Department Store in US. Shutterstock.
The monthly employment report found clothing stores cut 20,000 jobs, bucking the wider trend in the retail sector, which added 41,000 jobs. Overall, the US economy added more jobs than analysts had expected, and the unemployment rate fell to 6.2 percent.
In February 2020 — before the pandemic and lockdowns were fully felt in the US — clothing and clothing accessories stores employed 1.3 million people. As of last month, the sector employed under 1 million people, according to seasonally adjusted figures. Meanwhile, department stores saw a slight increase in payrolls, from 973,600 in January to 977,400 in February.
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