NRF Urges Labor Statistics Bureau To Rethink Retail Employment Metrics

As of June 2017, the retail industry employed 12,883,200 people, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). But despite retailers losing 90,800 employees since the holiday season that concluded in January, the National Retail Federation (NRF) alleges that the Bureau’s employment data often comes from a misunderstanding of how to categorize retail jobs.

NRF has been in talks with the Bureau, urging the agency to rethink how retail jobs are counted and to take a more comprehensive approach to issuing industry statistics.

The Bureau uses the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) to categorize employment across industries. In a recent webinar, Mark Mathews, VP of Research Development and Industry Analysis at NRF, noted that the NAICS counts employees primarily by the function of the building they work in, and secondarily by the sector of the business they work for. This means that employees who work in warehouses, distribution centers or call centers will not be…