Retail industry adds nearly 44,000 jobs in August

WASHINGTON — The National Retail Federation confirmed that the retail industry added 43,600 jobs last month, particularly in general merchandise, electronics and clothing.

The numbers were based on calculations from the NRF, out of a total 169,000 jobs that the Bureau of Labor Statistics said the economy added in August, bringing the country's unemployment rate down to 7.3%.

"The economy continues to sputter along," NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay said. "Employers and retailers are adding to their payrolls and ranks, but still remain guarded. The business community is hiring yet waiting for stronger signs of sustained economic growth before extending too many job offers."

NRF economist Jack Kleinhenz said that while not as strong as anticipated, the numbers indicate a more positive trend.

"We are expecting further signs of strengthening in the second half of the year," Kleinhenz said. "Retailers are making headway, but challenges remain. Slow wage growth and downward jobs revisions continue to indicate a reluctant economy."