Retail sector loses 20,000 jobs in November


The U.S. government’s November jobs report showed that the retail sector lost 20,000 jobs last month, after the sector had gained 91,000 jobs in the previous two months. The sector’s job losses come as the overall report showed nonfarm payrolls increased by just 210,000 in November, well below expectations of 573,000 new jobs. The retail sector’s job losses included a declines of 20,000 jobs in general merchandise stores; 18,000 jobs in clothing and clothing accessories stores; and 9,000 jobs in sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores. That was partially offset by increases of 9,000 jobs in food and beverage stores and of 7,000 jobs in building material and garden supply stores. In November 2020, retail employment fell by 35,000, and in November 2019 retail employment increased by 2,000. Retail trade employment is now 176,000 less than it was in pre-pandemic February 2020. The SPDR S&P Retail ETF XRT, -1.73%, which was little changed in premarket trading Friday, has rocketed 130% since the end of February 2020 while the S&P 500 SPX, -0.84% has climbed 55%.

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