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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
Mar.
2021
Apr.
2021
May
2021
Jun.
2021

Employment (in thousands)

Employment, all employees (seasonally adjusted)

3,071.9 3,065.3 (p)3,063.7 (p)3,088.2

Employment, production and nonsupervisory employees

2,826.9 2,807.7 (p)2,807.1  

Footnotes
(p) Preliminary

(Source: Current Employment Statistics)

Employment by Occupation

Data series Employment,
2020

Cashiers

727,220

Customer service representatives

82,510

First-line supervisors/managers of retail sales workers

229,320

Retail salespersons

753,430

Stock clerks and order fillers

563,430

(Source: Occupational Employment and Wage 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
Feb.
2021
Mar.
2021
Apr.
2021
May
2021

Average hourly earnings

$20.12 $20.08 $19.91 (p)$20.28

Average weekly hours

25.8 26.8 28.0 (p)29.0

Footnotes
(p) Preliminary

(Source: Current Employment Statistics)

Earnings and Hours of Production and Nonsupervisory Employees

Data series Back
data
Feb.
2021
Mar.
2021
Apr.
2021
May
2021

Average hourly earnings

$15.00 $15.34 $15.73 (p)$15.84

Average weekly hours

29.6 30.4 30.5 (p)30.8

Footnotes
(p) Preliminary

(Source: Current Employment Statistics)

Earnings by Occupation

Data series Wages, 2020
Hourly Annual
Median Mean Median Mean

Cashiers

11.92 12.29 24,790 25,550

Customer service representatives

13.64 14.16 28,370 29,460

First-line supervisors/managers of retail sales workers

19.29 21.33 40,130 44,370

Retail salespersons

12.37 13.01 25,740 27,050

Stock clerks and order fillers

13.00 13.42 27,040 27,920

(Source: Occupational Employment and Wage 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 2016 2017 2018 2019

Fatalities

Number of fatalities

26 26 29 21

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

Data series 2019

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

Total recordable cases

4.6

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
Mar.
2021
Apr.
2021
May
2021
Jun.
2021

Producer price index

(p)127.0 (p)138.6 (p)129.4 (p)127.7

Percent change from previous month

  (p)1.4% (p)9.1% (p)-6.6% (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
1st quarter
2020
2nd quarter
2020
3rd quarter
2020
4th quarter
2020

Number of establishments

Private industry

(p)64,622 (p)64,870 (p)65,142 (p)65,195

Local government

(p)3 (p)3 (p)3 (p)3

Federal government

(p)280 (p)279 (p)279 (p)279

Footnotes
(p) Preliminary

(Source: Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages)

Productivity

Data series Back
data
2017 2018 2019 2020

Labor productivity index, output per hour

114.196 116.227 125.769 128.591

Percent change from previous year

-1.4 1.8 8.2 2.2

Labor index, total labor hours

104.397 105.059 98.774 99.983

Percent change from previous year

2.9 0.6 -6.0 1.2

Output index

119.217 122.106 124.227 128.569

Percent change from previous year

1.5 2.4 1.7 3.5

Unit labor costs index

104.645 104.997 103.552 104.217

Percent change from previous year

0.1 0.3 -1.4 0.6

(Source: Productivity and Costs)

 

Data extracted on: July 30, 2021