WASHINGTON — The retail industry added nearly 30,000 jobs last month amid a general uptick in hiring that brought unemployment down to 7.5%, according to the Department of Labor.
The department's monthly jobs report showed the economy added 165,000 jobs, including 29,000 in the retail industry, which accounts for the largest number of private sector jobs. In addition, the March jobs report, which initially showed that the economy added only 88,000 jobs, was revised upward to 138,000, while the February report was revised upward to 332,000.
"Today's solid employment news, combined with positive March revisions, may bode well for the broader economy and portend steady retail sales in April," National Retail Federation chief economist Jack Kleinhenz said. "Retailers are continuing to find innovative ways to engage shoppers with the right mix of products, inventory and employment to meet their customers' demands. With the significant decrease in jobless claims — at the lowest level since the recession — and an uptick in personal discretionary spending and consumer confidence, today's news is very promising."
Nevertheless, the NRF said concerns remained about the payroll tax increase, the sequester and the upcoming debt ceiling debate in Congress.
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