The July Kronos Retail Labor Index was published prior to the Congressional and financial gyrations of the past couple of weeks. If investor confidence is a leading indicator, it seems likely that consumers burned by the first dip in this recession will delay major purchases, and that we’ll likely see a dip in retail hiring in August.
Chris Varvares, senior managing director and co-founder, Macroeconomic Advisers comments on the July Index:
“The Kronos Retail Labor Index edged down to 3.6 percent in July, but reflected a strong gain in hiring to a level that is the second-highest reading in more than three years. The uptick in hiring is encouraging, and hints at retailer confidence in a forthcoming pickup in retail sales following the late spring / early summer slowing. While the Kronos Retail Labor Index has strengthened from a low of 2.3 percent over the last year and a half, the improvement has been gradual, with readings still below pre-recession levels. Gradual improvement in the Index is in line with trends in national retail employment, which has also shown only modest gains over the last year or so, especially in light of the sharp declines experienced during the recession and early recovery period.”