New York Bucks National Trend With Upswing In Retail Trade

July 13, 2012 Updated Jul 13, 2012 at 7:08 AM EDT

By WKBW News
By Business First by G. Scott Thomas

July 13, 2012 Updated Jul 13, 2012 at 7:08 AM EDT

United States - The retail sector, which was badly shaken by the economic downturn, has not yet regained full health.

A few states -- notably New York, North Dakota and Texas -- have recovered all of the retail jobs they lost during the recession. But they're exceptions to the rule, according to an On Numbers report issued this morning.

Just six states and the District of Columbia have more retail positions today than five years ago. The other 44 states are still digging themselves out of an awfully big hole.

The nation had 14.79 million retail jobs as of May 2012, according to the latest seasonally adjusted figures from the U.S. Bureau for Labor Statistics. That represented a drop of 764,600 positions from 15.55 million in May 2007, just seven months before the recession arrived in December 2007.

New York and Texas were the big gainers in absolute numbers, adding 18,500 and 17,700 retail jobs, respectively, during the 2007-2012 span. North Dakota was the leader in percentage terms, boosting its retail employment by 7.4 percent.

Click here for a database with complete breakdowns for all 50 states and D.C.

California and Rhode Island were the biggest losers during the past half-decade. California was the only state with a six-figure decline in retail employment, losing 141,700 jobs. Rhode Island's drop of 12.0 percent was the worst on that side of the ledger.

Both of those states are saddled with sluggish economies in general, as witnessed by their double-digit employment rates.

On Numbers is an online service of American City Business Journals Inc., the parent company of Business First.

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