As an industry employing 40 million Americans, the retail sector needs Congress to advance a strong jobs agenda that includes corporate tax reform, visa reform and passing free-trade agreements, the president and CEO of the National Retail Federation said recently. Such moves would allow retailers to add more jobs to the economy.
“Americans are breathing a sigh of relief that unemployment numbers are taking a step in the right direction. … Consumer confidence in our economy and our government could not be more crucial as retailers inch closer to the holiday season,” said Matthew Shay, the NRF’s CEO.
According to the latest jobs numbers, the United States added 117,000 jobs in July. Of those, retailers added 26,000, second only to the health care industry.
An Avanade retail expert agreed with the NRF’s assessment. “The government needs to start giving better concessions to the retail sector,” he said. “The biggest industry that’s driving jobs is retail.” That amounts to a $2.5 trillion impact on the U.S. gross domestic product each year.
Said Shay: “A strong jobs agenda would allow retailers to increase hiring on an even larger scale.” The NRF calls retail “a daily barometer of the health of the nation’s economy.”
Source: National Retail Federation, August 2011