Retail and Food Sector Hiring on are Bright Spots in Jobs Market

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The latest jobs report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics reveals an uneven jobs market recovery. But this has not stumped the jobs growth in most sectors on


Certain sectors that are faring better than others in the job market and it is here that job seekers should look for employment.

The U.S. economy has added 162,000 jobs in July with the retail and food industries leading the charge, as per the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics Report. While overall job growth has been muted, hiring on has been spurred by strong auto and construction activity.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics jobs report has shown that the retail sector added 47,000 jobs last month. Hiring within the retail industry was split in the following manner:

  • General merchandise stores added 9,000 jobs
  • Motor vehicle and parts dealers added 6,000 jobs
  • Building material and garden supply stores added 6,000 jobs
  • Health and personal care stores added 5,000 jobs.

Growth in these sub-sectors rode the summer wave of strong auto sales and continued construction activity. Additionally, the food industry also posted strong numbers, adding 38,000 jobs last month.

But, on the hindsight, the BLS report noted a rise in discouraged workers to nearly a million this year. Last year the number stood at 136,000, only. ‘Discouraged workers’ are a group of unemployed individuals who are not actively seeking work because they believe that jobs are not available. The drop in the unemployment rate to 7.4 percent has been related to an increase in these discouraged workers.

So, overall, the report has been a mixed bag, painting a picture of an ‘uneven jobs recovery.’ Harrison Barnes, Chief Executive Officer of says, “The labor market has been improving in fits and starts. Certain pockets are doing well or better than expected, while other sectors have been slower to recover. Job seekers should understand that the areas of biggest growth right now are retail, finances, professional business services, and the food industry. The health sector is also becoming a consistent area of growth, largely due to implementation of the Affordable Care Act.”

Currently, job seekers are more likely to get part-time and contractual employment than long-term employment. This has made conducting a job search a frustrating and extremely discouraging experience. On the employer side, it makes sense to hire the right candidate for an open job post, especially when every additional employee is a potentially risky investment, given today’s uncertain economy. Therefore, they are lengthening the traditional hiring process and tacking on more interviews, screening tests and extra hurdles. For job seekers, it is disappointing to go through multiple, time-consuming phone and group interviews – only to end up most of the times with a courtesy rejection email. But, there are certain sectors that are faring better than others in the job market and it is here that job seekers should look for employment.

On, the retail and health sectors have largely been unaffected by the economy. The job site currently lists over 167,000 openings in retail and nearly 198,000 jobs in healthcare. The health sector growth in particular has been driven by the country’s rising senior population and the implementation of Obamacare.

About Hound is a job search site based in Pasadena, CA. It is a part of the Employment Research Institute and owned by A. Harrison Barnes.

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