Macy’s Shutting Stores, Fewer Job Opportunities for Americans, but Immigration Grinds On

Published on August 18th, 2016

Macy’s is closing 100 of its 776 retail stores. Looked at as a corporate decision, the closings make sense. Macy’s wants to emphasis its online business, and many of the stores to be shuttered are old. Macy’s CEO Terry Lundgren said that the United States simply has too much retail space to support a shrinking customer base: 7.3 square feet of retail space per capita in the U.S. compared with roughly 1.3 square feet in the U.K. and 1.7 square feet in France. I’m not an expert, but on the few occasions I go to any retail store, I notice a lot of inventory and a dearth of paying customers.

Macy’s, cutting back, gave multimillionaire
Rachael Ray her start.

Among the other major retail chains that have closed many locations: Office Depot, Walgreens, Aeropostale, American Eagle Outfitters and Gap. Later this year, Walmart will close 269 stores. Thousands of jobs have been lost – some full-time, some part-time, others temporary. Those jobs have supported families, supplemented household incomes and helped pay for college tuitions. For young graduates hoping to start a career in retail, the closings mean fewer opportunities are available to them. Once, those jobs at Macy’s allowed young Americans to get their foot in the door, develop a strong work ethic and advance on the path to success.

Ask Rachael Ray who got her start at Macy’s in the candy department. Today, after starring on the Food Network’s 30 Minute Meals and the Today Show, Macy’s sells her cookware. Ray’s estimated net worth is $60 million.

Although Ray’s business triumphs are exceptional, fewer American jobs means fewer chances for new hires to climb the economic ladder. And even if the top rung never reaches as high as Ray scaled, plenty of intermediate promotions provide solid middle-class incomes – buyer, department manager, regional manager and so on.

Yet no matter how severely the job market shrinks, or how many American workers are on the sidelines, 93 million according to the July Bureau of Labor Statistics report, one million legal employable immigrants join the labor pool each year.

Good American jobs are scarce and getting scarcer daily. During the Democratic National Convention, CAPS ran an ad that linked high immigration to American unemployment and under-employment. Read the press release and see the ad here. Then go to the CAPS’ Action Alert page here to tell your representatives to lower immigration to protect American jobs.

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