Retail Jobs Mostly Flat in December; Mass Merchandisers See Gains

The U.S. unemployment rate fell to 3.9% in December, down 0.3 percentage points from November and edging closer to the 3.5% recorded in February 2020.


At 6.8%, November Inflation Topped October's Highs

Grocery prices rose 6.4% on a 12-month basis, a level not seen since December 2008, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday.

Grocery stores saw modest job gains in November as general merchandisers shed 20,000 jobs.

Egg prices up more than 11%, bacon prices up 20%, apples up 6.7%: Whatever they're cooking or baking for the holidays, consumers likely will pay more for the ingredients this year, new CPI data indicates.

Higher prices for goods and services and a small dip in workweek hours meant that real average weekly earnings for U.S. workers fell in October.

After months of losses, food and beverage stores gained 16,000 jobs in October as the retail industry overall added 35,000 jobs for the month.

Concerns about short-term inflation are showing little impact on consumers' spending plans, The Conference Board's Lynn Franco indicates.

Grocers didn't see the year-over-year gains that restaurants did, unsurprisingly, but they edged out restaurants in month-to-month gains.

Beef prices rose again, though not by as much as in August, while eggs and vegetables saw the largest wholesale price increases within foods in September.

Consumers are paying significantly more for their center-plate proteins than they were a year ago.

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