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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
Sep.
2019
Oct.
2019
Nov.
2019
Dec.
2019

Employment (in thousands)

Employment, all employees (seasonally adjusted)

3,055.4 3,061.6 (p)3,084.1 (p)3,086.9

Employment, production and nonsupervisory employees

2,811.3 2,866.9 (p)3,095.5  

Footnotes
(p) Preliminary

(Source: Current Employment Statistics)

Employment by Occupation

Data series Employment,
2018

Cashiers

767,330

Customer service representatives

80,250

First-line supervisors/managers of retail sales workers

241,380

Retail salespersons

877,670

Stock clerks and order fillers

525,830

(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
Aug.
2019
Sep.
2019
Oct.
2019
Nov.
2019

Average hourly earnings

$18.41 $18.78 $18.61 (p)$18.12

Average weekly hours

28.5 29.3 27.3 (p)26.8

Footnotes
(p) Preliminary

(Source: Current Employment Statistics)

Earnings and Hours of Production and Nonsupervisory Employees

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

Average hourly earnings

$14.92 $15.01 $14.86 (p)$14.61

Average weekly hours

30.6 30.5 29.7 (p)28.9

Footnotes
(p) Preliminary

(Source: Current Employment Statistics)

Earnings by Occupation

Data series Wages, 2018
Hourly Annual
Median Mean Median Mean

Cashiers

10.75 11.08 22,360 23,040

Customer service representatives

12.09 13.13 25,150 27,320

First-line supervisors/managers of retail sales workers

18.34 20.21 38,150 42,030

Retail salespersons

11.16 11.92 23,210 24,800

Stock clerks and order fillers

11.59 12.35 24,100 25,690

(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
Sep.
2019
Oct.
2019
Nov.
2019
Dec.
2019

Producer price index

(p)126.8 (p)131.6 (p)125.4 (p)126.1

Percent change from previous month

  (p)0.9% (p)3.8% (p)-4.7% (p)0.6%

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
3rd quarter
2018
4th quarter
2018
1st quarter
2019
2nd quarter
2019

Number of establishments

Private industry

64,366 64,251 (p)64,567 (p)65,071

Local government

4 4 (p)4 (p)4

Federal government

277 277 (p)277 (p)279

Footnotes
(p) Preliminary

(Source: Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages)

Productivity

Data series Back
data
2015 2016 2017 2018

Labor productivity index, output per hour

113.256 115.181 113.900 116.347

Percent change from previous year

2.2 1.7 -1.1 2.1

Labor index, total labor hours

101.477 101.412 104.379 105.281

Percent change from previous year

0.6 -0.1 2.9 0.9

Output index

114.929 116.808 118.888 122.491

Percent change from previous year

2.7 1.6 1.8 3.0

Unit labor costs index

103.109 105.150 104.936 104.669

Percent change from previous year

0.3 2.0 -0.2 -0.3

(Source: Productivity and Costs)

 

Data extracted on: January 24, 2020