Food retailers added 3,400 jobs in October, a significant lift over the past few months, according to data released Friday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Food and beverage stores employed 3.25 million workers, according to seasonally adjusted figures from October.
Warehouse clubs, supercenters and other mass retailers added 2,200 jobs during the month and employed 2.2 million people in October, BLS said.
Across all non-farm industries, employers added 150,000 jobs during the month, and the U.S. unemployment rate slid up to 3.9% from 3.8% in September. That is up 0.5% from April’s low.
The BLS said the biggest job gains came in health care, government and social assistance, with employment declines in manufacturing due to the ongoing automotive strike.
Year over year, grocers added about 42,200 jobs, while warehouse clubs saw an additional 66,100, seasonally adjusted.
Overall, the retail segment saw a net gain of 700 jobs, due to losses at furniture, appliance and electronics retailers, as well as at gas stations and fuel dealers, the BLS reported.
Total grocery jobs remained nearly flat in September over the month before, but the segment has now seen growth for 19 straight months after a decline in March 2022.
Food retail employment grew significantly earlier this year, with 51,200 jobs in July, 60,000 in June, 67,400 in May, 62,000 in April, 58,500 in March, 78,000 in February and 87,700 in January.