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Industry Update: Retail

February 15

Employment in the retail industry is expected to grow by 12 percent over the next decade, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Many retail establishments will continue to expand in size and number, leading to new retail sales positions. In fact, the numbers of new jobs for retail sales professionals – approximately 557,000 based on these projections – is expected to be among the largest increases in all occupations over that timeframe. This growth reflects rising retail sales stemming from a growing population.

Since retail salespeople must be available to assist customers in person, this occupation is not expected to suffer greatly from advancements in technology. As in the past, employment opportunities for retail salespersons are expected to increase, due to the need to replace the large number of workers who transfer to other occupations or who leave the labor force altogether. In addition, many new jobs will be created for retail salespersons as businesses seek to expand operations (warehouse clubs and supercenters are two good examples) and enhance customer service.

It is also worth noting that opportunities for part-time work should be abundant, and the demand will be strong for temporary workers during peak selling periods, such as the end-of-year holiday season. The availability of part-time and temporary work attracts many people seeking to supplement their income.

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