Retail Job Decline Tilts Toward Rural Areas

While warehousing and ecommerce jobs are steadily increasing in most parts of the country, rural areas are particularly hard hit by the struggles of the retail sector.

December 22, 2017, 12:00 PM PST

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


Brick and Mortar Retail

debra millet / Shutterstock

Andrew Flowers shares news of recent research by Indeed, a job posting website, that decribes the negative effects of the struggling retail market as particularly damaging in rural areas.

As far as retail jobs are concerned, the rural/urban split is stark. Retail job gains have lagged overall job growth in urban counties of large metropolitan areas, but such jobs are actually declining in rural counties and small metros. Retail jobs fell 1.1% year-over-year in rural America in the quarter ending in June 2017–even as these jobs were still growing nationwide.

On the other side of the retail coin, ecommerce and warehousing jobs are growing in most parts of the country. "What’s more, the boom in warehousing jobs is remarkably consistent in both rural and urban areas," according to Flowers.

Indeed isn't the only organization sounding alarms about retail employment. Flowers explains:

Similar research by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York confirms this picture. It showed that, between 2012 and 2016, department store jobs, a subset of all retail jobs, dropped in about 75% of counties studied. Meanwhile, a majority of those counties saw growth in ecommerce, that is, nonstore jobs. Combining department store and nonstore retailers, net jobs fell in about 80 percent of counties.

Monday, December 18, 2017 in Indeed Hiring Lab

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