According to a new report by the National Retail Federation (NRF), the retail industry supported 55 million full- and part-time jobs in 2022, accounting for 26 percent of total U.S. employment. The figures are up from 52 million jobs and 25 percent of total U.S. employment in 2018.

Conducted by PwC, The Economic Contribution of the U.S. Retail Industry examines the retail industry’s direct, indirect and induced contribution to the U.S. economy.

“The retail industry continues to expand in every way possible, from the number of jobs it supports to the number of retail businesses and its total impact on GDP,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. “As the largest private-sector employer, American families and workers depend on a strong retail economy for continued growth and opportunity in communities large and small across the country.”

According to the NRF report, the retail industry’s total labor income contribution was approximately $3 trillion, or 20 percent of total national labor income in 2022. The industry’s total gross domestic product (GDP) contribution was $5.3 trillion, accounting for 20.4 percent of U.S. GDP.

Regarding direct economic contribution, the NRF report found nearly 4.6 million retail businesses in 2022, accounting for 11.1 percent of all companies in the U.S. Retailers also directly provided 32.2 million jobs for American workers.

While retailers can range from small, local businesses to global operations, the NRF report found that the vast majority, 98.6 percent, had fewer than 50 employees in 2022. These companies accounted for 40.1 percent of all retail jobs and 35.6 percent of total labor income in the retail industry. Those with 50 or more employees accounted for a significant portion of retail employment, 59.9 percent, and labor income, 64.4 percent.

The NRF report also examined retail’s economic impact on all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. In 2022, California, Texas, Florida, New York, and Georgia had the largest total number of retail businesses.

The NRF report was released ahead of the NRF’s fourth annual State of Retail and the Consumer virtual discussion on the health of the American consumer, the U.S. economy and the retail industry.

To read the full report, go here.

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