Retail Jobs Drop in Virginia

Dec 3, 2019

Now that the holiday shopping season is underway, new data shows Virginia’s retail trade employment is taking a hit this year.

New numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics are heaping a bit of bah humbug into the holiday shopping season this year. They show that retail trade employment is down in Virginia 1.4%.

Credit Bureau of Labor Statistics

Derek Horstmeyer at George Mason University says it’s the influence of e-commerce.  “We’ve seen these traditional large employers of retail employees like Macy’s and Nordstroms and a few others really take a big hit this past year at the hands of Amazon and Walmart moving into e-commerce.”

One thing those numbers don’t reflect is unpaid labor that sometimes happens during the holiday season. Kim Bobo at the Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy says this is the time of year when Scrooge employers cheat workers out of their full pay.  “So your shift is from 9 to 5, but you’re told to show up at 8:30 and get everything ready, and then yes you may technically be out at 5 but we’re going to clock you out and stay in a little bit longer.”

Click here to read the full stats from the Bureau of Labor Statistics

Virginia is one of 18 states that saw a decline in retail trade employment over the last year. The biggest decrease was in North Dakota, which saw a 4.5% decline.

This report, provided by Virginia Public Radio, was made possible with support from the Virginia Education Association.