The ACT-On Consortium aims to increase the number of trained and qualified retail managers to meet the rising labor demand. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there were approximately 1.53 million first-line supervisors of retail sales workers employed across the United States in 2014. BLS projects first-line supervisors’ employment will increase to 1.6 million by 2024, a 4.4 percent increase from 2014, which is slightly below the expected growth for all occupations across the country at 6.5 percent. Despite overall employment levels increasing slightly, BLS projects that slightly more than 411,000 job openings will occur from 2014 to 2024. This estimate includes job openings due to growth in the industry and the replacement needs that will result from workers retiring from or permanently leaving an occupation.
Labor demand for retail positions in the four states that the grant served—Alaska, California, Oregon, and Texas—was higher than the national average.
For this study, we have imported Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics (LEHD) hiring and earnings data from 2011 to 2015 for the counties in each of the four grant states. For each state and for each year, one can see the total number of jobs and the number of jobs per capita for each count. These data are displayed in the maps linked below.
- Nationally, BLS predicts that retail management positions will grow by 4.4 percent from 2014 to 2024; slightly below the national average of 6.5 percent growth rate (see Exhibit 1 here).
- In 2015, in Alaska, retail management hires in both raw and per capita terms are higher in the relatively more populated southern parts of the state, but average wages are higher in the more sparsely populated northern part of the state.
- From 2011 to 2015, in California, raw hirings were higher in the urban areas of Los Angeles, Sacramento, and San Francisco. However, more hirings per capita occurred in the more rural areas of Northern and Southern California.
- From 2011 to 2015, average earnings in the retail industry were highest in the more urban counties of Oregon, but more hirings per capita occurred in the southern, more rural counties.
- Both in raw numbers and per capita, the highest density of hirings in the Texas retail industry were focused around the urban centers in eastern Texas in 2015.
For a more detailed look at how retail labor demand has evolved, click above to open interactive labor demand and earnings maps of the grant college states