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Industries at a Glance
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General Merchandise Stores: NAICS 452

About the General Merchandise Stores subsector

The general merchandise stores subsector is part of the retail trade sector.

Industries in the General Merchandise Stores subsector retail new general merchandise from fixed point-of-sale locations. Establishments in this subsector are unique in that they have the equipment and staff capable of retailing a large variety of goods from a single location. This includes a variety of display equipment and staff trained to provide information on many lines of products.

North American Industry Classification System

The general merchandise stores subsector consists of these industry groups:

  • Department Stores: NAICS 4521
  • Other General Merchandise Stores: NAICS 4529

Workforce Statistics

This section provides information relating to employment in general merchandise stores. These data are obtained from employer or establishment surveys. The following tables present an overview of the industry including the number of jobs, data for occupations common to the industry, and projections of occupational employment change.

Employment

Data series Back
data
May
2020
Jun.
2020
Jul.
2020
Aug.
2020

Employment (in thousands)

Employment, all employees (seasonally adjusted)

2,947.7 3,116.4 (p)3,101.9 (p)3,218.3

Employment, production and nonsupervisory employees

2,714.2 2,878.9 (p)2,873.0  

Footnotes
(p) Preliminary

(Source: Current Employment Statistics)

Employment by Occupation

Data series Employment,
2019

Cashiers

764,880

Customer service representatives

68,860

First-line supervisors/managers of retail sales workers

244,440

Retail salespersons

840,890

Stock clerks and order fillers

542,570

(Source: Occupational Employment Statistics)

Projections

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

(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 are shown. In addition, recent hourly and annual earnings are shown for occupations commonly found in general merchandise stores.

Earnings and Hours of All Employees

Data series Back
data
Apr.
2020
May
2020
Jun.
2020
Jul.
2020

Average hourly earnings

$20.70 $19.59 $19.09 (p)$20.61

Average weekly hours

28.4 28.9 29.1 (p)26.9

Footnotes
(p) Preliminary

(Source: Current Employment Statistics)

Earnings and Hours of Production and Nonsupervisory Employees

Data series Back
data
Apr.
2020
May
2020
Jun.
2020
Jul.
2020

Average hourly earnings

$16.15 $16.94 $17.99 (p)$15.26

Average weekly hours

31.1 31.3 30.5 (p)30.6

Footnotes
(p) Preliminary

(Source: Current Employment Statistics)

Earnings by Occupation

Data series Wages, 2019
Hourly Annual
Median Mean Median Mean

Cashiers

11.36 11.70 23,640 24,340

Customer service representatives

12.91 13.75 26,840 28,600

First-line supervisors/managers of retail sales workers

18.74 20.55 38,990 42,750

Retail salespersons

11.69 12.38 24,310 25,740

Stock clerks and order fillers

12.17 12.84 25,320 26,710

(Source: Occupational Employment Statistics)

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 general merchandise stores. 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 2015 2016 2017 2018

Fatalities

Number of fatalities

18 26 26 29

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

4.5

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

2.8

Cases involving days away from work

1.2

Cases involving days of job transfer or restriction

1.6

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
May
2020
Jun.
2020
Jul.
2020
Aug.
2020

Producer price index

(p)128.6 (p)127.3 (p)125.7 (p)124.1

Percent change from previous month

  (p)0.0% (p)-1.0% (p)-1.3% (p)-1.3%

Footnotes
(p) Preliminary

(Source: Producer Price Indexes)

Workplace Trends

This section presents data on the number of establishments in general merchandise stores. 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
2nd quarter
2019
3rd quarter
2019
4th quarter
2019
1st quarter
2020

Number of establishments

Private industry

64,966 64,454 64,718 (p)64,665

Local government

3 3 3 (p)3

Federal government

279 280 280 (p)280

Footnotes
(p) Preliminary

(Source: Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages)

Productivity

Data series Back
data
2016 2017 2018 2019

Labor productivity index, output per hour

114.694 113.730 116.123 124.295

Percent change from previous year

1.6 -0.8 2.1 7.0

Labor index, total labor hours

101.406 104.390 105.060 99.371

Percent change from previous year

-0.1 2.9 0.6 -5.4

Output index

116.306 118.723 121.999 123.514

Percent change from previous year

1.5 2.1 2.8 1.2

Unit labor costs index

105.604 105.082 105.090 104.140

Percent change from previous year

2.1 -0.5 0.0 -0.9

(Source: Productivity and Costs)

 

Data extracted on: September 15, 2020