February was a huge month for retail employment, seeing an increase of over 46,000 new jobs over January. This was four times greater than the amount of jobs added in January over December. General merchandise stores were up by 17,700 jobs. Clothing and accessory stores were up 14,900, and building materials stores added 10,300 jobs.
“This substantial gain in retail jobs is a significant positive sign regarding the health and viability of the industry,” said Jack Kleinhenz, NRF chief economist. “It is stronger than expected and there were broad gains across most retail sectors.”
With the improvement in the economy and job growth, construction hiring is also expanding. The segment added 61,000 jobs in February, which was the biggest gain in over 11 years. With the housing recession that ended in 2009, there were 500,00 jobs cut, so growth now is still catching up to former levels, which equates to more room for growth in jobs for the sector.