Retail Stores Close, Fewer Options for American Workers, Administration Indifferent

Published on March 25th, 2015

The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ monthly reports invariably reflect retail employment gains, one variable that contributes to the myth that the economy is getting stronger. In February, for example, retail added 32,000 jobs and during the last 12 months increased by 319,000.

Radio Shack store goes out of business
Long the stronghold of BLS employment reports,
retail jobs are vanishing.

Retail sales provide a low-paying, last port in the storm for Americans, including recent college graduates who can’t find entry-level management jobs and whose only option is part-time employment. In retail, the mean hourly wage is $12.20 an hour or $25,370 annually, hardly the backbone of a recovering economy. When their hourly wage isn’t enough to buy a pizza, retail workers don’t have enough disposable income to buy big ticket items like cars or appliances that will create more, better paying jobs for other Americans in manufacturing sectors.

But as e-commerce becomes more popular, retail outlets are closing or reducing their physical presence and leaving behind in their wake thousands of jobs. Among them are some of the nation’s most well known and frequently patronized: Radio Shack, JCPenney and Barnes & Noble.

Yet when President Obama attempts to defend his indefensible executive action amnesty that would grant work permission to about 5 million illegal immigrants, the hard, cold economic facts never enter the conversation. Obama always excludes the diminishing jobs base and the short pay doled out to workers in retail and food services, as well as the low labor force participation rate for all Americans, but particularly bad for minorities, teenagers, recently returned military personnel and disabled Americans.

Please go to the CAPS Action Alert page here to demand that your representative support the mandatory E-Verify bill, HR 1147, recently introduced in the House. E-Verify would help put Americans back to work.

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