According to PricewaterhouseCoopers and the National Retail Federation (NRF)’s new report, The Economic Contribution of the US Retail Industry, retailers supported 55m full-time and part-time jobs in the country in 2022.

This accounts for 26% of total US employment, up from 52 million jobs and 25% of total US employment in 2018.

The US retail industry’s total labour income contribution was approximately $3tn, or 20% of total national labour income in 2022.

The industry’s total gross domestic product (GDP) contribution was $5.3tn, accounting for 20.4% of US GDP.

In terms of direct economic contribution, the report found that there were 4.6m retail establishments in 2022, which accounted for 11.1% of all business establishments in the country. Retailers also directly provided 32.2m jobs for American workers.

Retailers can range from small, local businesses to global operations, and the study found that the vast majority (98.6%) had fewer than 50 employees in 2022. These firms accounted for 40.1% of all retail jobs and 35.6% of total labour income in the retail industry. Those with 50 or more employees accounted for a significant portion of retail employment (59.9%) and labour income (64.4%).

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The states with the largest total number of retail establishments in 2022 were California, Texas, Florida, New York and Georgia.

NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay commented: “The retail industry continues to expand in every way possible. 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.”

The NRF recently reported that the labour market and interest rates will be key to US retail performance throughout 2024.