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What The Next 5 Years Will Look Like For Retail Hiring

As an HR professional in the retail industry, your success depends on staying on top of news and trends in the field. After all, in order to reach your target performance goals and ensure that your hiring strategies are effective, you need accurate information.

Hiring forecasts are particularly useful when preparing both short- and long-term HR plans. It allows for accurate, carefully planned, and data-driven strategic recruiting (vs. a rushed and reactive approach). So, if you’re interested in what’s in store for the retail job market across the next several years in order to help your team set its HR metrics, keep reading.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the retail industry is facing slower-than-average growth across sectors over the next decade (2 percent vs. an average growth rate of 7 percent for all occupations). A variety of factors are contributing to this sluggish growth, including a volatile economy and a continued shift from bricks and mortar to online retail shopping.

Although there’s low predicted baseline growth for the retail industry, the BLS projects an abundance of job opportunities for job seekers in retail, as industry turnover is typically higher than average—which should help keep interest in opportunities high. 

Retail areas with the highest levels of employment include general merchandise stores; clothing stores; building material and supplies dealers; sporting goods, hobby, and musical instrument stores; and automobile dealers. Although retail opportunities exist across the United States, the states with the highest retail employment levels are California, Texas, Florida, New York, and Illinois.

Let’s take a closer look at key positions across the retail sector.

Cashiers

Employment opportunities for cashiers are projected to show little or no change over the next several years. Although there are employment opportunities for cashiers in every sector of retail, advances in technology, such as self-service checkout kiosks in retail stores and increasing online sales, will continue to limit the need for cashiers. Industries with the highest levels of employment for cashiers include food and beverage stores, general merchandise stores, gas stations, restaurants, and eating establishments, and health and personal care shops. States with the highest employment levels for cashiers include California, Texas, Florida, New York, and Pennsylvania.

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Customer Service Representatives

Employment opportunities for customer service representatives are projected to grow 5 percent over the next several years—about as fast as the average for all occupations. Overall, job opportunities should be good. Candidates with strong customer-service skills who have experience using computer software applications should have the best job prospects. Industries with the highest levels of employment for customer service reps include business support services, insurance companies, credit-related service companies, and employment service companies. States with the highest employment levels for cashiers include Texas, Florida, California, New York, and Pennsylvania.

Food And Beverage Servers

Employment opportunities for food and beverage servers are projected to grow 14 percent over the next several years—faster than the average for all occupations. Why are job prospects so robust? In addition to new restaurants constantly opening, there is a great deal of industry turnover, both of which contribute to plentiful job openings. States with the highest employment levels for food service workers include California, Texas, Florida, New York, and Ohio.

If you’re an HR professional in the retail industry, it pays to stay on top of the latest data and trends. Use the information presented here to help you develop your team’s strategic hiring plans.

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Eric Titner

Eric is a NYC-based editor and writer, with years of experience in career-focused content development across a wide range of industries.

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