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Industries at a Glance
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Retail Trade: NAICS 44-45

About the Retail Trade sector

The retail trade sector is part of the trade, transportation, and utilities supersector.

The Retail Trade sector comprises establishments engaged in retailing merchandise, generally without transformation, and rendering services incidental to the sale of merchandise.

The retailing process is the final step in the distribution of merchandise; retailers are, therefore, organized to sell merchandise in small quantities to the general public. This sector comprises two main types of retailers: store and nonstore retailers.

1. Store retailers operate fixed point-of-sale locations, located and designed to attract a high volume of walk-in customers. In general, retail stores have extensive displays of merchandise and use mass-media advertising to attract customers. They typically sell merchandise to the general public for personal or household consumption, but some also serve business and institutional clients. In addition to retailing merchandise, some types of store retailers are also engaged in the provision of after-sales services, such as repair and installation.

2. Nonstore retailers, like store retailers, are organized to serve the general public, but their retailing methods differ. The establishments of this subsector reach customers and market merchandise with methods, such as the broadcasting of "infomercials," the broadcasting and publishing of direct-response advertising, the publishing of paper and electronic catalogs, door-to-door solicitation, in-home demonstration, selling from portable stalls (street vendors, except food), and distribution through vending machines.

North American Industry Classification System

The retail trade sector consists of these subsectors:

Workforce Statistics

This section provides information relating to employment and unemployment in retail trade. While most data are obtained from employer or establishment surveys, information on industry unemployment comes from a national survey of households. The following tables present an overview of the industry including the number of jobs, the unemployment rate of those previously employed in the industry, job openings and labor turnover, union membership and representation, gross job gains and losses, data for occupations common to the industry, and projections of occupational employment change.

Employment, Unemployment, and Openings, Hires, and Separations

Data series Back
data
Jul.
2019
Aug.
2019
Sep.
2019
Oct.
2019

Employment (in thousands)

Employment, all employees (seasonally adjusted)

15,760.8 15,759.5 (p)15,766.2 (p)15,772.3

Employment, production and nonsupervisory employees (seasonally adjusted)

13,455.4 13,448.6 (p)13,461.6 (p)13,464.3

Unemployment

Unemployment rate

4.3% 4.2% 3.6% 3.7%

Job openings, hires, and separations (in thousands)

Job openings

810 918 (p)855  

Hires

823 830 (p)795  

Separations

830 939 (p)804  

Footnotes
(p) Preliminary

(Source: Current Employment Statistics, Current Population Survey, Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey)

Union Membership and Representation

Data series Back
data
2015 2016 2017 2018

Union membership and representation

Members of unions (percent of wage and salary workers)

4.8% 4.3% 4.5% 4.3%

Represented by unions (percent of wage and salary workers)

5.3% 4.9% 5.0% 5.0%

(Source: Current Population Survey)

Dynamic Changes in Employment

Data series Back
data
2nd quarter
2018
3rd quarter
2018
4th quarter
2018
1st quarter
2019

Dynamic changes in employment (in thousands)

Gross job gains

909 918 847 905

Gross job losses

961 1,002 918 863

(Source: Business Employment Dynamics)

Employment by Occupation

Data series Employment,
2018

Cashiers

3,003,350

Customer service representatives

422,220

First-line supervisors/managers of retail sales workers

1,073,100

Retail salespersons

4,136,570

Stock clerks and order fillers

1,397,260

(Source: Occupational Employment Statistics)

Projections

For projected (future) employment estimates, see the National Employment Matrix, which includes employment estimates by industry and occupation for retail trade.

(Source: Office of Occupational Statistics and Employment Projections)

Earnings and Hours

This section presents data on employee earnings and weekly hours. The latest industry averages of hourly earnings and weekly hours, as well as weekly earnings by union membership status, are shown. In addition, recent hourly and annual earnings are shown for occupations commonly found in retail trade. This section also contains information on the average cost of benefits paid by employers, as well as recent rates of change in wages and total compensation.

Earnings and Hours of All Employees

Data series Back
data
Jul.
2019
Aug.
2019
Sep.
2019
Oct.
2019

Average hourly earnings

$19.73 $19.78 (p)$19.83 (p)$19.85

Average weekly hours

30.6 30.6 (p)30.7 (p)30.6

Footnotes
(p) Preliminary

(Source: Current Employment Statistics)

Earnings and Hours of Production and Nonsupervisory Employees

Data series Back
data
Jul.
2019
Aug.
2019
Sep.
2019
Oct.
2019

Average hourly earnings

$16.63 $16.71 (p)$16.73 (p)$16.73

Average weekly hours

30.2 30.3 (p)30.3 (p)30.3

Footnotes
(p) Preliminary

(Source: Current Employment Statistics)

Union Membership and Representation

Data series Back
data
Median weekly earnings
2015 2016 2017 2018

Union membership and representation

Full-time workers

$610 $623 $656 $671

Members of unions

$621 $645 $721 $719

Represented by unions

$622 $645 $714 $700

Nonunion

$609 $622 $653 $669

(Source: Current Population Survey)

Earnings by Occupation

Data series Wages, 2018
Hourly Annual
Median Mean Median Mean

Cashiers

$10.80 $11.15 $22,460 $23,190

Customer service representatives

$12.93 $14.18 $26,900 $29,490

First-line supervisors/managers of retail sales workers

$18.97 $21.56 $39,450 $44,850

Retail salespersons

$11.61 $13.55 $24,150 $28,180

Stock clerks and order fillers

$11.72 $12.61 $24,390 $26,240

(Source: Occupational Employment Statistics)

Employer Compensation Costs

Data series Back
data
4th quarter
2018
1st quarter
2019
2nd quarter
2019
3rd quarter
2019

12-month percent change

Total compensation

3.4% 3.2% 3.0% 2.8%

Wages and salaries

3.2% 3.3% 3.3% 3.4%

(Source: Compensation Cost Trends)



Data series Back
data
2nd quarter 2019
Compensation component
($ per hour worked)
Percent of total compensation

Compensation costs

Total compensation

20.49 100.0

Wages and salaries

15.43 75.3

Total benefits

5.06 24.7

Insurance

1.41 6.9

Retirement

0.47 2.3

(Source: Compensation Cost Trends)

Work-related Fatalities, Injuries, and Illnesses

This section presents data for the industry on the number of workplace fatalities and the rates of workplace injuries and illnesses per 100 full-time workers in retail trade. An injury or illness is considered to be work-related if an event or exposure in the work environment either caused or contributed to the resulting condition or significantly aggravated a pre-existing condition.

Data series 2014 2015 2016 2017

Fatalities

Number of fatalities

272 269 282 289

Blank cells indicate no data reported or data that do not meet publication criteria.

Data series 2018

Rate of injury and illness cases per 100 full-time workers

Total recordable cases

3.5

Cases involving days away from work, job restriction, or transfer

2.1

Cases involving days away from work

1.1

Cases involving days of job transfer or restriction

1.0

Blank cells indicate no data reported or data that do not meet publication criteria.

(Source: Injuries, Illnesses, and Fatalities)

Prices

This section provides industry-specific pricing information. The producer price index measures the percentage change in prices that domestic producers receive for goods and services. The prices included in the producer price index are from the first commercial transaction.

Data series Back
data
Jul.
2019
Aug.
2019
Sep.
2019
Oct.
2019

Producer price index

(p)131.0 (p)132.8 (p)132.1 (p)134.5

Percent change from previous month

  (p)-0.6% (p)1.4% (p)-0.5% (p)1.8%

Footnotes
(p) Preliminary

(Source: Producer Price Indexes)

Workplace Trends

This section presents data on the number of establishments and the number of establishments experiencing job gains or job losses in retail trade. Also included in this section is information on productivity, presented as the rate of change in output per hour of workers in the industry.

Establishments

Data series Back
data
3rd quarter
2018
4th quarter
2018
1st quarter
2019
2nd quarter
2019

Number of establishments

Private industry

1,044,676 1,047,845 (p)1,043,156 (p)1,046,684

Local government

666 669 (p)674 (p)677

State government

439 440 (p)437 (p)437

Federal government

665 665 (p)664 (p)665

Establishments with changes in employment (in thousands)

With job gains (seasonally adjusted)

264 273 272  

With job losses (seasonally adjusted)

291 278 276  

Footnotes
(p) Preliminary

(Source: Business Employment Dynamics, Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages)

Productivity

Data series Back
data
2015 2016 2017 2018

Labor productivity index, output per hour

113.881 119.058 121.565 125.403

Percent change from previous year

3.5 4.5 2.1 3.2

Labor index, total labor hours

98.821 98.632 99.902 100.080

Percent change from previous year

1.6 -0.2 1.3 0.2

Output index

112.538 117.429 121.446 125.504

Percent change from previous year

5.1 4.3 3.4 3.3

Unit labor costs index

101.731 100.392 99.886 99.917

Percent change from previous year

0.2 -1.3 -0.5 0.0

(Source: Productivity and Costs)

 

Data extracted on: December 04, 2019