Labor

Grocery is a rare bright spot in December retail hiring

The food retail industry added 5,700 jobs during the month, while warehouse clubs and supercenters continued to lose workers, according to data released Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Grocery worker
Hiring at grocery stores picked up in December. / Photo: Shutterstock

Grocery hiring sped up in December, with the industry adding 5,700 jobs over the month before—a bright spot in the broader retail segment, according to data released Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Hiring at general merchandise stores, including warehouse clubs and supercenters, continued its cooling trend, losing 6,400 workers over the month before.

The food retail industry employed 3,206,400 workers in December, according to seasonally adjusted numbers, up from 3,200,700 in November, the BLS reported.

Overall, the labor market added 223,000 jobs in December. In 2022, the economy added 4.5 million jobs, the second-largest year of growth in U.S. history.

The overall employment rate fell to 3.5%, returning to its pre-pandemic low.

The retail sector added about 9,000 jobs in December, with general merchandise stores losing 6,900 workers.

In November, hiring declined by more than 10,000 workers at general merchandise stores, including warehouse clubs and supercenters. In December, about 2.2 million people were employed in the sector.

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