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June Retail Labor Index

Here is the June release of the Kronos Retail Labor Index, submitted by Kelly Northrop of Kronos.  This data reflects similar trends seen in the May employment data released on Friday that indicates very modest gains in job creation beyond the temporary US census jobs.

The June release of the Kronos Retail Labor Index reveals that in May 2010, both applications and hirings decreased over April 2010.  Hirings decreased slightly more, bringing the Index down to 3.80% in May, from 4.10% in April.  This seasonally adjusted Index level means that for every 100 applications received, 3.8 hirings occurred.

Hirings in general are still up from 2009 levels, while application volumes are continuing to be quite volatile.  Hiring levels for May 2010 were up by 17% over May 2009.  Application volumes were down by 7.44% from May 2009.

Retail employee retention rates are still up year-over-year, but the rate of increase has slowed quite a bit in the past few months.  This indicates that greater numbers of the employed are successfully changing jobs.  However, other evidence presented in this month's report indicates that the long-term unemployed are continuing to struggle.

A closer examination of long-term unemployment trends shows that 6.7 million people have been out of work for more than 26 weeks in the current recession, a 354% increase over October 2007 (economists' consensus on when the recession began).  Robert Yerex, Chief Economist at Kronos, estimates the cumulative earnings losses from long-term unemployment to be $196 billion even at minimum wage rates.

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