Photos: Reuters)

Comments

If jobs cut is going at this speed than in next 2 years U.S. may jump unemployment rate upto17%. Blind people are saying, “Jobless rate too high but no recession” based on some outsourced reports. They don’t want to declare recession until unemployment rate jumps to 50% in U.S.
U.S. can solve around 40% current economic crises if it stops to outsource China and India.

Posted by A.Y. | Report as abusive
 

Retail provides a huge amount of employment in the US, especially among the underprivileged and immigrants. This trend may have a devastating effect on the employment rate. Add to that the current financial meltdown, and you have a potentially destructive reflationary situation.

 

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