Industry Employment Outlook – Retail

Career Opportunities in Retail  |  Sales Call

Published in the September/October 2012 issue of print Search & Employ®

Careers in the retail sector of the economy involve a lot more than running a cash register, waiting on customers, stocking shelves, and folding khaki pants at the mall. Today’s retail careers also encompass information technology, marketing, communications, loss prevention, finance, and merchandise sourcing. A modern retail business is a complex operation driven by high-end technology that requires advanced skills.

But retail employers are struggling to attract and retain the best and brightest job seekers who have those skills or can acquire them quickly. Why? Because many job seekers don’t know what’s going on behind the scenes. When they go to their favorite stores at the mall, all they see are people running cash registers, waiting on customers, etc.

Retail is big business. An estimated two-thirds of the United States gross domestic product comes from retail consumption. We are a nation of buyers – even when the economy turns south.

 The retail sector of the economy has yet to recover all of the jobs lost in the recession. However, 40 of the nation’s largest cities had more people employed in retail in April 2012 than a year earlier, according to an analysis of BLS data by “The Business Journals on Numbers,” a feature of

And the number of retail salespersons nationwide will grow by 707,000, or 17%, from 2010 through 2020, according to projections made by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), a part of the United States Department of Commerce. The BLS projects that employment of parts salespersons will grow 16 percent during the same period. A parts salesperson sells spare and replacement parts and equipment, particularly auto parts.

The number of new jobs projected for retail sales is second only to the number projected for registered nurses – 712,000. The average growth rate projected for all occupations is 14.3 percent.

About the Author

This article was written by Jay Myers